22 – The Old Smithy

The Old Smith (on the left), probably early 1900’s. Note there is an outbuilding attached on the right but the shaped wall is clearly visible.

The property was built in about 1800 and at that time was two separate properties.  The Smithy was not established until some time in the second half of the C19th. Fred Dunkerton rented the property from the Squire in about 1881 and began his blacksmithing business and his son Colston, on leaving school, began working with him. The Dunkerton family were at that time the only blacksmiths in Butleigh and therefore all the horses were taken there for shoeing. They would also have made the metal bonds for wagon, cart and putt wheels for the wheelwrights next door. At one stage ten people were employed there and four forges were in use.  The blacksmiths business continued until at least 1950. Look carefully at the right side of the house and you will see that it has cut back and rounded to allow wagons to negotiate the corner.