the forge, black outlineA forge was also known as a ‘Smithy’ and it was the place where the Blacksmith carried out all his work. The Blacksmiths forge was usually situated near a poor man’s house. It was a way of living if he had no land. The forge was a common meeting place where people met to chat about the politics of the day and make plans. Very often plots were planned at the forge, i.e. rebellions. The forge consisted of a raised brick hearth or fireplace outfitted with bellows to feed its soft-coal fire and a hood to carry away the smoke. The forge heated bars of iron yellow-hot. There was always a container of water to cool the iron. Someone would have to move the bellows up and down to ensure air was getting to the fire. There was terrible heat in the forge and a strong smell of burning as the hot iron was put on the horses hoof. In the forge there was also the beautiful musical sound of the hammer hitting the anvil. Along the walls of the forge hung a lot of horseshoes. The forge was dark inside in order to allow the blacksmith to see the various colours of the heated iron and thus determine the temperature of the metal.

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