One of the key historical premises in South Oxfordshire could be set for a bright economic future as a home of modern business after being put on the market by Fisher German. The Old Forge, on High Street in Tetsworth near Thame, which dates back to the early 19th century, historically provided a vital service as village blacksmith and was renowned for the quality of its work.
The forge, which in its heyday was involved in fabricating a wide range of steel products including bespoke ironwork, wheels for carriages, steel gates, and steel beams for construction, is being marketed at a guide price of £325,000. The forge was located on the main stagecoach route from Oxford to London before the advent of motor cars, and as such saw a lot of passing trade.
The Grade II-listed building with 750 sq ft of floor space still features a high vaulted ceiling, original timber beams and the original chimney retained with a functional fireplace. Period features, such as a wheelwright’s cone on the outside of the building, and small rings internally on horizontal oak beams used to tether horses, have been carefully preserved. The property was an operational forge right up until current owner Bruce Robertson of Hines of Oxford purchased it in 1991. The Old Forge still benefits from three-phase electricity and now has current planning permission for both retail and office use.
The company wished to use it as an extra showroom for their tapestry and oak furniture business, and set about restoring it while keeping the property’s best features. Bruce said: “We undertook a comprehensive restoration of The Old Forge when we bought it, which included completely rewiring the building and installing a modern alarm system for both intruder and fire. An attractive multi-coloured African slate floor was laid throughout the building on a damp-proof membrane. Hand-made solid oak-panelled internal doors were installed – nothing was spared. We also added three wrought-iron chandeliers and new spot lighting to make the property well-lit for business purposes. Years later, we completely re-roofed The Old Forge using slaters felt, new battening and reclaimed clay tiles. Our restoration work retained many of the building’s original features to preserve its charm while still making it fit for modern business use.”
Isabelle Carr, Surveyor at Fisher German, said: “The Old Forge would make fantastic new premises for a business looking for striking retail space or a showroom, or perhaps office space which stands out from the crowd. The property occupies a prime location immediately opposite Tetsworth’s village green, and also benefits from excellent transport links to Thame, London and Oxford. It is great to think that a building which has been at the heart of local industry will continue to provide jobs and prosperity for the economy.”
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