Medieval Monday: Blacksmiths

Allison D. Reid

Blacksmiths played a vital role in medieval society. Everyone, from the lowest peasant, to the King required their services. Every village had at least one blacksmith, with larger towns and cities supporting many more of them.

We often have a certain image in mind when it comes to the medieval blacksmith; we see them crafting swords, daggers, armor, and shields. And certainly there were some blacksmiths—particularly those that worked in castles—who specialized in producing the tools of war. Castle blacksmiths were envied for the position of prestige they held, and their positions were usually hereditary. But whether they were working in a castle, or a rural village, a blacksmith’s work was dirty, loud, hot, and physically demanding with little glamor in the daily routine.

Aside from weapons and armor, just about every chore and trade required some kind of metalwork. Mundane items like nails, doorknobs horseshoes, chains, kitchen tools, utensils…

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3 thoughts on “Medieval Monday: Blacksmiths

  1. My seventh great-grandfather was a little past medieval, but he was an 16th and 17th century smith. No idea what that entailed, but he moved from Ballymoney, Antrim, Northern Ireland to Windham, Maine in 1735 at age 47.

    Liked by 1 person

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