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Farrier, Woodbastwick, Norfolk a98_13563

Farrier, Woodbastwick, Norfolk a98_13563


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Additional Information

Filename: aa98_13563.jpg

Size: 4390 x 4302 (6.9MB)

Date: 16th September 2009

Source: Historic England

Credit: Historic England Archive

Source: English Heritage Images

Job Title: Photographer

© Historic England

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Farrier, Woodbastwick, Norfolk a98_13563

Woodbastwick, Norfolk. Interior of blacksmiths shop. A farrier shoeing a horse. A working horse would need re-shoeing about every five weeks. Here a hot shoe is measured against the horses hoof, and the farrier can tell by the mark left how much to alter the shoe. However, the post-war campaign to mechanise agriculture meant that within a decade of this picture being taken there were few working farriers left. Photographed by Hallam Ashley, February 1949

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 1749387

© Historic England

Archive People Picturing England Work


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Historic Images > Famed Photographers > Hallam Ashley Collection (1931-1980)

> Historic Images > Historic Images 1900s - 1910s

> Historic Images > Picturing England

> Industry > Agricultural History

> The way we were > Work


EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the traditional art of farriery in the quaint village of Woodbastwick, Norfolk, England, in February 1949. The scene unfolds inside a cozy blacksmith shop, where a farrier skillfully works on a horse, meticulously shoeing it to ensure its hooves are in optimal condition. The farrier's expertise is evident as he compares a hot shoe to the horse's hoof, using the distinct mark left behind to determine the necessary alterations. Farriery was a vital craft in rural communities, where horses were the primary mode of transportation and labor. A working horse would typically require re-shoeing every five weeks, making the farrier an essential figure in the agricultural landscape. This photograph offers a glimpse into a bygone era, where the rhythm of rural life was dictated by the seasons and the needs of livestock. However, the post-war campaign to mechanize agriculture brought about significant changes. Within a decade of this photograph being taken, the demand for farriers began to wane. Mechanized farming equipment and motorized transportation rendered the traditional methods of horse husbandry obsolete, leading to a decline in the need for farriers. This photograph serves as a poignant reminder of a time when the relationship between humans and horses was deeply intertwined, and the importance of skilled craftsmen in maintaining the health and wellbeing of working animals. Taken by the renowned photographer Hallam Ashley, this image is a testament to the rich history of rural England and the importance of preserving its cultural heritage. It invites us to reflect on the passage of time and the transformative impact of technological advancements on our rural communities and the traditions they once held dear.

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