Life at the Forge

 The Daily Goings-on of a Blacksmith

After a good, hearty breakfast Graham starts his mobile farrier rounds, visiting the villages within our local area. Years ago, most villages had their own Blacksmith shop / forge. You may have noticed when driving through country villages that there are various dwellings called ‘The Forge’ or the ‘Old Smithy’. These are the buildings where an old forge proudly stood, mainly on road side, allowing for easy access of cart horses and for others to be brought to be re-shod.
bespoke wrought ironwork
Image: Graham at work in the Forge
Graham creating bespoke wrought ironwork
Image: Work in progress
On occasions we still have horses brought to our forge, for some this is quite a rare sight. After a morning of attending to horses, Graham is back in the forge for iron work. Sometimes Graham makes special shoes by hand, but in today’s modern world, most shoes are bought ready made and with the skill of the farrier, they are heated and hammered to fit the foot of the horse.
Horse shoes ready for fitting
Image: Our Horse shoe store – a variety of sizes ready for fitting.
Blacksmithing origins first trace back to 1500BC. The Hittites discovered the process of forging and tempering iron ore. As the Iron age advanced, a process to produce wrought iron was developed through reducing natural iron ore with heat. This new substance could be used to make simple tools that proved much tougher and sharper than stone.
Here are a few items made to order in the last few weeks…
Bespoke driveway bollards
Image: Made-to-order – some wrought iron bollards a chain when attached to the top hooks will cordon off a private driveway.
Bespoke horse shoe kitchen roll holders
Image: Made-to-order – A pair of kitchen Roll Holders a request from a horse owner using her own horses shoes these will last a lifetime and always remind her of her old friends.
Bespoke weather vane
Image: Made-to-order – A Weather vane for a birthday present.
I found this little snippet by Rudyard Kipling in an old book …

Gold is for the mistress,

Silver for the maid,

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade,

“Good” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

But Iron–Cold Iron–is master of them all.

Want to make your own bespoke order? Please call us to discuss your project, or email Graham and Vera at

Grove Cottage Forge 44 Thong Hall Road Wickham Market, Woodbridge IP13 0NG

Phone: 01728 746848   |   Mobile: 07860 759046


Business hours: 8am - 8pm  |  7 Days a week

British Through and Through