Historic blacksmith’s shop to be restored

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AN 18th century blacksmith’s shop is to be restored thanks to the Limestone Landscapes Partnership and Heritage Lottery Fund.

The single storey, one-roomed Hetton smithy has been in continuous use as a blacksmiths throughout its existence.

It harks back to a time when Hetton was a tranquil agricultural settlement and before the idea that coal could be found beneath the ground.

Durham County Council, which hosts the Limestone Landscapes Partnership, has appointed Beaumont Brown Architects and Classic Masonry to restore the building.

Owner John Guy has worked at the smithy all his life, and the restoration will allow for demonstrations and masterclasses of blacksmithing to take place in the future.

David Beaumont, conservation architect for the project, said: “The smithy is a fantastic historical building and its present condition reflects the years of service it has provided to the community.

“We hope to provide a light touch to its conservation and restoration and give this important local and wider heritage building, a new lease of life – and a dry place for John to work.”

Peter Collins, chairman of the Hetton Local History Society, said: “We have very few buildings surviving from the time before Hetton became a mining community.

“So it is good to know that one which would once have been at the heart of the old agricultural village is now going to be restored for posterity.”