Branscombe Forge, Branscombe, Devon
They say that Branscombe Forge in Devon is the oldest thatched working forge in the country, which is quite something. You think – blacksmiths have worked here for over 400 years, and its currently run by a third generation blacksmith. The essential fabric of the building probably hasn’t changed all that much in that time – still the thick stone rubble walls, the low heavy thatch, and the open shelter at the front where the blacksmiths would have shod the horses back in the day.
All kinds of things have been made here over the years, and the centuries; in those times, blacksmiths followed in their father’s footsteps or came and settled at Branscombe and made whatever was needed for the local community – mostly axe heads, pig rings, ploughs, fishing hooks, all the every day things that were needed for the farming and fishing that went on in and around the village.
It’s another one that’s been rescued by the National Trust, and now, if you go there, you might see the blacksmith at work, and you can browse the showroom where his creations are displayed for sale. There are candleholders, fireside companion sets, garden ornaments, door furniture, hooks, finials, chandeliers and mirrors. What skill, what artistry.
Opening times vary throughout the year
T: 01752 346585 All information correct at the time of writing