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Moneypenny's Forge and Lockhouse

There is no better place to learn the traditional skills of blacksmithing than the beautiful, historic location of Moneypenny’s Forge, on the Newry Canal outside Portadown. Come along and Make Sparks Fly in our forge, where there is a range of classes to suit everyone from beginners to the more advanced metalworker.

The Newry – Portadown Canal, opened in 1742, was the first summit-level canal to be built in Britain. Moneypenny’s Lock and Lockhouse* are named after the Moneypenny family who looked after the lock from the early 1800s until its closure in the mid 20th century.

Moneypenny’s Forge is based in the neighbouring 18th Century Stables and Bothy, where the horses and men who travelled up and down the Canal would have stayed overnight.

Walk/Cycle Newry Canal Way

Newry Canal Walk

If you want to get your hands-on-heritage, hear anvils ringing out in an 18th century stables, and explore the ancient craft of blacksmithing, then Moneypenny’s Forge is the place for you. We have all the tools and equipment you will need, ranging from traditional coke forges, to modern gas and induction forges, tempering oven, power hammer etc.

Come-and-try forging sessions run every Saturday, all year round. Booking is essential. Here, beginners learn traditional techniques alongside our more advanced members. You can make objects including (but not limited to) hooks, pokers, bracelets, brackets, Viking style knives, bottle openers, toasting forks, flowers, triskeles, leaf keyrings etc. Private lessons are also available during the week, Tuesday – Friday (minimum 2 people).

As your skills progress, you can try our more advanced classes.

  • High carbon steel blademaking. Forge your own unique blade from high carbon steel, learn how to anneal, harden and temper your steel. Grind and polish your blade, add a handle and leather sheath, then finally sharpen it and experience the great pleasure of using a tool that you have created yourself !
  • Axe-making. Indulge your inner Viking ! Learn how to punch and drift an eye in steel, or try the more challenging wrapped axe style. Learn to forge-weld a high carbon steel cutting edge. Fit a wooden handle, sharpen the edge and add a leather sheath to finish.
  • Damascus steel. Damascus, or pattern welded steel has been highly prized and sought after since the Middle Ages. You can learn how to make a billet from contrasting steels, then manipulate it by forging, grinding, twisting to form your own individual, unique pattern. The steel is then polished and acid-etched to finish.

Groups can book in during the week, Tuesday – Friday, as well as Saturdays. The forge is best-suited to 4 person groups, but we can accommodate up to 12 at a time. We offer one-off taster sessions, as well as 6 x once-a-week sessions. Groups can try any of the typical forge projects as above, or can work on shared group projects such as gates, signs, sculpture, garden obelisks etc. Reduced rates are available for Educational groups. Birthday parties, stag and hen parties, team building groups etc are all welcome.

For those who would like to visit the forge simply to watch, or to enjoy a demonstration of smithy skills, other options are available on request.

Walkers, cyclists and passersby are of course welcome to drop in at the forge anytime to see what is going on. You can look out for kingfishers at our picnic benches by the canal, or enjoy our dedicated Bee Garden, full of insect-friendly plants.

Opening Times:

Moneypenny’s Forge

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 4pm

Moneypenny’s Blacksmith Workshop – 11-3.30 every Saturday



Please note there is no parking available at Moneypenny’s Forge * Access via the Newry Canal towpath from Portadown or Knock Bridge. You can also park at our mural on  Horseshoe Lane, BT62 3RS. Please take appropriate care and wait for a green light when crossing the unmanned railway crossing.

*Access can be arranged in case of reduced mobility.



Moneypenny’s Blacksmith Workshop (MBW) – £35.00 per person per week (for first 6 weeks, after that you become a member of MBW and price per session is £20.00. 6 weeks do NOT have to be consecutive)

One-off Taster Sessions – £35.00 per person

6 Week Group Sessions (4 people) –£720.00 per group

Educational Visits – £36 per group (see Education section for details)

Other packages are available on request.


Moneypenny’s Forge offers educational visits to Primary and Secondary schools, as well as U3A. Educational Visits cost £36.00 per group, and will include limited hands-on experience at the anvil.

We also offer work experience opportunities for Secondary School pupils interested in the craft. Please contact to discuss.

We do not supply food and drink at the forge (except for water), however we do recommend that you bring a packed lunch if you are forging as it is a very energetic, strenuous activity. There are various garages and food outlets located nearby in Portadown.

Moneypenny’s Forge
30 Horseshoe Lane,
BT62 3RS



Tel: 07979 149 165