As part of one of CAT’s recent Historic Building Recording jobs we were asked to prepare a study of a building called The Forge at Bradwell, Essex. It turned out that The Forge originally belonged to the house next door and that this, for the past 32 years, has been the home of our colleague Ben Holloway’s parents.
Ben, a Project Officer at CAT, now lives in Colchester, but vividly remembers moving to Bradwell at the age of 9. He had many stories of metal detecting in the grounds of The Forge when he was a “wee lad”, undoubtedly he was destined to be an archaeologist from an early age!
Much to our delight, Ben’s parents were able to provide us with a photograph taken in 1903, when their house was being built. It’s a great photograph full of interest and atmosphere, and the construction of the house looks like a top-quality job, with many of the workmen decked out in waistcoats! The blacksmith also appears in the door of The Forge (to the left of the frame) and a small dog in the foreground completes the lively scene.
Contributed by Mark Baister, Junior Project Manager, CAT.
CAT would like to thank the Holloway family for their assistance in researching the Forge’s historical background, as well as Fairfield Holdings Ltd for commissioning and funding the project.