There was probably more than one forge in Mulbarton - the windmill near the common certainly had its own forge. But the building remembered as the blacksmith's shop is an elegant brick building, almost classical in style, which probably dates from 1830. Next-door is Forge Cottage, a fine thatched house which is technically in Bracon Ash parish.
The smithy and house were part of the estate of the lord of the manor, which in the 1800s and early 1900s was the Steward family. They were part of the great sale of the East Carleton Manor Estate in 1920, where they are described in the auction handbook:
LOT 20: The Picturesque Cottage and Smithy with Pasture and Arable Land attached... Situated on Mulbarton Common with frontage to the main road and in the Parishes of Mulbarton and Bracon Ash. The Cottage is picturesquely built of brick with a thatched roof. It has two staircases...three bed rooms, two sitting rooms, back kitchen... water from pump. Excellent garden at back and front.
The brick and tiled Blacksmith's shop consists of Forge House with two forges, Coal House... Shed... two-stall Stable, Hay House, Trap House... Hay Shed, etc.
Meadow and Arable land at rear.... Total 4.361 acres. Let to Mr. G. Goward on a Yearly Tenancy at the rent of £25 pa.
George Goward obviously took the opportunity to buy the freehold, which was passed on to his son, William (known to everyone as Billy).
Blacksmiths & Wheelwrights listed in Directories:
James Rice - blacksmith (Whites, 1845)
Robert Rice - listed as wheelwright and beerhouse in 1845;
Mrs. Elizabeth Rice - listed as blacksmith (1865)
Robert Rice - blacksmith in 1869, 1875
Samuel Dye - listed as wheelwright & carpenter & beer retailer, 1869, 1875
('beer retailer' refers to the Tradesmen's Arms - long assocated with the wheelwright's family)
Mrs. Charlotte Dye - wheelwright and beerhouse, 1883, 1890
Robert Rice - blacksmith, 1883, 1890, 1896
Edward Dye - wheelwright, carpenter and beer retailer in 1896 & 1904
Everett Eke - blacksmith (1904)
Edward John Chaplin- wheelwright (1922)
George Goward - blacksmith (1922) and listed as 'now also agriculture implement agent and acetylene welder' in the 1937 Kelly's Directory. Some of the certificates he won at the Royal Norfolk Show are still in the Smithy (now used as a store) - below.