Brothers forging ahead to create medieval castle experience in former school

A pair of brothers who have carved out a niche business creating historical, movie and television collectibles aim to turn an old school site into a medieval castle experience.

Tom and Sam Ive, from Silsden near Keighley, established Raven Forge in 2019. It is currently based in a warehouse in Cross Hills.

The brothers previously ran their own historical sword fighting club in Keighley – after they spotted a gap in the market for medieval and TV replicas.

Raven Forge specialises in crafting collectibles ranging from limited edition pizza axes and drinking horns through to replica merchandise from the Lord of the Rings.

The business now has a vision to transform the former Aire View School site, in Silsden, into its new HQ.

If successful, the project will create a bricks and mortar store as well as a historic style mead hall and axe throwing range. It will even offer blacksmithing experiences at its forge.

There will also be a high-tech recording studio, a children’s play area and a community green.

Raven Forge has launched a Kickstarter fund with support from its 10,000 strong online community to help make its ambition a reality.

Founder and director, Tom Ive, said: “We want somewhere to call our new home that’s open to the public. Our community has given us so much, they have been so incredibly supportive of what we do and we want to repay them by creating a central hub.

“Our family lives in Silsden and we have seen the town transformed by housing developments over the last 30 years.

“We want to see this fantastic school building become the beating heart of the community once more.”

The brothers are offering the full asking price of £1.5m for the former school but they are looking to the public to throw their support behind their bid. Their Kickstarter fund aims to raise £150,000 towardsOperation Castle Raven Forge”.

Tom Ive added: “We were always going to need a new home with the rate at which the business is growing and this former school in the town we are lucky enough to call our home is the perfect location for everything want to do. It will future proof us for years to come.

“We started before lockdown and have been lucky enough to be one of the companies that have thrived in this time.”

People can support the Kickstarter fund at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ravenforge/
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