Blacksmith's Shop

Photograph of the blacksmith's shop in welbourn

The Blacksmith's Shop

The former forge and Blacksmith's workshop in the High Street dates from 1864 and for more than 100 years, in conjunction wth the local wheelwright,  it served the needs of local farmers and tradesmen including the nearby Welbourn branch of the Co-operative Society which made deliveries of bread, groceries, meal, paraffin and coal by horse and cart throughout the district. using up to 6 draught horses.  In addition Welbourn Manor kept 12 hunters.  the 18 horses kept at Temple Bruer were also supported.  Sadly, the last blacksmith, Mr. Edwin Wilkinson who had worked in the forge since 1909 and qualified as a farrier by 1914,  retired through ill-health in the mid 1960s but fortunately all the tools and equipment remained in place and undisturbed.


In 1987, North Kesteven District Council purchased the stone built workshop and its contents as a unique example of the area's rural heritage and, in collaboration with Welbourn Parish Council and a group of local volunteers, the building was repaired and re-wired and the tools and stock were photographed, sorted and catalogued. in 2000 the forge fires were lit for the first time in over 30 years, culminating in the volunteer group organising an Open Day on the 2nd September when former Navenby blacksmith, Maurice Addison and his colleague Dave Winter, demonstrated their smithying skills for the visiting public. This successful event was recorded on video and there was also a display of old photographs and other memorabilia showing the forge in its heyday including an account of the co-operation between the village blacksmith and wheelwright in order to manufacture cart and waggon wheels.

In the meantime, members of the volunteer group continue to meet on the first Saturday of each month.  Future plans include the preparation of an explanatory leaflet and other interpretation materials; further demonstrations of blacksmithying and ironwork for local schools and the general public as well as the restoration of the earth privy.   

In 2016,  NKDC decided that  the forge was an unwanted drain on their funds so offered to release it.  Thanks to a generous donation from a local benefactor, the parish council bought the entire building in order to keep it under local control. with the intention that the volunteers would continue to operate and demonstrate as before.

The Forge is located at the south end of the High Street on the bend at its junction with The Green. (see map on map page)

Contacts:
Parish Council  -  Parish Clerk

Welbourn Friends of the Forge - Mr. Bill Goodhand.