The Forge

The forge stands in the centre of Newtown next to the Heritage Cottage. It was in use until recently, and hopefully will be again. For now visitors can view it as it probably never was – free of smoke and straw, and quiet too, without the sound of hammering, horses, and old machinery.

Tommy works at the Forge
Using tools both old and new, Tommy McEveny works at restoring a vintage plough.

The forge would have been an important focal point in the community. It was where horses were shod, where machinery and tools were made and repaired, and where local people would gather to discuss affairs of the day. Almost everybody would be dependent on the local blacksmith for everyday items.

There were a number of forges operating in the area. This one was in the ownership of the Staunton family for at least a hundred years and maybe much longer. The 1901 census lists Patrick Staunton as the local blacksmith. Patrick’s son Richard was also a blacksmith, and his own son John, who died in 1980, also worked as a ‘smith.

Blacksmith Tools
The blacksmith was a man skilled in his work, able to make a variety of tools as they were needed.

With Richard’s death the forge fell into disuse and disrepair. Restoration work was undertaken and thanks to the efforts of the local community and local employment schemes it is now a valuable heritage asset.

The forge contains a fine assortment of old tools, many of which were fashioned on site. Some of these remain as mystery objects. Perhaps you could shed some light on their purpose.