Where you are: Local History - Snippets - blacksmiths
   Blacksmiths' Presence in Tickhill


Blacksmiths were a key part of the local community for many centuries; from at least the 17th Century the names of blacksmiths are known. For example, in the mid-17th Century there was the appropriately named Robert Hammerton, then during the 17th and 18th Centuries the Towler family were long-established. In the 19th Century Emmanuel Elvidge worked as a blacksmith through to his seventies and was followed by his son. The Genn family of Northgate in the middle of that Century had a father, William, and three of his sons in the trade. A reminder of the blacksmiths'      presence is in the naming of a house on Northgate 'The Old Forge' - once a smithy - whose large gate incorporates two images of blacksmiths (see above). While much of their work no longer survives, Tickhill still has examples of the objects made by blacksmiths from former times:

- The weather vane on the Buttercross is one of the most decorative and functional items; a smaller weather vane adorns the top of the Library clock.

- St Mary's Church has several examples of wrought iron such as:

      the hinges on the west door, its handles, and the many studs strengthening the wood panels

      the railings around the Fitzwilliam tomb, placed there some 200 years ago

       the fittings on the parish chest at the west end of the Church

      even one of the gravestones is made from iron, at least the back plate with a simple scroll decoration at the top (see right) has survived, the front plate with any writing on it is missing. Another gravestone near the southern entrance to the churchyard commemorates blacksmith John Richardson (see Occasional Paper 7 for details).

- Where once there were gates, it is still possible to see the iron loops or pegs on which they hung inserted into the stone gateposts, as outside the Methodist Church on Northgate.

- A few iron brackets for lamps still exist such as outside the Parish Room (see left)

- Some older buildings have walls strengthened by iron ties, e.g. the Evangelical Church

In 2011, Shire Publications reissued Wrought Iron by Richard Hayman which contains many fine illustrations.



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