Farrier Nick Rule — who shoes the Kings’ horses — has fulfilled his dream to renovate the historic smithy in Widecombe in the Moor, Devon.
“I’ve always had an interest in old forges, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. There aren’t many of them left,” he said.
“This one hasn’t been a working forge since 1955. I moved into the area about six years ago, and I’ve had my eye on it since. The windows were all boarded up and one day there was a for sale sign up, so I bought it.”
Although the building had four walls and a roof, everything else, including the forge itself, had to be replaced and renovated.
Nick will now be working with a resident blacksmith to run the forge, which has an attached gallery selling items such as candle holders, various types of hooks, mirrors, bottle openers and sculptures.
“Everyone in the village has been really positive about the idea. So many old buildings end up being turned into housing, but it’s a piece of English heritage and I wanted to preserve it,” Nick added. “The area has been going through a bit of a revamp lately, so I’m hoping it brings added appeal to the village.”
Tomorrow (Sunday, March 12) at 11.30am, Emily and Mary will cut the ribbon on the forge and gallery in a charity opening ceremony.
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There will be live music, horseshoe-throwing and a shoeing demonstration in the centre of the village, using shoes made in the forge.
Proceeds from the event will be going to Alzheimer’s Research UK and Widecombe Primary school.