The Experience

Be a blacksmith for a day!

Come and experience being a blacksmith in the traditional village forge in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire.


In the village smithy in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. The forge dates from 1811, but is in a much older 16th century agricultural building. The forge has two hearths – one converted to use an electric blower and one which is still blown by hand-operated bellows. Experience the atmosphere (and smells!) of a genuine traditional forge!

Who with?

Your tutor will be the village blacksmith, Richard Maynard. Richard was educated at the Royal College of Art and Cambridge University, and studied blacksmithing under Paul Allen at Hereford College. He is a qualified teacher with 20 years experience of teaching in a practical environment. He holds a Certificate of Merit from the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths.

The Forge Experience is now in it’s seventh successful year – see here for feedback from previous students.

Tuition will be on a one-to-one or one-to-two basis.

What will I learn?

What would you like to learn? You will build your skills from whatever level they are currently at, be that expert, intermediate or complete beginner. The Experience is absolutely suitable for beginners; you will learn traditional skills such as lighting and maintaining the fire, tapering, bending, twisting, upsetting and riveting.

At the end of the Experience you will be guaranteed to take home a finished article, made by you in a traditional blacksmith’s forge.

What will I make?

Almost anything! One thing to bear in mind is that good quality metalwork always takes a lot longer to manufacture than you think it will. Something like candle holder, a boot scraper or a wine rack would be achievable. Richard has a Masters degree in design and will work with you to create something truly unique.

What is included?

One-to-one (or two) tuition, materials, coke for the forge, digital photos to record the experience, a guarantee of a finished product at the end of the experience and as much blacksmith’s tea as you can drink (like ordinary tea but with unidentified bits in).

What will it cost?

For one person: half day (4 hours) £110, whole day (8 hours) £180

For two people: half day (4 hours) £195, whole day (8 hours) £290

This includes insurance.

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