The Much Hadham Forge Museum
The Forge Museum is set in an attractive Grade II* listed
building situated in the picturesque village of Much Hadham.
Originally a farmhouse of Moor Place, the earlier parts of
the building date from the 15th century, Horseshoe Cottage
and Forge Cottage date from the 16th century.
The Forge Museum (left), and The Forge Cottage
(centre) and Horseshoe Cottage (right)
The forge and bellows room are part of a
17th century barn conversion, and in 1811 the shoeing room and
blacksmith’s shop were added when Frederick Page moved in. The Page
family ran the village smithy at Much Hadham until 1983, when Charles
Page died aged 91. Charles’s daughter, Miss Jean Page, conveyed the
forge and its two cottages to the Hertfordshire Building Preservation
Trust by Deed of Gift in 1988.
The Forge blacksmith,
at work. Contact
Much work has gone into restoring the forge, its
buildings and contents. The Forge Museum was opened in 1991 by His
Grace, the Duke of Grafton. At this living Museum our resident
blacksmith, Richard Maynard, can be seen working in the traditional craft
along with displays, a collection of blacksmith tools, photographs, and
documents from the past. There is also a TV/video display showing films
on relevant themes.
The Victorian Cottage Garden
The garden houses a rare early 19th century bee shelter
and a reconstructed granary building that originally stood on
agricultural land connected with the Earls of Essex in Watford.
The Jean Page Room
The Wall paintings at Forge Cottage
Inside one of the rooms at Forge Cottage are a series of
wall paintings. Thought to date to the late 16th century
when the building was part of a medieval hall house and
court room during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, they depict
various scenes and themes.
The symbolism and historic context of these paintings has been
researched and shows that they are unique. Their survival is astonishing
and therefore their conservation is a priority. An on-going programme of
monitoring and long-term conservation is being conducted.