Visitors heading to the picturesque Lincolnshire village of Redbourne can discover a hands-on experience with a difference – ‘have-a-go blacksmithing’, in a 300-year-old forge.
Based in a building used as a forge since at least 1841, expert blacksmith Cameron Huggins not only creates artefacts that he sells in his shop, but also offers a rare opportunity to learn the craft of traditional blacksmithing from scratch.
Whether you’ve tried your hand at smithing before, or it is just something you’ve always wanted to do, his hands-on, immersive workshops offer a step-by-step guide – and you get to take home anything you make.
Expert tuition and all materials are provided, before participants get to use the hammer and tongs and the historic forge to bring their ideas to life.
Both half day (10am-2pm) and full day (9am – 5pm) courses are available, costing from £180, and take place in his Blacksmith’s Shop in Redbourne, a historic English agricultural village in north Lincolnshire.
The earliest recorded evidence of the forge’s existence comes from a pencil sketch of 1795, but blacksmiths seemed to have worked from the building continually from 1841 until around 1952, after which the building stood empty.
Cameron took on the challenge of restoring this village forge back to its original purpose in 2018.
While the fires and chimneys stood largely intact, needing only minor repairs, the centuries-old inner workings that provide air flow to keep the fire burning hot required more work to make them usable once again.
And for modern day working, an electricity supply was needed – replacing the traditional use of a young boy to pump bellows all day to provide the air.
After bringing the forge back to full working condition, he has spent the last four years continuing the craft of smithing in the heart of the village, using the same techniques to forge the hot metal as his predecessors.
The full day experience (1 or 2 people) costs £190 for one person or £340 for two people, including one-to-one private tuition, materials, safety equipment, and lunch. The half day experience (2 people only) costs £180 for two, including private tuition, materials, safety equipment, and tea/coffee.
To book one of the experiences, visit www.cameronhugginsblacksmith.co.uk
For details about visiting Lincolnshire, see www.visitlincolnshire.com