Iron Age Blacksmith and Charcoal Weekend

This course will examine the tools, techniques and processes used at the beginning of the Iron Age and how these progressed over time. This period of time is where humankind moved away from largely primitive tools and techniques using natural materials and started to modify our environment to produce a more versatile and effective range of tools and weapons. 


We are running this course in association with Cobalt Blacksmiths who as well as being full time blacksmiths are also keen primitive skills enthusiasts and boast a trained archaeologist, all of which brings a perfect blend of knowledge and experience to provide you with the best possible experience.


Over the weekend you should expect to become familiar with the processes of forging and walk away with a range of useful products to take forward with you in your bushcraft adventures. 












The subjects that will be examined over the weekend will include:


  • Cutting tool safety

  • How to make charcoal using primitive and modern methods.

  • How to select an axe and use it safely .

  • The historical progression of metal 

  • Safe metal working practices

  • How to construct a forge

  • Primitive and modern, hammers, anvils, blowers, etc.

  • Different types and grades of metal, hardening, softening, annealing, etc.

  • Processes for constructing a range of tools and implements.


This is a practical 'hands on' course, all the subjects will be expertly demonstrated after which participants will have a chance to have a go at everything, you will be making a number of items to take away with you! 


This course is self accommodating in a shelter of your choice, and you will need to bring your own food.


Venue: Tickenham, Bristol


Times: 7pm on the Friday till 12pm on the Sunday

Ages: All ages above 10 years welcome

Cost: £180

Accommodation: Tents, hammocks, bashas, etc.




7pm - Welcome and safety brief

7.30pm - Set camp (own tents/hammocks. etc)

8pm - Cutting tool safety 

8.30pm - Axe Anatomy and safety

9pm - Finish




8am - The right axe for the job

9am - Load charcoal kiln and start burn

10:30am - safety brief for hot work and introductory talk about primitive metalwork. 

11.30am - forge hearth construction and examples of various layouts and bellows (blowers etc)

12,30pm - Lunch

1pm - The rest of the afternoon will be spent working at the forges. We will have a range of anvils and fires so that everyone can try out the different types and techniques and make a range of different products.

7pm - Finish




8am - Open the charcoal kilns/clamps and see what we have got.

9am - Continue working with the forges as well as putting the products you have into action and learning how to use them.

12pm - All good things must come to an end and the course concludes and departs, hopefully with a range of useful tools to take away and cherish forever!








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If you wish to book with us please click on the link below to add the course to your shopping cart. Upon booking you will receive a confirmation email with the directions, kit list and consent form. Please contact us if you have any queries.







Matt was an excellent instructor who led the group well throughout the day with consideration to the pace of the learning and what we actually did. He is a very personable sort of guy who quickly established a warm rapport with us and without doubt was extremely knowledgable about his subject which he taught with confidence and passion. He even had to contend with a biblical style downpour right in the middle of the day! He took it all in his stride and continued to motivate and interest us with a wide scope of topics that I had given him for the group to get stuck into. I will definitely recommend him to others and will try and organise another day with him later in the year.