Success for revived 19th Century smithy

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A RESTORATION project has forged itself a top title.

Work to restore the Grade II Listed blacksmith’s building in Hetton from a state of collapse has been highly commended by Constructing Excellence in the North East.

The work, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and led by Durham County Council’s Limestone Landscapes Project, was highlighted in the heritage category.

The single storey, one-roomed smithy is one of the oldest buildings in the town, and is now back as a working blacksmith’s shop with owner John Guy planning demonstrations to showcase its work.

Traditional methods were used to restore the roof, forge and gable, with historic roof tiles provided by Beamish Museum, with architect Beamont:Brown Architects and the specialist building contractor Classic Masonry overseeing the project.

David Beaumont, of Beaumont:Brown Architects, said: “I am delighted the smithy has retained its historic appearance which is so essential in projects of this nature.”

Durham County Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The smithy was in a serious condition but thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, its future has been safeguarded.”

John added: “I’m looking forward to the open days, in particular being able to demonstrate the historic tools and techniques.”

The open days will be on Saturday June 7, July 5 and August 2, from 10am to 2pm.

The Limestone Landscapes Partnership works with residents and experts to conserve the landscapes, wildlife and rich heritage of the Magnesian Limestone.

The area covers South Shields to Hartlepool, including Sunderland and East Durham, helping communities enjoy and celebrate their local area.