The Blacksmith’s Head, Lingfield

The fireplace, The Blacksmith's Head

During my travels around the UK, I stay in a great variety of establishments , from four star hotels to modest ‘bed and breakfast’ accommodation. I am a great enthusiast for the ‘village inn’ type of public house, where the food is usually home-cooked and the company convivial.

‘The Blacksmith’s Head’ at Lingfield on the Surrey border is convienient for both Gatwick Airport and East Grinstead, which has a useful train service into the centre of London.

Here we see the brick fireplace in the public bar of this Victorian building. A modern stove sits where an open fire would once have done, but it still has some nice vintage touches.  Horse brasses and a brass toasting fork hang from the mantle, and a set of brass fire tongs stand alongside the stove.  On the shelves either side of the fireplace are displayed a number of Victorian glass bottles, and also a ‘bottle’ made from stoneware – many spirits were stored in such containers, including gin. The framed print depicts a blacksmith shoeing a horse, with a donkey close by; a donkey does have a genuine calming affect on a horse, which is why they are still sometimes used like this, today.

Although this building has Victorian roots, the orginal forge on this site was considerably older. There is an ancient oak beam above the bar with the date ‘1676’ carved deeply into it.

I found the place to be quite enjoyable after the hustle and bustle of the city, and would stay again, if I am ever in this part of the world.

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