The Old Blacksmith's Shop, Grindleford

Recent Photograph of The Old Blacksmith's Shop (Grindleford)

Although it's been said many times before, those immortal lines inevitably spring to mind, especially with the tree in the background, of one of the classic images of rural England...

“Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands...”

Grindleford's Old Blacksmith's Shop was sited opposite the present-day Post Office, on the south side of the Bridge, and (as will be seen from the above photograph, where a small amount of sign is visible) next to what used to be a Butcher's Shop. The butcher's premises was originally the Village Post Office before the present Post Office was built, and further to its left was the ‘Old Red Lion’ public house - the old sign can still be seen faintly in the stonework above its doorway.

Every village, before motorised transport was adopted as the norm, would have had one or more Blacksmiths. In Grindleford, in 1829 there was just one listed - Thomas KEY or KAY (Glover's Directory, 1829) but by 1846, he'd been joined by William WOLSTENHOLME (History & Gazetteer of Derbyshire, 1846), and in 1857, William WOLSTENHOLME's place was taken by Robert WHITE (White's Directory, 1857). Robert WHITE's son Thomas is known to have worked in this shop as a descendant has a photograph of him standing in front of it.

It may still be possible to see, on the faded board above the window the words ‘Shoeing and General Smith’; the ancient flagstoned footpath between the two buildings climbs to the Hathersage road.

My uncle, Joe REEVES worked in the shop during the 1960s and early 1970s providing a small repair service for the village.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Don Rimmington on 21st July 2001.
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