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The Old Smithy Ickwell Green

The Old Smithy March 2010
The Old Smithy March 2010

The Old Smithy was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1952 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 19th century. It is built of  brick, with colour washed roughcast render and a slate roof. It is a single storeyed rectangular block with a lean-to addition to the south. It formerly had two chimney stacks with diagonally-set shafts, but these have been removed. It is said to be on the site of the Smithy where Thomas Tompion first worked.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Ickwell was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting The Smithy [DV1/C44/116] found it owned by A. E. Course and occupied by William Reeks. The rent was “not settled”. The brick, slate and tiled building comprised a smithy, coal store, forge with bellows and a shoeing shed.

Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire lists William Reeks as blacksmith in Ickwell in its editions of 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. The directory was not published every year and 1940 was the last one published for Bedfordshire. Kelly’s and other directories show the following preceding blacksmiths:

  • Albert George Course from at least 1906 to at least 1914;
  • William Course from at least 1890 to at least 1903, he was also listed as a shopkeeper;
  • George Course from at least 1847 until at least 1885, he was also listed as wheelwright.

Today the Old Smithy is the changing rooms for Ickwell and Old Warden Football Club.