Much Hadham Forge Museum
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
A set of 3 historic buildings in the heart of the pretty Hertfordshire village of Much Hadham house this fascinating museum. The oldest of the three buildings dates to the 15th century and was erected as a farmhouse for the manor of Moor Place.
The building was converted in the 17th century to a barn when a forge and bellows were added. Then in 1811 a shoeing room and blacksmith's shop were built for Frederick Page, the first of 4 generations of Pages to work Hadham Forge.
Beside the forge are 2 more historic buildings, Forge Cottage and Horseshoe Cottage, both built in the 17th century. The Victorian garden houses an unusual early 19th-century bee shelter, and a granary building from the Earls of Essex's property near Watford that has been taken apart, moved here, and carefully reconstructed.
The Forge Museum
When Charles Page died in 1983 his daughter gave the 3 buildings to the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust. The buildings were restored and opened to the public as a living museum. In other words, do not expect to see simply a series of exhibits in glass cases.
Instead, you can watch a live blacksmith at work on the historic forge, crafting metal objects as the Page's would have done hundreds of years ago. Of course, there are also old tools, photos, and archives to examine, bringing to life not just the building but the people who lived and worked here.
One of the highlights at Forge Cottage is a set of late 16th-century wall paintings, probably painted when the house was used as a courtroom in the reign of Elizabeth I. These unique paintings depict coats of arms to the Newce family, a royal coat of arms to Queen Elizabeth I, and a Biblical scene of the Judgement of Solomon. The paintings offer a wonderful glimpse into the Elizabethan world and how people thought and lived.
The museum collections include objects covering Hadham's history from the Bronze Age to the present. Aside from the blacksmith collection, there are displays on local history, objects found locally by metal detectorists, and tools used by local tradesmen over time.
About Much Hadham Forge Museum
Address: High Street, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, England, SG10 6BS
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: In the centre of Hadham village. Seasonal opening, and a small charge applies.
Website: Much Hadham Forge Museum
OS: TL427 192
Photo Credit: Martin Addison, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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19th century (Time Period) -
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