The Forge Museum is set in an attractive Grade II* listed building situated in the picturesque village of Much Hadham. Once a farmhouse of the Moor Place Estate, the earlier parts of the building date from the 15th century. The forge and bellows room are part of a 17th century barn conversion, and in 1811 the shoeing room and blacksmith’s shop were added when Frederick Page moved in.
Four generations of the Page family ran the village smithy at Much Hadham until 1983, when Charles Page died aged 91. Charles’s daughter, Miss Jean Page, conveyed the forge and its two cottages to the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust by Deed of Gift in 1988.
Much work has gone into restoring the forge, its buildings and contents. The Forge Museum was first opened in 1991 by His Grace, the Duke of Grafton. The museum underwent further expansion, refurbishment and a complete re-display in 2009, funded in the main by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
Renamed as Much Hadham Forge Museum, it now features a local history gallery displaying collections from both Much and Little Hadham, access to unique Elizabethan wall paintings and galleries devoted to the Blacksmith in mythology, art and literature, the development of the craft and the Page family blacksmiths and beekeepers. There is free access to a regular programme of temporary exhibitions and visitors can enjoy the tranquillity of the cottage garden with teas available from the café.