Anvil, tools and a finial in the making

If only my anvil could talk

Richard Fishenden
The anvil in our forge gets daily use. Sometimes it is used for making shoes and sometimes for curtain pole finials or brackets.
We bought it several years ago from a farmer who acquired it at an auction. It originally sat in the blacksmiths shop at Shrubland Hall in Suffolk which was built in 1770. The anvil was sold off at an auction along with an old forge which we also bought.
We don’t use the forge as it has hand operated bellows which is very labour intensive to keep the fire in. Years ago they use to employ a boy or young lad to pump the bellows but I would probably be prosecuted if I tried that!
Nowadays we use gas forges for a more consistent and quicker heat but It seemed to be nice to keep the forge and anvil together which is why we bought both; after all they have probably worked together for several hundred years so who am I to split them up?
I wonder how many people have used my anvil over the years; Blacksmiths repairing estate tools, shoeing the land horses or making park fencing. It would have all been made on the estate.
It must have been a fair sight. If only my anvil could talk…

Richard Fishenden
Richard Fishenden

Farriery was my first love. Horse shoeing is a wonderful skill and something that I still do every week. It also gave me the skills that I needed to serve my new clients at Made by the Forge. I believe in a good old fashioned service where the customer is the number 1 asset.

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