Gunnerside Smithy MYD36627 (c) YDNPA, 2023
The main smithy building is two-storied with a single storey addition that now houses a small exhibition about the history of the blacksmith in the community. The smithy is datable to the early 19th century through its use of coursed rubble walling, high eaves and large windows with thin stone lintels and sills. At this time Baines’s Directory lists John Calvert and Ralph Simpson as blacksmiths in the village. The smithy has a domestic appearance from the front, with a rare survival of 16-pane sash windows on the ground floor and casements above. The main smithy door is interesting in that it has been used to test horn burns for sheep and various other iron marks for mining companies and individuals. Several day books survive from the 19th century, written by the Calverts whose descendant, Stephen Calvert still runs the smithy. In the 19th century, the two hearths burned coal carted down from Tan Hill and William Gill pits at the top of Arkengarthdale. As well as shoeing horses the day books show that the smith could turn his hand to almost anything, from repairing a child’s minnow net to making tools for stonemasons. The Calverts also owned a small piece of land on which they kept a cow and a horse. The present smith still farms part-time.
Hartley, Marie & Ingilby, Joan (1984) A Dales Heritage. Clapham: Dalesman [Chapter 10 – ‘A Nineteenth Century Blacksmith’]
Hall, June (2003) The Old Working Smithy Museum at Gunnerside’ Now Then. No 12 pp26-30