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The Smithy - Old Norwich Road

The village farrier lived and worked here adjacent to the Queen's Head beside the turnpike connecting Norwich and Attleborough. Built around 1700 of Flemish bonded bricks under a pantile roof, the original house comprised a ground floor with low attic. The roof was raised during the nineteenth century to give space for first floor windows. A sawtooth cornice was added at that time and probably the extension on the left gable. Both gables have coped parapets.

The former farrier's shop stood in front to the right, but has recently been extended at the rear to join the house. Horses would have waited in a yard to the left opposite the workshop doors. No evidence remains of the forge although bellows are still there and horseshoes abound. The bay window at the front is modern. A draw well is close-by to the left. Inside the character has been retained with early ledged and braced doors catches and locks, floor pamments and exposed bridging beams and joists. An inglenook to the right of the stack shows evidence of earlier brickwork. It has two ovens with their brick domes intact.

The pump stood opposite and was used by the Turnpike Trust to water the road, to lay the dust, and now stands by the village sign.

Two blacksmiths have been identified as having worked here, Thomas Herne 1851 and J. H. Curson 1930, who may have replaced the Kett's Oak hoops in the 1930's.

About the same time, Mr Wigg, a milkman would lead his horse Peggy, to the smithy for shoeing, whilst he disappeared into the pub for a pint.