I came across the photograph below in a World War II copy of Riding magazine from Jan-March 1943. Riding was then down to 4 issues every year, down from the monthly pre-war issue rate. The war was reflected, however briefly, in much of the correspondence columns. J D Robinson contributed this photograph, which is of a blacksmith's shop at Roxby, North Yorkshire, purely so readers of the magazine could see it - a small break from the pressures of war. Another correspondent in the same issue talked of the importance of being able to have some relaxation so that war work could be carried on - "The Managing Director of a certain aircraft factory puts in a superhuman number of hours on the job... He has turned to the horse now, and relies on this to give him the brief relaxation necessary to enable him to carry on work at such terrific pressure."
Looking at this building must have had a little of the same affect. I have never seen anything like it, and my immediate thought when seeing it was to wonder if it still existed. So many fascinating buildings have been bulldozed out of existence in the interests of expedience or profit.
It does. It was listed on November 20, 2001 - rather late bearing in mind its unusual form. J Turton Esq, physician to George III, bought the manor of Roxby from the Boynton family. He died in 1806 and had no children, so his estates were left to Edmund Peters, who took the name of Turton. The Turton family built the school in the village, and presumably this range of cottages as they are inscribed, rather unmissably, Turton Cottages 1858 above the doorway.
The building is no longer a forge. Now that farriers generally travel to you rather than the other way around, I suppose the building became redundant. What the building is currently used for I am not sure; presumably it has not been used as a forge for some time, as a website about the local area is unaware of its former purpose.
It's lovely to see it's still there. I wonder if there will ever be a world in which it will return to its original use.
Original photograph, J D Robinson, Riding Magazine, Jan-Mar, 1943
Modern photograph - © Copyright Stanley Nixon. Many thanks for sending the photograph to me.