Blacksmith’s Forge and Emily’s Cottage

Emily's Cottage in the 1970s

Emily’s Cottage in the 1970s

One of   the focal points of village life in the 18th and 19th centuries was the   blacksmith’s forge. The forge was at the back of this little cottage and was   where the smith or farrier used his tools of the trade, including his fire,   anvil, hammer, fuller and nails. It is assumed that this beautifully restored   little cottage was built before 1834 because a building is shown on this site   on a map of that date. Around 1864 a Thomas Wright is recorded as the   blacksmith, and three brothers, most likely his sons, William, Thomas and   George, appear as blacksmiths on the 1901 census. Wrights continued to   operate the forge until Albert Moore took it over in 1928. When the family   moved out of the cottage to the country in the 1930s, the cottage was rented   out. However Albert continued with the business at the rear of the premises   until the early 1960s, by which time there was little or no demand for a   farrier. Albert’s daughter, Mrs Pat Reilly, who was born here, still lives   locally and is the author of several informative local history publications   including ‘Loughgall – A Plantation Parish’ 1995. The name ‘Emily’s Cottage’   refers to a local art teacher, Emily McAllister, who was a tenant in the   1900s. This photograph was taken around the mid 1970s at which time the   cottage was in need of some repair. In the 1970s or 1980s, the premises were   renovated with a tea room and craft shop at the rear. The cottage is now a   private home. It is thought that the original design of the cottage was a   twin of the original ‘Rose Cottage’ behind the Courthouse. An amusing   incident in the village in 1900, involving the blacksmith, is documented in   Rev. F. .M Moeran’s book ‘Memoirs of a Militant Parson’1952. Rev. Moeran, who   was rector in the parish from 1896 to 1906, was approached by parishioners as   to how the village might celebrate the Relief of Mafeking in South Africa,   following seven months of siege of British forces by the Boers. He suggested   a parade with all the local bands. Candles would be put in every window and   Chinese lanterns hung across the street. The organisers asked the parson for   an old top hat and a tail coat but would not disclose the reason. However,   later that evening all was revealed. In the midst of the celebrations,   outside the blacksmiths, appeared an effigy of Kruger, President of the South   African Republic, clad in the tail coat and hat, and seated on a donkey with   his face to its tail. By some ingenious arrangement of strings Kruger waved   to passersby. Kruger was then taken down from the donkey and propped up   against the wall for his execution. Out from the blacksmiths came four or   five men with an improvised cannon, constructed by the smith out of a steel   pipe. There was a terrific bang, and ‘Kruger’ flew into the air, having had a   pound of gunpowder placed in his chest. Fragments of the rector’s coat and   hat flew into the air to a great cheer. Loughgall people like a good party!   Following his defeat the real Kruger went into exile where he died in 1904,   after which he was repatriated back to his homeland. The Kruger National Park   in Pretoria is named after him, as is the Krugerrand coin, which features his   face on the obverse.
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One Response to Blacksmith’s Forge and Emily’s Cottage

  1. Charlie Hill says:

    Hello, that was lovely to read about Albert. It was either late 1960 or 1961 I stopped with him on my way home from The Cope Primary School, I was five or six at the time. He asked me what I had learned at school that day and then asked me “young fella do you know what the two hardest things in life are?” I thought for a moment and replied that I didn’t. Albert replied “climbing a gate leaning towards you and kissing a girl leaning away from you”

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