Blacksmithing, bladesmithing and metal craft



Join our friendly Blacksmithing Team for a full day's tuition in basic forging!

Award winning, master blacksmith, Nigel Barnett will guide you through the basic skills of forging. You will have a go at making your own items to take home. The course is very hands-on and attendees will learn the skills required to create a variety of traditional ironmongery. Working at your own speed, tuition is a demonstration followed by one to one guidance. You can expect to do 6-7 hours of forging in the day.

Courses are run most Fridays and Saturdays (except the last Saturday of each month).

Students can expect to make a variety of pieces or if you have specific aspirations just ask.

If required, overnight accommodation is available in one of the Forge's shepherd huts situated in the adjacent wooded sculpture trail. The huts are self catering and basic cooking facilities and gas or wood BBQs are available or there is always the local pub or take-aways a short drive. The huts have electricity and a wood-burner so don't worry about cool evenings, there is also a shared shower cabin and cook cabin. The huts costs £40 per night - you are welcome to bring your partner to stay by arrangement too. There is also plenty of room for camping if you prefer, just bring your tent!


Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All tools, materials and safety equipment is provided. Attendees are asked to wear working clothes and stout, comfortable footwear.

Tea and coffee is provided - please bring a packed lunch. If staying overnight in the shepherd hut - bedlinen is provided but bring towels, toiletries and food. If you wish to camp then bring your tent!


Nigel Barnett FWCB at Fransham Forge


Fransham Forge
Cranes Corner
Great Fransham, Dereham
NR19 2HX

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Adults
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Parking provided
  • Seniors
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday


1 day (8:30am to 5:00pm)

Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.


In-person course
william flaherty - - #34218

One of the best learning experiences in years. Did and learnt so much, yet never felt rushed. As result will be looking to do more Smithing in the future. Teacher had a demonstrably large and deep experience which he generously shared. Large amount of machinery onsite so no waiting.

In-person course
Karina Lee - - #33606

I had a truly wonderful day on my blacksmithing 1 day course. Nigel at Fransham Forge, is the most incredible tutor, nothing too much trouble, incredibly patient, and extremely knowledgeable, in almost everything. I came away with more pieces than I thought I could or would make, and a sense of great satisfaction of achievement. All this was possible because of the very relaxed environment.
I have already recommended this course and I only completed yesterday, 18/6/21.

In-person course
Corease Green - - #33126

I bought a day course for my partner and he has just come home very happy and excited to go again. Thank you Nigel!

In-person course
John Williamson - - #32821

Nigel is a highly experienced teacher and master blacksmith, giving you ample time to work on individual projects or smaller ones to build your confidence. If you have never done any blacksmithing before, this is a great place to start. The hand's on training is well worth it. Best of luck!

In-person course
Philip Brodie - - #32813

Best Forge ive ever been to and Nigel was a fantastic teacher perfect bslance of hands on experience and smithing knowledge to all levels attending left with some great pieces and a wealth of knowledge.
Great teacher
Gereat host
Fantastic Forge
I would Thoughrully recommend a day with Nigel if you want to know all ther is to know about forging and blacksmitjing

In-person course
James Clark - - #32722

I had two days of forging with my father earlier this month. I had no idea what to expect before I went, except for watching a few videos on Nigel's YouTube channel but, without a doubt, this was a great experience. Nigel is a fantastic teacher and the facilities on offer in the forge are second to none. I came away from the two days with a small collection of tools and sculptures, of which I am very proud. I will definitely return to learn more from Nigel.

In-person course
Mike Clark - - #32698

I came to the forge with my son for a two day course last weekend.
Nigel is a great teacher and his life stories inspirational. Having access to all his amazing collection of machines and tools enabled us to make forgings of high quality and we came home with far more than we expected.
Thank you Nigel for your patience and encouragement. To be able to do this course at the end of a long lock-down was a breath of fresh air for both of us and I am sure we will be returning soon.

In-person course
Simon Westwood - - #32636

I booked a forging day for my daughter for a birthday treat, she wants to be a blacksmith.

From a nervous and anxious morning turned out to be the best day ever. In her words.

I have never seen her smile so much. Nigel is a true master of his work. My daughter was filled with enthusiasm.

She managed to make a few things that she took home and she will definitely be going back in the near future.

I would like to personally thank Nigel for his patience, professionalism and kindness for making her feel welcome and showing her a day she will never forget.

Thank you !

In-person course
jonathan lacy - - #32619

I've done the forging day experience a couple of times. Always excellent tuition from Nigel, plus the excellent stories, very entertaining.

In-person course
Adam Gutteridge - - #31445

Very good experience. He had a plan that he went by for the day giving people experience on making different things but I asked if I could make a knife for work and he got everything sorted for me. Definitely do it again.

In-person course
Clive chappell - - #31303

I thought it was an excellent course with Nigel who had a great knowledge and was very helpful. Thank you

In-person course
Perry - - #30365

Fantastic 2 day course, well worth the money. Nigel demonstrates and explains with the ease of a master craftsman, and then gives you the freedom to work independently; within an hour or so you don't feel like a novice. By the second day, you're confident enough to get on the machines and tools without having to ask or be guided, but Nigel is always around to help if needed. When you consider the items you make and the overall experience of the forge, I can't recommend it enough.

In-person course
Nick Healy - - #30035

Nigel is a great teacher and a man with vast knowledge of his craft. He made me feel relaxed and welcome in a new environment. Everything he demonstrated he did in a calm relaxed manner and he told some hilarious stories. Nigel's art work is amazing, such a clever man. I did the two day course and enjoyed every minute of it.
l would recommend this course to anyone, l achieved so much in such a short time.
Thank you Nigel, l hope to be back soon.

In-person course
Justin Smith - - #29302

Nigel is a great teacher. Everything is demonstrated in a relaxed manner with hilarious stories from his wide ranging experience. I did two days as a complete novice and ended up being hooked!
Worth the travel if you are not local. I would find it hard to believe there is a better atmosphere anywhere else in which to start to learn this craft.

In-person course
Andy Southan - - #28387

A very enjoyable one day course and a great experience. Nigel is a very talented and experienced craftsman, had plenty of stories to keep us amused throughout the day and provided lots of tuition and tips whilst allowing everyone to move at their own pace. Thanks.

In-person course
John Wallis - - #27933

Go on,yes, you can do it! If your curiosity has got you as far as reading this review then you really should book the course.
Your reason for hesitating so far could be anything but maybe you are thinking of the cost; it's definitely worth it, you will go back home having learnt something new, with items you've made, and I am sure, a satisfied glow.
Maybe you are worried about being judged, Nigel guides you in safe easy steps and is there to help if you ask, but he doesn't judge your work. The only person that might do that is you.

I did the 2 day course, the first day is the same for everybody but the second day is really up to you. Taking a thought in my head and managing to turn it into a 3D garden sculpture, was a very satisfying achievement. It's spurred me on to make other things in metal and I will certainly be booking another course with Nigel when I have another project in the future.

In-person course
David Thomas - - #26654

An excellent course with superb tuition. This was my first time in a forge and over a period of two days I progressed from the basics of forging a taper on the end of a piece of bar to creating a bunch of poppies. The outcome was way above my expectations and has impressed many. I gained hands on experience of a wide range of tools and techniques in a guided and supportive environment. I now have the 'blacksmith bug' and plan to return in the new year. Thoroughly recommended.

Response from Fransham Forge:

Thank you for your comments - we are glad you enjoyed your days with us.

In-person course
Susan Huskie - - #24830

Our daughters bought my husband and I, a one day blacksmithing course. It was a fabulous day, found out a lot about the skills, tools, history - and made 5 brilliant items to take home and show all our friends. Nigel was extremely welcoming and knowledgeable. He was most interesting and supported each of us at the level we needed. Would recommend it as a wonderful day in magnificent surroundings. Thank you Nigel and the other students. Sue Huskie

In-person course
Chris Moore - - #24027

Brilliant day, I was given a voucher for a one day course for my birthday. Really enjoyed it, Nigel was a great teacher and very interesting. I made a draw knife for spoon carving, plus a fire poker and shovel.

In-person course
Angharad Cousins - - #23433

Nigel is a great teacher. Although I won’t be giving up my day job to start an Apprenticeship metal working, he was patient and showed me how to work the metal so I came home with some great pieces and was really pleased with my efforts. It was a lovely sunny day so at lunch we wandered through the amazing sculpture garden adjacent to the forge. So glad we booked this course even though it was mainly for my husband. Recommended!!

In-person course
Darren Coham - - #22733

My wife booked me a 2 day course for an Xmas present and I have to say it was excellent. We even stayed over in the Shepherd huts which were great. Nigel was a brilliant host and tutor and I would highly recommend doing a course with him.

In-person course
Ben Grocott - - #22442

Nigel is a complete legend, the experience, knowledge and skill he possesses and shares is nothing short of exceptional. The skills you will learn will transform your ability.

I had never done anything like this but Nigel gives you all the guidance, mentoring, tools and coaching you need and you come away with so many pieces.

I can’t recommend this course highly enough.

In-person course
Ian Davies - - #21981

I did a one day course with Nigel last weekend, it was fantastic. Nigel is so knowledgeable and so accommodating. I went on the course as a "forged in fire" fan, with no previous experience, wanting to make a knife. Nigel explained that this would be difficult on a one day course. But he helped me to come away with a blade I was proud of. He even stayed late to help me finish the handle.
I really enjoyed the experience and can't wait to go back to make a sword. Nigel is a real master, and great character. I could have listened to his anecdotes about forging all day. All in all a great day.

In-person course
Guy Tasker - - #21546

If you are thinking about attending a day or two with Nigel, stop thinking and book it! Just got back from a fabulous day at Fransham. Nigel is such a character; full of stories and experiences, along with an incredible talent for blacksmithing which he appears delighted to pass on in the most informative and entertaining way.
Having never tried this before I went with some trepidation but this was quickly dispelled with Nigel's friendly and informal approach and I can't believe how much we made in the day, 5 beautiful forged articles from ornate pokers to lovely key rings.. Beautiful mementos of a wonderful day.
I will be returning for another day when I have worked out what I want to make next. Thanks Nigel!

In-person course
Nina Ward - - #20870

Wow what an amazing two days I’ve had! My husband bought this as a birthday present and the family calendar simply said “KEEP FREE” under my name. I think it’s probably the best birthday present I’ve had to date.
Nigel, what can I say, thoroughly entertaining throughout the 2 days, patient, creative, thoughtful and extremely knowledgeable, a true artisan and artist. I learnt so much and made so many things that are now in our home. The machinery that initially looked intimidating, I hadn’t given a second thought to by the end of the first day (apart from the “flat noodle maker” the hammering machine that I swore wouldn’t defeat me on day two!).

The forge and grounds are a labyrinth filled with machinery, materials, tools and art. The grounds are particularly peaceful, like a retreat, and a great contrast at lunchtime, to the noise and busyness of the forge.

Thank you so much Nigel, I will definitely go back to learn more.

In-person course
Charles Adlington - - #20168

It may seem an expensive day but it is not. These days have been phenomenal, this is a true insight in to the craft of the blacksmith, and you get to keep all the cool stuff you make. The Smith (Nigel) is professional and entertaining throughout the day, a true font of knowledge with the patience of a saint for us less accomplished skilled people. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in this remarkable field.

In-person course
James Bell - - #19577

Thanks Nigel for a great day learnt loads and made some fantastic and special items. Hope to see you again soon cheers mate James 👍

In-person course
Laurence - - #19148

I attended a 1 day course in Blacksmithing with Nigel as a Christmas gift only a couple of weeks ago.
The day is full on forging right from the start making it great value. Nigel is a good teacher and you can work at your own pace and skill level. The forge is an Aladdins cave of presses and machinery used in the day to day running of the forge. Nigel has plenty of anecdotes to share with you as the day goes on too.
It was not too cold on the day I went but the advice in the joining instructions to wear warm socks and footwear is a good tip. Hopefully be back for another session (with my other half she said) soon.

In-person course
Glenn Gooding - - #18754

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In-person course
John - - #18550

Nigel is what I can only describe as a true craftsman - upholding all that is true to his craft and art. He has a breadth of knowledge spanning decades drawn from a lifetimes work of creating and problem solving. He not only knows how to creat wonderful work but also how it should be made - what materials are best suited to a particular application. He's also a tool maker - while I was on one of his extremely popular and I might add very entertaining courses he showed me many custom made jigs, tools and processes he has developed over the years. He takes a real delight in show and explaining how things are done and why different types of steel work in different ways.
If your looking for an introduction or something more advanced don’t hesitate to book a day.
His workshop is an Aladdin’s cave of light and heavy machines where anything is possible.

In-person course
Bob - - #18331

My oldest son did the one day course and on the back of that gave my other son and I the chance to do the same.
Fabulous day, relaxed and educational as well as practical and we came away with all sorts of ‘stuff’ made during the day.
Nigel is excellent company and adds something special to the day.
Would recommend in an instant and have already done so.
Will be back for more and so will my sons as all hooked now and looking for a forge for home !
Would be great in the summer as accomodation can be in one of Nigel’s Shepherds Huts in the woods that surround the forge.
All in all a great day and would recommend to anyone.
Girls included as you don’t , as Nigel demonstrated, need ‘strength of arm’ to form red hot metal.
Rob - North Suffolk.

In-person course
Roger Sylvester-Bradley - - #18065

I'm a crop scientist, so I hate it when people only think food comes from shops. But then I was thinking spoons and forks come from shops ... I hadn't thought that forging was needed, or what forging really meant ... but once I'd twigged it's about melting and bashing bits of metal, I really enjoyed it ... and as everyone else is saying, Nigel was an excellent and enthusiastic introducer ... and now I have my own self-made spoon ... and poker, BBQ spatula, and weird wiggly thing to stick in the garden, etc. Activity / experience gifts seem to be in fashion, and this is one, par excellence, especially if you arrive from outer space, like me.

In-person course
Nicky - - #17953

Attended a 1 day course as a Xmas pressie & if I’m honest I didn’t know what to expect. I needn’t have worried as the day was brilliant.
Nigel is a great story teller & unique character who kept us entertained all day.
His skills in his craft are second to none & he has the patience of a saint! A great teacher & all round good guy.
We started at 8.30 & left at 5.30 having made bbq burger flippers, leaf key rings & two bespoke structures for the garden.
Highly recommended!

In-person course
Kirsty - - #17442

I attended a one day course, after being given the day as a gift. What a fantastic and exhausting experience. Nigel is a patient, friendly teacher and full of stories to keep you entertained and put you at ease. He clearly goes above and beyond to share his craft and his passion is infectious. I would love to return next year and learn more. Thanks to Maxine and Nigel for a great day.

In-person course
Nigel Flatt - - #17338

Had a fantastic 2 days with Nigel such a nice guy and a master of his craft. He inspired me to set up my own forge so now i can improve on everthing he showed us.

In-person course
Gav - - #17079

An amazing day learning the basics from an artisan craftsman. Nigel is a phenomenon. A true master and gent. He made everyone feel at home at the forge. Showing us the processes to make a piece step by step then allowing us time to follow suit. Always on hand for some guidance and a good yarn. Had a fantastic time and can't wait to return to make our wedding bands.

In-person course
Chris Almond - - #16739

I thoroughly enjoyed my day at the Forge with Nigel, With his help & advice I amazed myself at what I was able to achieve. What topped the day off was the night spent in the shepherds hut, a fantastic experience and I would recommend this course to anyone considering it

In-person course
Sam Andrews - - #16570

Thanks for a great day Nigel. Had a great time at Fransham Forge on Saturday and staying in the shepherds hut. Your workshop is amazing. Made some fantastic pieces, never thought i would be able make things that look so good on my first day. Would definitely recommend and maybe come back for a couple more days.

In-person course
Matt - - #16326

I don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said. I really enjoyed my one day course. Came home with a nice bbq spatular, a poker and a knife! I will 100% be returning to fransham forge most likely for a 2 day course next time as I've left wanting so much more time in front of the anvil. Nigel is a great teacher and a clear master at what he does. He's clearly led a full life and shared many of his interesting stories. All in all, it was everything I was hoping my first blacksmithing experience would be. Highly recommended.

In-person course
Adam Burch - - #16122

Nigel was an excellant tutor, enthusiastic and showed all the processes in detail before allowing you to have a go and offering assistance when needed. The amount we managed to get done during the day was impressive. Highly reccomended

In-person course
Margaret Lock - - #15358

just come back from a 2 day courses with Nigel, found him to be a really good teacher. I enjoyed every bit of it, made some great bulrushes ,and other things. I stopped in one of the shepherds huts, very clean and comfy. I would not hesitate in recommending this courses

In-person course
David Jackson - - #15175

A magical day of forging with the charming Nigel; with Robin, Julian and me. Knowledge, expertise, amazing stories and kindness - and catch phrases for life! 'The hammer will find you!' 'It's a design change!' 'The blacksmith's vice has no teeth and this one's actually made from an old canon'. Surrounded by scary heavy hammers and monster machines; with welding, twisting, cutting and honing. And a new knife made from hardened steel saved from an ancient wrecked farm machine. There's even a giant whistle in the woods - and Nigel's a surprising whistle player too with hundreds of beguiling tunes! Two peacocks in the tree, the wonderful wood and a cosy Shepherd's Hut. What more could you ask for? What a total inspiration!

In-person course
Julian Foulkes - - #15128

What a great and special day we had with Nigel. Great company, great stories, great whistle performances and of course great forging.

In-person course
A.Rowland - - #15102

Spent the day with Nigel on the 19th May. Excellent day. Nigel has so many stories and information. He clearly loves his craft. Thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who's never picked up a hammer. Nigel manages to put you at ease with all the tools and machinery small and large! Will definately be back for another day

In-person course
Elinor and Richard - - #14608

I highly recommend this course, It’s a great introduction to blacksmithing and beat all my expectations. Nigel is really friendly and very passionate about his work.
We stayed in a shepherd hut which was really cosy and peaceful and was nicely tucked away in the woods. Everything you need is provided for a truely memorable weekend.

In-person course
Norman Boyd - - #14154

If you read all the other reviews you'll see that Nigel is a brilliant raconteur and knows exactly what he is doing in smithing and I agree. He is friendly and approachable and very giving. The layout of the course follows a pattern I would expect - theory, practice, theory, practice and self-learning time based on demonstrations. I loved the fact he assured us we could not make mistakes but can produce individual works! This is so important for an insecure beginner and here is my minor criticism. I would have liked to see him hovering a bit more to ensure learning had taken place. But that might be the educationalist in me talking! BUT as I say I agree with the other reviews here...and who doesn't like a good story! Thanks Nigel for a very interesting day and my three bits of work!

In-person course
Jessica benstead - - #13690

I spent two days with Nigel and I loved every minute, he is welcoming and is full of brilliant stories and knowledge, this is a profession he clearly loves and loves to share with people.

The Shepard Hut was lovely, very cute and sweet, I went to a pub down the road for dinner that was awesome. The sculpture trail is lovely, there's a little river and grass, even a resident cat and peacock.

I didn't have anything in mind to make so Nigel gave me options of things to do and developed me from there. He's patient and even when it wasn't quite right he made it work!

I spoke to Maxine via email. I rearranged a few times to make it work with my work and she was really helpful.

I will certainly be back :)

In-person course
Martin Cavicchioni - - #13426

This was a birthday gift from my fiancee and what a cracker of a day it turned out to be! What can I say about Nigel that hasn't already been said, brilliant, funny, entertaining and of course a true craftsman and artist in every sense of the word. The workshops reflect Nigel's passion, filled with a fabulous collection of mechanical hammers and tools from a bygone era and the gardens with shepherd huts and sculptures. At the end of the day to walk away with several hand crafted pieces, ( which I was very happy with ) is a true reflection of Nigel's ability to convey his passion and wealth of knowledge to all around him. A huge thank you to Nigel for the best day I've had in years and look forward to booking my next course soon.

In-person course
graham butcher - - #13178

Outstanding experience exceeded my expectations. Nigel is a natural teacher - and story teller! Minimal, but sufficient, tell and show - maximum hands on learning, just what I wanted.

In-person course
Shaun Dickson - - #12532

I had another wonderful day at Fransham Forge hoping to make some tools . As before Nigel far exceeded anything I had hoped for . I went home with a lot of new skills to develop my hobby and many useful new tools made under Nigels expert guidance , tongs , scrolling tools , hammer drift and others. Had a fantastic day . I would recommend Fransham to anyone for a new experience or to learn the craft from an expert.

In-person course
Angela - - #12358

Bought the one-day course as a Christmas gift for my 14 year old son. He had a fantastic day - please pass on our thanks to Nigel.
He has been buzzing about it ever since, and can't wait to visit again. He is thrilled with what he made... Particularly the Viking knife!

In-person course
Chad Frary - - #12123

I attended a 2 day workshop with Nigel in December. Initial comms were good, and Nigel adjusted his calendar to accommodate me on the Friday. The course was excellent, with Nigel offering the tuition as required, then trust you to "have a go" yourself, offering guidance on how to improve your skills.

Nigel guided me on making some traditional pokers (not your boring type, really fancy), drifts, devils horns, tongs, etc. Everything I needed to get myself started at home!

Safety is paramount in his workshop, especially as you have access to hot forges, metal, powerhammers, etc. Nigel ensures the environment is a safe place to learn the amazing art of blacksmithing.

Don't hesitate, book now to learn from the master blacksmith!

Thanks Nigel and Maxine....

In-person course
Bob Canham - - #12046

I haven't had any more fun in my life. I did a 1 day course and
loved it. I walked away with a keyring, fire poker, fire shovel and a razor
sharp knife. It was a brilliant day and would highly recommend anyone to do

In-person course
Justin and Ben Maeers - - #12040

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In-person course
Toby Gould - - #11968

Fantastic day with Nigel, my 13 year old son and I trying out lots of techniques and each coming back with 4 different objects made during the day. A lot of fun, with plenty of storytelling but also great advice and an friendly atmosphere allowing you to just give something a go. We're planning a second trip where we know more what we want to do. Thanks for a great day.

In-person course
Kirsty - - #11826

My partner and I did a single day course at the forge, absolutely loved it, really pleased with everything we made. Wish we'd had a week to keep going with it really. Made me cross all over again that girls weren't allowed to do metalwork when I was at school!

In-person course
John - - #11789

Brilliant two days with Nigel. Learnt a lot and was surprised at how much I managed to do. Poker, pooper scooper and acorn on the first day. My partner wanted a bullrush and I made several on the second day. She is over the moon and is planning where to put them in the garden. Hope to return.

In-person course
Derek - - #11772

Have just spent two days at Fransham Forge learning from Nigel’s vast knowledge and experience. He showed how metal has it’s own life and how to work it to make a variety of items. It was two enjoyable, relaxed days with Nigel’s fund of stories. A look around the sculpture park is a must to see Nigel’s artistic talent.

In-person course
Stefon cieschinger - - #11641

Attended this course on the 11th of November absolutely loved it Nigels a top bloke had a laugh and learnt loads of new skills would recommend this course to anyone thats looking for a great day out and to learn something new I'll definitely be going again

In-person course
Graham Johnson. - - #11603

Just had 2 great days { 10/11th November} Plenty of hands on experience. Nigel was very helpful with loads of knowledge which he was happy to share. Plenty of banter with lots of hard work. Worked with some really great people on both days. Made a poker, BBQ shovel, an acorn key ring, a leaf pendant and my pride and joy a 5x poppy display made ready for remembrance Sunday. I would highly recommend this course for anyone who likes to get their hands dirty and not afraid of hard work. Lots to take home and show your family. A special thank you to Nigel. Cheers buddy!

In-person course
Barry Gibbins - - #11569

Great course.
Full day of information, history and practical demonstration and tuition. Nigel is a fun guy and a master of his craft. Throughly enjoyed it and looking forward to going again.

In-person course
Richard Godfrey-Cook - - #11561

Second time at the forge. This time I took my step son and we made some amazing stuff thanks to Nigel, a true master craftsman. We both loved it so much we will probably return every year. Its a great course.
Thanks Nigel.

In-person course
Steve Castle - - #11517

The one day course was booked for me by my wife as a birthday present. It was a very enjoyable time - Nigel's laid-back style of training helped me to gain a basic understanding of what can be done with some heat and not-so-heavy hammer. Rather than getting us to do small practice exercises, each step in developing your technique led ultimately to some very useful items.
The shop and sculpture garden provided ample ideas for projects and are worth a visit in their own right.

In-person course
Dave Atkins - - #11495

Just completed my 3rd 2 day course with Nigel - never realised how much fun getting your hands dirty can be. Hard work but thoroughly enjoyable time and left with 2 stunning garden sculptures (by my standards anyway!). Looking forward to the next time.

In-person course
Shaun Dickson - - #11026

What an marvelous day again at Fransham Forge . Nigel is an excellent tutor and a real character . He passes on his expert knowledge with skill and patience putting everyone at ease. I can recommend this course to everyone young or old. This is my third visit and each time I come away with new skills and ideas. Cant wait until the next time .

In-person course
Simon and Karen Edwards - - #10962

My Wife and I did a one day course with Nigel about a month ago - Fantastic day! Nigel is a first class teacher with a laid back style and plenty of interesting stories to keep you going all day. We made some really useful and beautiful items. Didnt try the shepherd huts - but we did get a tour and they look lovely.
Thanks Nigel - Im sure we will be back for more at some point.

Simon & Karen

In-person course
Gareth - - #10645

My wife paid for a two day course for me with an overnight stay in one of the shepherd huts and hand on heart it's the best birthday present I've ever had, I loved every minute of it.

The first day we covered safety (of course) and basic skills - we made some fire tools which, when I look at them now, I'm still surprised I actually made them - they are better than I can find in the shops.

On day 2 I wanted to make something I've had in mind for a while, a 2ft high piece of decorative steel that I could put up on my garage. Nigel was a constant source of ideas on how best to approach making it and came up with lots of short-cuts for me, even painting it for me at the end of the day as well! When I wanted to try and work it out for myself I had the freedom to do so, and when I needed help Nigel was there to guide me and assist.

I've always wanted to have a go a forging, and now that I have I wish I'd done it years ago - I'm already planning a return trip to develop my skills.

In-person course
Clive Freeman - - #10618

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In-person course
Karen & Vic Clark - - #10495

I bought a 1 day Blacksmith workshop for my fathers b'day present and decided to try my hand at it too. We had never done anything like this before so did not really know what to expect with regards to our ability. With Nigel's expert tuition we were able to produce 6 great pieces each - a poker, small shovel (we prefer to call a "Burger Flipper" as we intend to use it on the BBQ), a decorative jam pot spoon, a pot, key ring and a beautiful poppy. We thoroughly enjoyed our day, loved Nigel's stories of work he had done and the people he had met along his journey.
Many friends have seen our creations and been surprised at how great they are considering we are total beginners.
If you are considering doing this workshop - my advice would be to give it a go. I'm sure you will surprise yourself and you will have a day to remember. Happy Forging .

In-person course
Kelvin - - #10347

This was my second time at the forge, this time with my 15 year old son. We both had a fantastic time, my son made several things that he is very proud of, the only problem is I now regularly have to share my modest home forge with him as he's so enthused after a day with Nigel!

With Nigel's help and guidance I was able to complete a sculpture that turned out very well and will take pride of place in our garden. Also Nigel very generously changed the set-up of one of his large presses to dome a very thick piece of steel I had brought with me that I could do a particular project at home that would otherwise have been impossible for me to do.

This trip to the forge (staying in the shepherd's huts) was intended as the high spot of our holiday and it certainly was, once again I'm hoping to return again in the not too distant future.

In-person course
Darren - - #10331

A fantastic day !
Bought a one day course for my son's 13th birthday - his choice - and he had the most amazing day. Nigel is clearly a superb craftsman but he also has a passion for passing his knowledge on. My son received just the right balance of tuition combined with plenty of hands-on time with an emphasis on creating his own work. He left having created more than he ever expected and everyone he has shown his creations to (pretty much everyone he sees !!) has hardly believed he made them. He had lots of time working on his own with input from Nigel when he was unsure or he got to trickier parts. Lots of explaining from Nigel, especially when they undertook really tricky parts together.
My son has learnt a lot about the ways in which metal behaves and the vast possibilities of what can be made. He has already planned his next visit.
Perfectly OK for Dad to have a go too - which left me very happy !!

In-person course
Thomas Pickering - - #10234

excellent few days, Nigel was is an excellent tutor and an expert in his field. a real and true craftsman in every sense of the word. i was given free reign to produce whatever i could conceive, (within reason) with nigels help i was able to produce 2 damascus steel knifes. ten out of ten across the board.

In-person course
Salamander Stoves Ltd. - - #10174

Just back from an amazing course at Fransham Forge. Nigel is an excellent teacher and a fabulous blacksmith. We all had a brilliant time and came away with an immense amount of knowledge, our metal creations and broad smiles. I would highly recommend this course for anyone with a slight interest in metal working. Thanks again Nigel. 5*****

In-person course
Brian Wakelee - - #10146

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In-person course
Sarah Betts - - #9828

I spent two days working with Nigel, who is as supportive and compassionate as he is skilled. I had never attempted any metal work before, but with his guidance and knowledge -- I made some wonderful gifts for my parents. The area surrounding the forge is astonishingly beautiful and is decorated with a whole manner of unique and inspiring sculptures and shepherd huts (as well as a tipi).
Overall an unmissable and unforgettable experience.

In-person course
Martin Corrall - - #9757

Really enjoyed my one day course - a great introduction to the ancient craft of blacksmithing. Nigel Barnett is an engaging, patient and skilled teacher as well as a Master of his art. The surrounding wood is a fascinating place bedecked with metal creations and the forge is equipped with multiple forges, anvils, endless tools and some seriously big power hammers.
I was completely exhausted but went away very happy at the end of this most enjoyable day. Thank you Nigel.

In-person course
Mark Jutsum - - #9687

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In-person course
Martin Rivett - - #9682

Excellent 2 day course. Full of forging and Nigel's anecdotes. Not only did I make 6 + items, thanks to Nigel's training they where of fantastic quality.

Cannot recommend enough, going again in September. If you fancy learning an excellent skill, book now.

In-person course
Ross Kirby - - #9680

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In-person course
Thoma family - - #9677

Just returned from a fantastic family weekend break at Fransham Forge. Did a one day course as a whole family treat (kids aged 16 and 14 yrs), and had a great time. Nigel was endlessly patient, and made sure that we all came away feeling that we'd achieved impressive results. Staying in the Shepherds' huts was perfect - such a tranquil and secluded setting in the woods. Just a shame we didn't bring any musical instruments to have a sing along around the camp fire.

In-person course
Kelvin - - #9363

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In-person course
Lewis - - #9353

Did one day course with Nigel yesterday and loved it,one of the funniest blokes I've ever met!! Will be going again for sure because I'm now in love with power hammers!! Get it booked people you won't regret it!!!!

In-person course
Steve - - #9265

Went to a beginner blacksmith's 1 day course today and had a excellent time. Nigel is a fantastic teacher and a master of his craft. Would definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in learning. Thank you.

In-person course
Superb course - - #9227

Spent a Friday course with my brother in May. Nigel is a great host, knows his stuff, and has loads of stories. Lovely place to do the course and made some useful items. Had a great day.

In-person course
Shane Murphy - - #9096

Thanks Nigel best course I've ever been on great tutor see you soon

In-person course
James Richardson - - #9022

Incredible weekend - I did the one day course and stopped the night before in one of the cosy Shepherds huts. Nigel is a top bloke and excellent teacher who was able to get us making interesting pieces straight away with varying techniques. The forge and its surroundings are really special and I hope to go back soon. Even with no prior metal work experience I recommend this course.

In-person course
Claire Owen - - #8931

An absolutely fantastic day, Nigel is truly inspirational his enthusiasm is infectious.I had a brilliant day making my poker,shovel acorn key ring and a bowl , Nigel guided us without interfering with patience and energy .He has so many funny stories from his life he shared throughout the day.Ican not recommend this course enough I haven't ever done anything like this before but Nigel makes it excessible for everyone. Thankyou Nigel.

In-person course
Ben - - #8929

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In-person course
Simon nunn - - #8855

My sister in law and brother in law got the one day introduction course for my son for a Christmas present.
I'm glad to say that Both myself and my brother in law went along and had a fantastic day so much so we are in the process of booking a two day session and all three of us cannot wait.
Thank you Nigel

In-person course
Dave Patrick - - #8617

Booked this hoping to make 3 curtain poles for my shepherds hut. Came away with the poles, hold backs, a poker and a shovel. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, and really feel like I've learned something. Nigel 's a great teacher, just the right mix of demonstration, tuition, and letting you get on with it to learn for yourself. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course

In-person course
Tarl Bruton - - #8610

Nigel flawlessly managed to teach three of us at once, the smoothness of his teaching allowed for all three of us to learn the basics then make four very different things (each) in one day.
Personally, Nigel was very welcoming, a super interesting guy with a myriad of amazing and quirky stories that he wove seamlessly in with teaching us.
The grounds of the forge were beautiful too, peacocks watched me from the trees as I went exploring over the stream and through the woods, looking out for all the weird and wonderful creations Nigel has made over the years.
I will definitely be coming back, either to learn more skills or just to stay in one of the beautiful Shepherd's Huts.
Either one alone is more than worth it!

In-person course
Dave Atkins - - #8110

Another two day course with Nigel. Another two days of learning, fun + making some wonderful pieces of metalwork. Already thinking of what to make next time. Many thanks.

In-person course
Robert Bell - - #8013

I've now done two one day courses with Nigel, the second of which I brought my brother to. Both have been fantastic. Nigel is a brilliant teacher and you'll get the opportunity to make several items which demonstrate the basics of Blacksmithing.

Well worth the time and money and I expect Ill find myself back here again.

In-person course
Daniel barwick - - #7972

Just finished a one day course with Nigel had a fantastic day and made some great items including a chefs knife.
Would definitely recommend to anyone who is looking for a great day out.

In-person course
michael martin - - #7950

Had the pleasure of spending a cold Saturday in February with Nigel Barnett at the 'Fransham Forge'.

It was a real insight to a skill (I had never tried before)blacksmith. Nigel, with a large dollop of humour and patience actually got us making our own fire irons.

Nigel also demonstrated other techniques, making nails etc, and gave us the full tour of his latest product, Shepherd Hut construction, there are some shepherd huts on site you can stay in when on the course, but I'm saving that for a future visit in warmer climes.

Highly recommend the day, course and spending some time with Nigel at Fransham Forge

In-person course
Daniel Lowe - - #7947

what a lovely day well worth the money and would highly recommend. now contemplating building my own forge! thank you Nigel for a wonderful experience! YOU MUST TRY THIS!!!!!!!!!!

In-person course
Suzanne Greenway - - #7406

Spent an amazing day with Nigel on January 14th 2017, I would recommend to anyone interested in blacksmithing to go here!! He is truly inspirational.
Hoping to go again in the summer.

In-person course
Fliss & Chris - - #7377

Just got back from a BRILLIANT day forging with Nigel. If you enjoy getting stuck in, being creative & getting filthy, you'll love this course! Nigel is a great tutor who will treat you to many stories from the forging world & inspire you with his beautiful sculptures, some of which are nestled within a woodland. There was just my partner & I on the course which was amazing. We received Nigel's attention all day and because there was only 2 of us we got the chance to make lots of stuff! I was chuffed thinking we'd get to make 1 thing. We in fact made 3 things each and got to bring it all home! Super, super day! Recommended 100%!

In-person course
Peter Saunders - - #7267

Had an excellent couple of days working with Nigel in his forge, learning and making lots !!
Special place :-)

In-person course
Ian and Rachel Harrower - - #7260

I bought a day's course for my husband for his birthday after he'd been dropping not too subtle hints! Well, it was money well spent and as he declared 'one of his best birthday presents ever'. He was full of praise for Nigel the minute he stepped in the door brandishing a poker, shovel, key rings and a small pot! He has been heartily recommending the course to family and friends and is keen to go back for more!

In-person course
Carl Herrington - - #7258

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In-person course
Vix McArthur - - #6998

My son and I had an amazing two day course with Nigel. A master blacksmith, excellent practical teacher, amusing and erudite raconteur and we feel we have tasted briefly the versatility of metal and gained huge respect for the skill and artistry that goes into forging. Thank you so much, and I look forward to using my fire screen.

In-person course
Richard Vickery - - #6713

Just had a day long course with Nigel.
Just awe inspiring. His enthusiasm and skills are infectious! I came home with Christmas presents I forged that I am proud of. Will definitely be booking another course.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. If I had done this course 15 years ago, I would be seriously looking at changing careers - it is that inspiring!

In-person course
Julian parkes - - #6653

What a great day! Nigel was an excellent teacher and host, could he tell a tale or too.
Came away amazed as to what can be done with metal.
Will definitely be booking another day or two .
Thanks very much Nigel.

In-person course
Justin Cubitt - - #6260

Just spent another fantastic day with Nigel at the forge, learnt many more blacksmithing skills. Will be booking up to return soon. Nigel is a true inspiration and true craftsman and fantastic teacher. Thank you.

In-person course
Kay Pearson - - #6102

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our 2 day Blacksmithing Course and stay in one of the Shepherd's Huts. Nigel is very skilled, talented and a great teacher with many interesting stories. The workshop was very well equipped with lots of interesting projects to see. The Gallery and sculpture trail are great and show off some of Nigel's work. We also enjoyed looking around at his other projects and can't wait to go back for another visit at a later date. The Shepherd's hut was very comfortable and well crafted. We were pleased with what we made and couldn't wait to show our family and friends. Thank you for making a birthday wish come true. Richard and Kay

In-person course
Dave Atkins - - #6045

Just completed a two day course with Nigel and had a fantastic time. His dedication and enthusiasm is second to none, and leaves you wanting to learn more. He makes the art of forging and blacksmithing seem effortless and shows how to make each piece by example, but with a bit of patience and practice I was able to produce respectable (by my standard anyway) items that I was allowed to take home. Never a dull moment listening to his many tales and stories of the work he's done and people he's met along the way. Wish I'd found out about this course years ago, but now my eyes have been opened - who knows!

In-person course
Nicc - - #5954

This course was bought for me for my birthday. And it was fantastic, the blacksmith is a great teacher taking time to show me what I needed to know but also leaving me to it. Nigel's knowledge is very vast. I have thoroughly enjoyed my day, I was tired but all worth it! Everything I made that day I could take home with me. His shop is also a masterpiece!
We also stay in one of the gypsy carts with my wife, it just added to the whole experience! Definitely recommend this forge!!!

In-person course
Bill & Mary - - #5943

Just enjoyed 2 days blacksmithing with Nigel for Bill's birthday which exceeded all expectations! We stayed in a cosy shepherd's hut in the idyllic woodland adjoining Fransham Forge. Nigel's infectious enthusiasm guided us through a wide range of techniques & he made sure that we both successfully created several useful tools, supporting our differing levels of ability & guiding us through successive processes. We enjoyed working with Jane & Keith on the second day. Nigel is an inspiring and entertaining teacher & we highly recommend his courses - hope to come again & learn more!

In-person course
Matt - - #5941

I've had a keen interest in blacksmithing since university and after plenty of research I found this course in Norfolk. I signed up for the two day course and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Nigel's skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for engineering and blacksmithing was amazing! During the two day course I gained much inspiration around the workshop and sculpture garden. All aspects of production were explained including the safe and controlled use of tools and machinery in the forge. I learnt a great deal of knowledge that will be valuable in the future and will definitely attend another course to develop my skills further. I highly recommend this course!

In-person course
Jayne Gutteridge - - #5934

A big thank to Nigel for the excellent day spent with him, Mary, Bill and Keith. I had a brilliant time and am over the moon with the items I made. It was an experience I shall never forget. Nigel is a very good teacher, I learnt a lot. He makes everything seem so easy to achieve and as he says - there are no mistakes! The workshop day is something I would recommend for anyone who wants to have fun and learn a new skill. Thank you once again Nigel.

In-person course
Dave Swinborne - - #5898

Great Fun. Booked on the recommendation of my brother in law. Was not disappointed. Had a great day with fellow trainee blacksmiths!!!!!. Thoroughly recommend Nigel and the course. Hope to repeat the experience in the future.

In-person course
Simon Reed - - #5590

Had a 2 day course and it was fantastic learnt so much in short space of time. Nigel is an amazing teacher with a wealth of knowledge and plenty of enthusiasm for what he does which he is brilliant at. I will definitely be looking to go back again to learn more.

In-person course
Justin Cubitt - - #5580

Just had the best day with Nigel, really nice guy,so knowledgeable, such a craftsman, enthusiastic teacher. Could not believe how much I learnt and done in a day . will definitely be going back to learn more.

In-person course
Margaret Maxwell - - #5267

I wish I'd booked it earlier - it took me 18 months from being given the course for Christmas to actually doing it as I was worried about my bad wrist. I need not have worried as it was much less physical than I expected and Nigel was very helpful. It was a wonderful day away from the norm hearing Nigel's stories and making items which I'm proud of. I've already been busy recommending it to others :)

In-person course
Alex Mason - - #5245

My wife gave me this as a present for my 75th birthday - Nigel is a great character and an excellent teacher - a few safety tips, a demonstration then off you go to get on with it - under his guidance the things I made will be treasured. I would recommend this to anyone with or without any previous practical experience. A memorable day spent with a man who certainly has a flair for artistry in metal.
Alex mason

In-person course
Hernan Morillo - - #5244

I signed up for the one day course with Nigel. I had never done any smithing before and I was curious about how it would feel to bend, shape and form metal, it is an amazing thing to be able to create a complex shape from a simple rod. Nigel was excellent, obviously a talented artist/ craftsman but also a good teacher and great fun to hear his many stories.
The workshop is an engineers' paradise. You'll get to visit his gallery too which is full of interesting artefacts and there are arty sculptures scattered around the gardens.
I am planning to spend another 1-2 days working on my own design of a fire pit.
Would I recommend this course/ Nigel ? Yes, without any hesitation and I look forward to visiting Fransham Forge again soon.
Thank you for an excellent day Nigel.

In-person course
Harvey Darkins - - #5240

I had a great day blacksmithing with Nigel on the one day course. I received the course as a present from my girlfriend as I've always wanted to have a go and maybe start it as a hobby.

I managed to make a fire set (poker, tong and shovel) in the day which was a nice thing to take away from the course. Nigel is always on hand to help you through each stage. He makes it look very easy.

We stayed at the forge in one of Nigel's shepherds hut. It was very comfortable, perfect accommodation for the course, with everything you need. Plus, it was nice to be able to cook our meals on open fire.

I would definitely go back for another day if I start blacksmithing as a hobby, for more tuition.

In-person course
Michael Wigfull - - #5098

Spent an amazing day learning from Nigel, he's an excellent teacher but he makes it look far too easy. He'll show you how to do it and then leave you to try it for yourself, if you fail no problem just put it back into the fire and try again. You'll be given access to most of Nigel's Knights of the Round table, various types of weights of power hammers that will help you draw out the metal once you've learnt how to do it by hand.

I may have caught the blacksmithing bug, I wish I'd been taught this stuff in school.

I think I'm going to be retelling Nigel's stories to anyone who'll listen for a long time.

Five stars, can I come back next week?

In-person course
anita and william roberts - - #5018

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In-person course
Jim - - #4826

Had a superb day! Wish I had known about the forge earlier as it is very close to home and I definately intend to return. A very relaxed and fun day of Smithying followed by a night in one of the shepherds Huts. Really cosy place to relax and get away from it all. Recommend taking some food to cook (or something you have pre made) as the kitchen hut is really well equipped and the local area hasn't got a huge amount to offer in the way of restaurants. Highly recommend this as a gift or just as a day out... Already have plans to come back when my other half has another girls weekend away!

In-person course
Dave - - #4821

Stop reading now and sign up for the course.
I can not recommend any higher, very enjoyable day!
My only regret was I only did one day, not two days.
I was able to complete 3 projects with no prior experience. Nigel not only keeps your attention with stories of his travels around the world, all made possible with his unique Blacksmithing knowledge, but has a way of explaining how to do everything clearly and simply. Very relaxed atmosphere. No pressure to perform. You are shown the task then allowed to get on, with the comfort of assistance at anytime. I will definitely visit the forge again.

In-person course
James Mouser - - #4652

I attended a one day course as a 40th Birthday present from my Wife. What a fantastic experience. Nigel is certainly a skilled Blacksmith with a great sense of humour. The work shop itself has a variety of historic equipment that we simply don't make to the same quality these days. The course would suit all ages and sizes. A father and son and a more mature gentleman went on the course with me and all of us produced pieces we are proud of. Nigel broke down the process in to steps that were easy to follow and he adapted the course to suit the group. Starting slowly and gradually building up as we gained confidence. We certainly got a full day and got value for money. I do have one regret, that I didn't do a two day course!

In-person course
Ben South - - #4607

I was given a day course with Nigel for my Christmas present this year. I've never done it before, but it was very good fun and I learned a lot in what was a solid day. Nigel certainly has some stories to tell and some very impressive creations to show. I thoroughly recommend course for anyone interested in making things themselves, it was really great fun.

In-person course
Richard Godfrey-Cook - - #4542

Best day ever! So amazing cant wait to do it again. Nigel is so friendly and as wealth of knowledge. Thanks Nigel for great day and thanks to my wife for best bloke present ever.

In-person course
Dean Spencer - - #4529

What can I say, one of the best days of my life.
My wife bought me the one day course for my 50th birthday as my young blacksmithing hobby was dwindling, due to lack of inspiration.
I was a little apprehensive and didn't know what to expect from the start.
But Nigel is one of those people that immediately puts you at ease and he is one hell of a character with a great sense of humour.
I just hope I can remember at least half of what he taught me.
I went back to my wife at the hotel at the end of the eight and half hour day, absolutely buzzing, with my hands full of things I'd made.
My forge and hobby have now been rekindled.
Thanks Nigel

In-person course
Sarah Brooks - - #4479