Forge Cottage

Located on the banks of the Derwent in Shotley Low Quarter, Northumberland, is grade II listed Forge Cottage. Formerly a pair of estate cottages rebuilt in the mid 19th century. Forge Cottage derives its name from the Bertram family forge which once stood on this site.

The Bertram’s, from Solingen in Germany, were one of the 19 families offered a six year contract in the latter part of the 17th century to settle and manufacture swords for the British market. Belonging to the prestigious Guild of the Running Wolf, the German families produced swords of international renown in Shotley Bridge until the industry’s decline in the mid 19th century.

The Bertram’s Forge was ideally situated to take advantage of the natural resources required for the sword-making process; the fast flowing River Derwent, forests for charcoal and the riverbed for grindstone grit. 

Remains of the 19th century footbridge (a listed structure) destroyed in the 2008 floods can be seen in the grounds of Forge Cottage. Flood repairs to this building are still ongoing.