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Streets through time - High Street
No 77 - The Forge


Dated 1794, remodelled c1830, with addition in matching style late twentieth century. Forge House is of  brick with ashlar dressings and renewed plain tile roofs. It has two stone gable stacks with coped square double flues.  With dentillated eaves, coped gables, two storeys and a three window range, this building is one of those rebuilt c1790-1820 by George de Ligne Gregory and remodelled in a picturesque style c1820-1840 by Gregory Gregory.


The image above (year taken not known) shows the Forge as originally built. The stylish front entrance stonework leading directly to the front door is believed to have been taken from the Old Manor house when it was demolished. In the mid 1950's, this stone archway was moved to the side of the building as shown in the 1960's images below and where it resides today.

In the Estate sale of 1937, the tenancy is that of Mr T F Wilson. This would be Thomas Freeling Wilson. In the 1921 Census, the Wilson family was in residence with Thomas Freeling Wilson (b1862) being the Shoeing Smith. Thomas was married to Alice (b1863) and they had two daughters - Alice Freeling Wilson (b1900), Elizabeth Flowers Wilson (b1904)  and a son Thomas Freeling Wilson Junior (b1908). They also had a live in Shoesmiths assistant Arthur James Bemnant (b1901) from London. At this time it is not clear if Thomas Freeling Wilson Senior or Junior is the named tenant in 1937.


The 1939 Register shows the Forge noted as having no names registered as residing in it.

In the 1940's the Smith Family lived here. They had a building business. Their daughter Janet married John Crane the son of Charles and Nellie Crane. Charles was Violet Van der Elst's butler and John was a chauffeur. Janet worked at the Fire station.

Lot 5 The Forge.jpg

The images on the right and below were taken in 1956 when a happy looking chap with his Spaniel were preparing the groundworks for moving the stone archway - any ideas who this may be?

The photos also show that the owners of the Forge at this time were extremely keen gardeners with much of its land rich in flower beds.


Above B & W  images taken in late 1960's.


Above image shows the 2023 view of the position of the Forge from the corner of Pond St looking up to where High St becomes Swinehill.

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