Blacksmiths of The Area

The Blacksmith played a very important role in Irish society well into the late 60's and early 70's. He made and repaired gates and railings, metal hangers for doors and sheds, repaired agricultural implements and machinery, made metal hoops (Tyres) for wooden cart wheels and fitted same. Most of the local blacksmiths work was as a farrier.

Gerry Costello

Anvil & Tools
© Copyright Control
Blacksmiths Forge
© Copyright Control

The skill of bending metal into desired shapes and the forging or joining pieces of metal has been ongoing in Ireland for well over 4000 years. The Blacksmith, using heat from a coal fire in his forge to make the metal flexible and pliable, then shaped it into various forms and shapes using a variety of tools ….. all of which were probably made by himself. The Blacksmith played a very important role in Irish society well into the late 60’s and early 70’s. He made and repaired gates and railings, metal hangers for doors and sheds, repaired agricultural implements and machinery, made metal hoops (Tyres) for wooden cart wheels and fitted same. Most of the local blacksmiths work was as a farrier. This was a most important role within the community as it meant he not only shod the horses, ponies and donkeys of the area but also made the shoes to fit each hoof individually by hand.

We must remember that the horse was the most useful animal on any farm as they were the “tractor” of today. The death of the horse on any farm was a major loss and meant additional hardship to the farmer for some time afterwards. Good and well trained working horses were valuable and hard to come by easily because they were expensive and scarce.

Every village had at least one blacksmith. Here in this area, at Garbally Cross, the forge was operated and owned by James Dolly. The family name “Dolly” was well regarded in the world of Blacksmithing as most of the forges in operation around this area were owned by someone bearing the surname “Dolly”

 

This page was added on 03/11/2014.

Comments about this page

  • Hello, my great grandfather was a blacksmith in Cloondahamper near Tuam many years ago.
    thanks.

    By Collette Higgins (10/09/2015)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *