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Cople Smithy

Cople smithy
Cople Smithy [Z1130/33/3/4]

A blacksmith’s shop and premises stood on Northill Road just around the corner from the Vicarage and just south of the junction with Grange Lane. In 1902 it was in the same ownership as the former Crown Inn next door. It then belonged, in effect, to the church for a time, as it purchased for the benefice in 1903 by the Patron of the Living; it was sold to Ernest Hart, a blacksmith from Mogerhanger in 1921.

view across former smithy to the church February 2008
View across former smithy to the church February 2008

In 1927 the dwellings of Cople were valued under the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every building and piece of land in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the smithy noted [DV1/C49/141] that E.G.Hart was owner/occupier. The smithy was constructed of brick and thatch, the smithy itself measured 20 feet by 15 feet with a shoeing shed measuring 11 feet by 15 feet. Kelly's Directory for 1940 shows that Ernest Hart was still the smith at that time.

former smithy now part of Cople Motor Company premises February 2008
Former smithy now part of Cople Motor Company premises February 2008

The smithy buildings today survive as part of Cople Motors Limited (formerly a Mitsubishi dealer called Clares Garage Limited and before that known as Forge Garage). The scene across the former smithy towards the church has changed remarkably little since 1900, except for the cars!

The Hearth Tax of 1671 recorded two forges in Cople. They were in the premises of Robert Palmer and Oliver Eaton.