Medieval Blacksmith

A Medieval Blacksmith had a central importance in the village life of the medieval times. Almost every village had its own forge or smithy where the tools required in construction such as nails, doorknobs were made in addition to weapons such as swords and amours. The fuel used in the smithy was charcoal and intense heating and hammering of iron was done before forging it into the required form.

Medieval Blacksmith History

History of blacksmiths and their profession can be traced back to the pre-historic times. Thus the profession was well known even before the medieval times. During the medieval times, almost every village of Europe had its own smithy and a full time medieval blacksmith. While charcoal remained the most important fuel of blacksmiths during the medieval times, it was eventually replaced by coal. During the Roman era, steel instead of iron was used to make weapons in the smithy.

Medieval Blacksmith at Work

Medieval Blacksmith at work in his village shop

Weapons made by a Medieval Blacksmith

Since there was only one medieval blacksmith in every village, he was responsible for making all the required weapons. A variety of weapons and instruments made by a medieval blacksmith included swords and daggers, door nails and knobs, locks and keys, knives, horseshoes, amours and arrowheads, and others. Sometimes he would also make jewelry items as well as torture devices. Another job was to make the tools and instruments used in farming.

Medieval Blacksmith Tools

Various tools and instruments were used by a medieval blacksmith in his forge. The heavy block item upon which the hot metals were hammered into shape was called an anvil. Hammers of various sizes were used for different purposes. There were also punches which were used to punch circular holes in the metals. Other common instruments found in the forge of a medieval blacksmith include chisels, axes, Swages, drifts, sledge hammers, and nails etc.

How did a Medieval Blacksmith Make Weapons

Two central components of the mechanism of making weapons by a medieval blacksmith were heating and hammering. The iron to be moulded into the shape of a specific weapon or instrument was heated in the furnace and then shaped by constantly hammering it on the anvil. A medieval blacksmith also had a forge wagon used for the transportation of the blacksmith’s forge and instruments.

Medieval Blacksmith working

A Medieval Blacksmith making items for people in the medieval village

Who were Medieval Blacksmiths Customers

The customers of a medieval blacksmith included almost everyone from the common people to the nobility. Common people required everyday tools for farming and household use. Weapons were also needed by the common people as well as the nobility and the knights. Additionally, monks and clergymen were among the customer of a medieval blacksmith because of the iron required for church doors such as door knobs, nails, and such.

Medieval Blacksmith Forge

The room where the medieval blacksmith worked was called “forge”, also known as smithy, and this is where various weapons of hunting and fighting were made in addition to tools for farming. Sometimes the forge along with the instruments could be transported from one place to another with the help of a forge wagon.

Summary of Medieval Blacksmith

A medieval blacksmith had a necessary presence in every medieval village. This was because he was needed by the common people as well as the nobility and the clergy. He was responsible for making metal instruments and tools used in farming, weapons, and various metal objects used in construction. The metal objects were forged in a small room called a medieval blacksmith’s forge or smithy.

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