The moat was once used to keep assailants at a distance, as a fish pond, and a convenient dumping ground for the castle’s rubbish. Over the weekend, the moat was used for an adult learning workshop. Twelve participants got to have a go at the traditional craft of blacksmithing.
The office of a smith at the Tower of London can be traced as far back as 1275 under the reign of King Edward 1, with the primary purpose of making weapons and other military equipment. Today ironwork is used for more peaceable purposes.
Under the guidance of Kevin Boys, and with over 30 years experience, participants discovered the excitement of blacksmithing through basic forging techniques. They gained experience of working in hot iron, using fire, hammer work, and various tools to enable them to twist, bend and shape their very own master piece. Some of the objects that were made were a candle stick holder, rose, spear head, cork screw head and a poker stick! Many hits with the hammer were needed to forge iron. There will be a lot of sore shoulders and arms today!
One participant said it was educational, fascinating, hard work but rewarding, and being able to take home the fruits of our labour gives a permanent memento.
At Historic Royal Palaces we keep these skills alive. Click HERE for more information.
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To find out more about our adult learning events click HERE.