Openings 36 ~ Massereene Forge.

Massereene Forge, Antrim.

I was on my way to photograph the building above, back in the month of September. It was following my visit to Pogue’s Entry. Alas, I had an unforeseen change of plan, it was the day I landed flat on my face and ended up in A&E at the local hospital.  I am doing fine, but even all these long months later, I have numbness in my face. I still need to think about the food I eat, my meals take longer to consume and I am unable to chew on the right side of my mouth.  I have not starved, and indeed come a long way from drinking coffee through a straw and eating baby soft food. 😀

The Forge was originally built in 1887 and was home to Viscount Massereene’s blacksmith’s forge. The distinctive horseshoe entrance still survives.

I have no idea of when it ceased to be a working forge. I didn’t cross the road today, so what type of stock was massively reduced, is still a mystery to me. I did visit an outlet shopping centre later and nearly every second shop has closed at this stage. I first noticed the gaps pre Christmas 2010. One of the young sales ladies was saying that the leases on the shops were due for renewal at the end of June, she knew of several outlets that would not be renewing!  Sad. Very sad.

17 thoughts on “Openings 36 ~ Massereene Forge.

  1. Grannymar Post author

    Judy – I was told it would be slow, possibly eighteen months. I am fortunate, it could have been so much worse.

  2. Rummuser

    I know exactly what you mean. The small independent work shops like this, forges, smithies, automobile garages, carpenter shops and so on are all closing down as mass produced replacements are readily available off the shelf. Independent artisans in some trades however still ply their trade and that too is rapidly dwindling due to simplifying everything for do it your yourself situations.

  3. wisewebwoman

    So sorry to hear your face is still suffering the after-affects.
    This forge is wonderful. I shopped at one not too long ago here in Trinity and picked up some gorgeous stuff after it was fired.

  4. Grannymar Post author

    Darlene – I found you in my spam bucket this morning. 🙁 Over the past twenty years I have watched shopping malls sprout like mushrooms. Many of them were slow to get off the ground, sometimes taking three or four years for all the shop units to open. Yet still they sprouted. With a fixed population, I often wondered where the traffic, sales etc,. would come from. The credit card was king and the banking world went wild. Now we are paying the price, with the loss of jobs at every hands turn. Soon we will have a new tourist attraction…… the neglected, empty shopping malls!

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – We are the losers, It is very hard to find an independent hardware shop these days. Gone are the days when I went to ‘Benny’ for a washer for the brass float valve of the toilet cistern – Nowadays the whole fitting is replaced. it was possible to purchase single items such as nails, screws, bolts or washers, alas today they come in packs of ten.

    WWW – I can eat, drink, talk and most important of all laugh, so as Gloria Gaynor sang:- I will survive! I have not seen a working Blacksmith & Forge since my childhood.

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – I predict that we will return to the old ways…. IF we have the skilled people around.

  7. Grannymar Post author

    BWT – It does on the outside, I didn’t have the chance to look indoors.

  8. James

    Hope you are much better.
    Horses were still being shod at the Massereene Forge in the years after the Second World War — say, around 1947, or later. At that time the building had not been painted over and the horseshoe arch displayed the original yellow sandstone, while the walls were of basalt blocks. You can see this in old photographs (though obviously not the colour of the sandstone.)

  9. Grannymar Post author

    James – Welcome to my blog and thank you for the interesting information about Massereene Forge.

  10. Erin Massey

    I found out today my great Grandmother was from the blacksmiths family her name was Alice McAuley and she married my great Grandfather Samuel Mclarnon both from the antrim Kells area her father and brothers worked at the forge and they lived there not sure if they owned it or were employed to work there. I can’t wait to go visit we only live about 20 minute’s from here after moving from Belfast so pleased to find this information today


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