Forge Anvil

Many blacksmiths can still work in time-honoured ways in West Cork. In my quest to know more about old gates, I contacted Pat O’Driscoll of Ironworks Ireland, whose forge is in Drimoleague. Pat was extraordinarily generous with his time and expertise and has offered to take us one day on an old gates tour – so look out for that post at some point in the future.


This post is really a photo essay. I was so entranced with the forge and with what seemed like the magical processes that Pat used that I really just want to share that with you. Although Pat has a fully modern ironworking facility he loves the traditional craft of forging, so his workshop is a treasure chest of examples of wrought iron.

Forge tools

First – a series of photographs of tools and wrought iron pieces, old and new. The tools were mostly handmade by Pat himself.Forge tools 2

Forge Tools HammersSecond – a traditional kissing gate, just completed.Kissing Gate 1

Notice the rivets on the kissing gate? Here’s how they’re made.

Rivet 3

Rivet 6I expressed curiosity about decorative curls… Here’s what happened next.

Curl 1

Curl 4

And here’s our souvenir of a wonderful morning, installed on our mantlepiece.Curl 9

Thank you, Pat, and see you again soon!

PatOne last word… why was I reminded of Longfellow’s The Village Blacksmith, I wonder?

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.



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