As part of this year’s Heritage Open Days and Ellesmere Festival, we will be relighting the forge at the historic waterway yard this weekend.
The forge was once the workplace of Thomas Telford. Visitors will be able to see inside some of the workshops and join on one of the ‘behind the scenes’ guided tours. There will be activities for children and the opportunity to see a blacksmith in action operating the forge throughout the weekend. Saturn – the last horse-drawn Shropshire Union Fly-boat in the world will also be on display.
Much of the waterway yard is Grade II listed. We're currently working on a renovation project, which has already seen the historic forge brought back into working order.
Sarah Lalieu, enterprise manager at the Canal & River Trust explains: “It was really important to us to get the forge working again and filled with the sounds, sights and smells of a working smithy, rather than just keep it as a museum piece preserved in aspic. We’ve now leased the workshop to a blacksmith, bringing the space back to life and giving visitors a glimpse of what it must have been like 200 years ago.”
The yard will be open on Saturday 14th September 10am-3pm and Sunday 15th September 11am-3pm.
Boat trips will be running between Ellesmere Wharf (near Tesco) and the Waterways Yard. (please note the water taxi is not accessible by wheelchair).
Tours of the site need to be pre-booked by contacting the North Wales and Borders Waterway office on 0303 040 4040 or at firstname.lastname@example.org