Chain Bridge Forge History

For centuries blacksmiths were at the centre of every community, providing the essential services of shoeing horses, making and mending metal tools  and wheels.

From the 1700s to today

The Forge is fascinating example with many original features and closely tied to Spalding’s history as a port and market town.

The Forge has its origins in the mid 1700’s but the building as seen today was constructed in the early nineteenth century, the forge came into the possession of Mr George Dodd in 1899.

The family worked from these premises for three generations, during a period which saw a steady decline in the blacksmith’s role.

Adapting to this change Mr Geoffery Dodd, George’s grandson, spent much of his career designing and building the frames for floats in Spalding’s Flower Parade.

In the 1980s, nearing retirement and with the building in a poor state of repair, Mr Dodd approached South Holland District Council (SHDC) to take on the forge.

After two years of discussions the site was purchased from him by SHDC for the nominal fee of £1, on September 20th 1988.

In 2011 The Friends of Chain Bridge Forge were formed and took the Forge on a 25 year lease.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £50,000 to restore the Forge and make it accessible. This award was followed by £10,000 to record the history of the community.

Forge Timeline

Mid 1700s

Origins of the Forge

1800s

Building is purpose built as a Blacksmith’s workshop and in the ownership of Joseph Rose.

1826

White’s Directory shows Francis South was Blacksmith at this time.

1850-1860

Accounts show the Blacksmith was servicing the boats at Spalding Port.

1899

The Dodd Family take ownership of the Forge

20th Century

Three generations of the Dodd Family worked the forge.

1960s-1970s

Geoffery Dodd designs and builds many of the frames for the floats in Spalding’s famous Flower Parade.

1988

South Holland District Council agree to purchase the forge from Mr Dodd for the nominal fee of £1.

2010

Work begins on developing the site into a museum and the Friends are founded the following year.

2012

Forge is officially open to the public on the 8th of September.

2018

Forge joins forces with Moulton Mill and Pinchbeck Engine to form the South Holland Industrial Heritage project.

 

Learn More

Blacksmiths and Blacksmithing

Uncover the history of this ancient trade and the people who have kept the traditions of blacksmithing alive through the centuries.

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Media, Video and Interviews

Listen and watch some of the videos, interviews and other media associated with the forge.

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Miscellaneous

Have a look at some of the articles and memories of life around the forge in days gone by.

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Contact Chain Bridge Forge

Visit us, email us or give us a call to find out more about what’s on offer at Chain Bridge Forge.

Address

Chain Bridge Forge, High Street, Spalding, Lincs, PE11 1TX.

Call Us

07960 587724.

 

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