Blacksmiths Shop

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

The Blacksmiths' Shop (H2) is one of the oldest workshops on the Boston Lodge site.

Blacksmiths Shop
Location Boston Lodge on the east side of the Top Yard.
Register No 99
T. Corner ID BL012
Operational Yes
Heritage Status Grade 2 listed. All works that materially effect its character will require Listed Building Consent.
Historical significance Highly significant. This building dates from 1848 when the Company resolved to set up its own manufactory for waggon parts. In 1856 the insurance plan showed it divided into three parts, with lean-to extensions at the rear. The northern half is described as 'Smithy and Tyre Stove'. The stove is still in evidence and was used for heating tyres for shrinking on to wheels. The southern quarter is shown as 'Coke for Cupola', with an 'Oven' shown in the rear extension. This would have been used for baking sand moulds for iron casting, in the Foundry next door, where the Cupola was. The remaining portion is shown as a Cleaning Room, probably for cleaning new castings. These areas are separated by dotted lines on the plan so the partitions if any may not have been substantial. In later times the building was not divided.
Cadw Blg ID 14413. Cadw listing includes No2 Machine Shop (former Foundry, FR No 100). Cadw listing text as follows:-

This range is amongst the first to be built after the opening of the railway in 1836, its function being essential to the building of rolling stock. Interior. The interior of the iron foundry retains deep brackets in one wall indicating position of the cupola hood. At rear are lateral chimneys and segmental arches into deep lean-to chambers. Exterior. Built of local slatey rubble with corrugated iron roof and wide eaves, bracketed to gable end. 4-bay iron foundry has voussoir-arched openings, 3 of which are filled in to base and given small-pane windows but the left hand one retains boarded door. Stepped back to left is 5-bay, slate-roofed, smithy which has similar round-arched openings of which alternate ones remain open as split boarded doors while the rest are converted, as in the foundry, into windows. Railway track at front with turntables to either end. Reason for Listing. Listed as part of this especially complete example of a C19 railway engineering works which has important historical associations with the Ffestiniog Railway. Group value with other listed items at Boston Lodge.

Description Solid stone walls under a duo pitched roof. Internally open to the roof. Arches in the original rear wall lead through into the rear extension. One is a semi-elliptical arch very wide for its height with proportions similar to Brunel's legendary bridge at Maidenhead. One of the main roof trusses is immediately above it.
Present use From September 2021, in use for slate wagon repairs.
Previous use Smithy (No 99) later general storage
Condition By 2015 the building was generally sound but there were repairs and reinstatements needed to the roof structure, walls and rainwater disposal. The stability of the one remaining chimney stack to the rear was in doubt (see leaning stacks in Norman Pearce photo below). The rear roof was corrugated iron.

2018-9 Building cleared out for major repairs[1]. The gable end and corner rebuilt with a new lintel over the opening to the former Extension[2]. External major repairs were completed in 2020. The slate roof has been renewed throughout along with the 'pagoda' ventilator on the roof and all five chimneys at the rear.

Urgent and Immediate Repairs required The following repairs are required immediately:-


Less urgent repairs none
Improvements needed The following works go beyond 'repairs'.

Internal fit-out, to include restoration of hearths and re-installation of equipment and tools. A forge is available, also hand bellows and mechanical bellows, a sleam hammer, and Blacksmiths' tools in store.

Potential alternative uses The future use of this building is included within a larger scheme of conservation works to reinstate the buildings of the Top Yard. It will be restored as a Smithy, for work on rolling stock, for demonstration and training of historic craft skills and as a showpiece as part of the historic tour.
  1. ^ "The Chairman's Bit", Festiniog Railway Heritage Group Journal, Issue 133, page(s): 4
  2. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 246, page(s): 436