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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Godalming, Surrey
A selection of photographs and postcards of a Surrey country town
The Old Forge, Pound Lane, Godalming, about 1910
The Old Forge, Pound Lane

The Old Forge was for many years run by members of the same family. In 1855 James Stilwell was listed as beer retailer & blacksmith at the Pound Lane property[1]. The beerhouse was known as the Three Horsehoes and in 1864 was kept by Miss Emma Stil[l]well[2]. By 1878 "Steven Mackey & Son, shoeing smith"[3] were advertising and the business was still there still there in 1913[4]. The Mackey's ran a riding school and forge.

1878 - "Steven Mackey & Son, shoeing smiths, from Messrs. Mavor's, vetinary surgeons, Park Street, Grosvenor square, London w. ; hunters and other horses of every description carefully shod on Mavor's principle at moderate terms, Pound Lane"[3]

Godalming born Steven Mackey was James Stillwell's son in law and worked for him as a farrier[5]. Stephen was a widower in 1861 and shared a home with his father in law who was also a widower; Stephen's son was not at home. In 1881 Stephen, by now 62 and a "Blacksmith Employing Three Men", was still living in Pound Lane with Emma Stillwell[6]; Emma was both his sister in law and housekeeper and the daughter of James[5]. The business was taken over by Harry Mackey, described as a Shoeing Smith (Master) in 1881 and who was with his wife and young family at 2 Cranmer Place[6]. In 1901 Harry was a "farrier" and so were his two sons Arthur and Harry[7]. Stephen died in 1900, aged 80, and Harry senior died in 1911.

The two dwellings of 9 and 10 Pound Lane, together with the off-license, were for sale in 1904. The properties consisted of 12 rooms, and were let to Messrs. Lascelles, Tickner and Co. on a lease at £36 a year[8].

The council was criticised over the state of parts of Pound Lane in 1900 when a man signing himself "25 years a resident" queried why the local councillors didn't build a few hundred cottages, or as many as would be wanted, to make the working class more comfotable. "I should like to ask where our sanitary inspectors has got to, as in the Pound Lane there have been demolished several old cottages, and in their place at the front some new ones built, but behind them are some of the most deplorable and dirty places in existence. ... If we are to have cottages for the poor, let them have some that they can pride themselves in ..."[9].

Raymond Martin recalled that the small street of not more than 20+ buildings was a gem of long forgotten crafts and callings in about 1931. He also remembered the kindness of the adults. Mr. Ridd the baker, whose bread he described as luscious, would split a loaf for those short of money. And Bob Cornick, the blacksmith, repairing the children's iron hoops which they then played with in the High Street[10].

In late 1934 it was reported that Godalming would shortly lose No. 1, Pound lane, "in respect of which a demolition order has been made. The quaint old corner cottage, with the view of the ancient forge beyond, has been featured on thousands of picture postcards, and has been a favourite subject with artists."[11].

A modern music shop now stands on the site of the old forge.

This card, which shows that postage should have been a ½d, was not franked. It was, however, addressed to someone in St. Jean, Qué[bec]. I assume it was written by one of the Canadians who were based close by during the First World War. "Godalming being the largest town near our camp, though not as big as St. Jean" (rough translation from the French) . It is signed Adelard.

Also see, in another section of this website:
Godalming, Surrey : A Personal View
Godalming, Surrey : Murder, Trial & Execution, 1817-18

"The Old Forge, Pound Lane, Godalming". Frith Series Postcard No.62243, published in 1910. Not posted. Message quoted above.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Page researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Kent ..." (1855), Part 1: Counties & Localities, pub. Kelly & Co., Old Boswell Court, Temple Bar, London, p.702. His occupation was given as Smith in the 1841 census and in 1851 as a Blacksmith employing one man. The one man was his son George who lived mext door.

[2] "Sussex Advertiser" 24 May 1864.

[3] "Post Office Directory of Surrey" (1878) Kelly & Co. Ltd, London, p.2233

[4] "Kelly's Directory of Surrey" (1913) Kelly & Co. Ltd, London, p.210

[5] 1861 Census of England and Wales, National Archives. James Stilwell, who was born at Elstead, is shown as a Farrier and Smith. Two daughters, Elizabeth and Emma are also in the house, along with 3 of his grandchildren and the widowed James Mackey. James Stilwell was buried at Nightingale Road Cemetery in 1863, Elizabeth in 1866 and Emma in 1889. Stephen Mackey was buried there in 1900.

[6] 1881 Census of England and Wales, National Archives.

[7] 1901 Census of England and Wales, National Archives

[8] "West Sussex Times", 14 May 1904. They were to be sold by Messrs. Mellersh at the Angel Hotel on 17th May.

[9] "ibid.", 15 December 1900. Godalming's Problems. A Working Man's Grumble.

[10] "Memories of Farncombe and Godalming" (1981), The Godalming Trust, ed. David Coombs. The late Ray Martin, a former Mayor, described life in Pound Lane. Harry Mackey's sons were also mentioned by Mr. Martin.

[11] "West Sussex Gazette" 6 Dec, 1934. Godalming.

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