Saturday, November 05, 2011

Smithies and forges

click photo to enlarge
Today's photograph is posted in response to an email I have received from "down under", Australia to be more specific. It was from someone doing family history research. One of her ancestors lived in the parish of Aswarby and in her researches she'd come across my photographs of the church, the local landscape and in particular, the old smithy. In 2008 I posted a sepia coloured photograph of this building and wrote something of its history. She wondered whether I had a colour photograph of the building. As luck would have it her email came shortly after we'd had a walk in the area and I'd taken another photograph of the building. Here it is.

I wouldn't have posted this photograph had it not been for the email and, more particularly, the fact that it reminded me of another smithy I'd photographed last year. The former forge/smithy and bakehouse at Tinwell, Rutland is altogether grander and more ornate than the example at Aswarby. It too is a consciously picturesque building in an"estate village", the product of a rich and paternalistic landowner. But, whereas Aswarby's smithy is on a track off the main road in a small, somewhat scattered settlement, the one in Tinwell is in the centre of a larger village near the church, and this probably influenced its scale and decorative qualities. Aswarby has a datestone showing 1846, the year of its construction. Tinwell was built only two years later in 1848. Is it down to fashion that both have horseshoes carved on their facades to indicate their purpose? Tinwell's is massive enclosing a door. Was this a shoeing bay? If so it's certainly a grander entrance than the double doors on the left at Aswarby. The funds available at Tinwell, and the vision of the landowner and his architect also allowed for the incorporation of a water supply under the arch in the wall at the centre of the composition. Today Tinwell's smithy/forge is a post office.

click photo to enlarge

Main Photo
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 28mm
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On