Heritage Award for The Smithy, Hetton le Hole. June 2014

2nd June 2014

Our restoration work at The Smithy at Hetton le Hole for Limestone Landscapes was Highly Commended in the Heritage Category at the recent Constructing Excellence North East Awards.

There's not many late 18th-century Grade II listed blacksmith forges in our area and the likely collapse of this little gem meant that a significant cultural asset for the region was about to be lost, let alone the loss of the livelihood of one of the last remaining farrier blacksmiths in the country.

Entering the Smithy was like stepping back in time to a preindustrial age. Around its walls were racks of hammers and tongs. In the roof were beams with horseshoes of every style and shape, enough to shoe all the runners of the Grand National twice over. The rafters were packed with steel bar both metric and imperial. Walls were covered in benches shelves, boxes, and chests of drawers revealed nuts and bolts and nails of every size. The anvil on railway sleepers. Close to the massive fire hearth, capable of taking a cartwheel’s iron tyre.

But years of poor construction, piecemeal repair and wear and tear put the building at risk. Heavy loads on the spindly roof meant the roof was in danger of collapse and as we subsequently opened up the works, the chimney and gable also wanted to fall down. Urgent action was needed…

Pictured are David Beaumont of Beaumont Brown Architects and Peter Dunn of Durham County Council receiving the award from sponsers, Thirteen.





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