Greenside Works Ironwork


Left to right:

University Hall. Photo by Ruth Walker.

1 Kinburn Place. Photo by Alan McFarlane.

Holy Trinity Church. Railings, gates and lights in Hunter Memorial aisle. Photo by Pat Harvey.

Brooksby Gates, Queen’s Terrace. Photo by Ruth Walker.

Yett, St John’s House, South Street. Photo by G. M. Cowie.

Gates and balconies at Balfour House. Photo by Ruth Walker.

Preservation Trust Museum garden. Photo by Ruth Walker.

The Paschal Candle in All Saints Church. Photo by Pat Harvey.



Commemorative wrought ironwork

This panel was presented to Ed Harvey from the staff at Greenside Works to mark his 60 years as a Blacksmith (1921-1981).



How many animals can you find in this wrought ironwork?




Blacksmithing is an ancient craft that has developed for over three thousand years. In Britain, prior to the industrial revolution in the late 18th and early 19th century, everything that needed a metal tool or component was made by the blacksmith. Farmers in particular relied on the blacksmith to make and maintain farming equipment and to shoe horses. For this reason, for centuries the local blacksmith played a central and well-respected role in every community.

Blacksmiths made their own tools particular to the task that they were undertaking. Tools and techniques have therefore developed over the centuries and tend to vary from place to place. That being said, there are some basic identifiable tools that every blacksmith needs, such as: bellows (to fan the heat in the fire), anvil, hammers and tongs, all of which are on display in this exhibition. Nowadays, blacksmithing has changed arguably more than any other craft. All the fine examples of the ornamental blacksmith’s art are made of wrought iron, however wrought iron has now been wholly superseded by mild steel. Working ‘in the fire’ (also known as forge work) has largely been replaced by the localised heat of oxyacetylene welding, a mixture of oxygen and acetylene, to cut or weld steel. The modernising of the trade has largely come about due to increasing regulations coupled with more inexpensive materials and methods, however the traditional skills of the blacksmith are still required for specialist work

The term Blacksmith derives from the joining of the words ‘black’ and ‘smith’. It is thought that the word ‘black’ refers to the oxidisation and blackening of the heated metal being worked on, with ‘Smith’ coming from the word ‘smite’ – to Strike.

A forge is a place where metal is worked by a blacksmith. Metal is heated in a fire before it is shaped with a hammer . In Britain, the forge is often referred to as the ‘smithy’ or ‘smiddy’.

A farrier is someone who shoes horses and is not necessarily skilled in other iron and steel work done by the blacksmith.

Local Blacksmiths

Prior to the First World War (1914-1918) there were over ten blacksmiths operating in St Andrews. With the introduction of the motor car and technological advantages in industrial equipment (particularly in agriculture), the number of blacksmiths rapidly declined across Britain. In St Andrews, there were just a few blacksmiths operating in the town by 1950, including Macmillan and Greenside Works. Seeking an alternative occupation, some local blacksmiths turned their hand to the manufacturing of iron golf club heads, known as ‘cleek-making’.

Macmillan: four generations of blacksmiths

In 1908, James Macmillan arrived in St Andrews from Ayr to work for local blacksmith Robert Hamilton at the Westport. In 1912, James setup his own smiddy in a converted cowshed on Bridge Street, St Andrews. James’ son, David, started working in his Father’s smiddy in 1913 and took over the business in 1928. David’s son Gibby, born 1920, was just eight years old when he started helping in the smiddy, undertaking tasks such as lighting the fire and blowing the bellows.

The outbreak of the Second World War disrupted work at the smiddy, with Gibby being called-up to the Army Engineers in 1942. After the war the Bridge Street site was sold to the oil company Shell. When his Father retired in 1965, Gibby inherited the smiddy equipment and initially rented premises in Market Street, St Andrews, before becoming the first business to be sited at the Bassaguard Industrial Estate in 1967. Gibby passed on the business to his son-in-law James Stewart in the 1980s.

Greenside Works: innovative ironwork

Established in the late 1940s, Greenside Works operated in St Andrews for over forty years. During the Second World War, iron gates and railings were removed by the Government as part of the war effort, so much of the iron work that you see across St Andrews today was made at Greenside Works.

Situated on Greenside Place, Greenside Works typically employed around six men and was operated by local blacksmith Ed Harvey from 1949 until he retired in 1984. Working in the smiddy was Martin Cerajewski, the foreman, who had trained in his native Poland before coming to St Andrews in 1948. Exceptional pieces of ironwork and machinery were designed and produced at Greenside Works including a candlestick designed by Scottish sculptor Hew Lorimer, a yett (gate of latticed wrought iron bars) for St John’s House and state-of-the-art cookers for Chinese restaurants. As an agricultural engineer, Ed Harvey’s work was innovative. In 1951 he won the Silver Medal at the Fife Agricultural Society show for the “St Andrews Improved Seeder”, a machine for planting turnip seed. Working with architects and local tradesmen anything could be, and was, made at Greenside Works.



Smiddy Tools

Left to right:

  1. Bolt Tongs

The blacksmith uses many different types and styles of tongs to hold the ironwork firmly without slipping. They are often made by the blacksmith for a particular job and will vary in length, size and weight.


  1. Square-headed tongs
  2. Bow tongs
  3. Side-mouth tongs
  4. Cross peen hammer

Different weights and shapes of hammers were needed to shape the hot metal.

  1. Cross peen hammer
  2. Spring scales

Used for weighing.

  1. A selection of scrolls


Spring scales

Used for weighing.

Mid-20th century

SAAPT 2015.022c


Square-headed tongs

The blacksmith uses many different types and styles of tongs to hold the ironwork firmly without slipping. They are often made by the blacksmith for a particular job and will vary in length, size and weight.

Mid-20th century

SAAPT 2015.022d


Bow tongs

Mid-20th century

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Bolt tongs

Mid-20th century

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Side-mouth tongs

Mid-20th century

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Top swage

These are tools between which metal is worked. The most common are semi-circular and are used for forming round sections to a specific size after previous forging. The bottom tool fits into the tool hole of the anvil.

Mid-20th century

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Cross peen hammers

Different weights and shapes of hammers were needed to shape the hot metal.

Mid-20th century

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Hardie hole tools

Hardie tools come in all kinds of shapes and sizes to fit into the hole in the anvil. They do a wide variety of cutting and shaping.

Mid-20th century

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Iron scrolls

Used as a template.

Mid-20th century

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Mid-20th century

Used to widen punched holes.

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The blacksmith usually made his tools so that they were suitable for the work being carried out.


Single-horn Anvil

A typical example of a ‘London-pattern’ anvil. The shape of the anvil is important; each area allows the blacksmith to carry out different tasks such as bending, cutting and punching.

Mid-20th century

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Blacksmithing film

Featuring an interview with retired blacksmith Lenny Cerajewski and footage of John Henderson, a local blacksmith, at work. Images from Dundee Central Library Wilson Collection, St Andrews Preservation Trust and John Henderson.

Running time: 13 minutes 35 seconds

Filmed November 2015


Stone grinding wheel

Used to sharpen tools.

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The bellows deliver an air supply to the base of the fire to aid the combustion process. Supplying the fire with oxygen means that the fire can get to a temperature hot enough to craft iron objects.

Mid-20th century

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Iron gird and cleek

A popular 19th & early 20th century toy usually made by a local blacksmith. The gird (Scots for ‘hoop’) was pushed along streets and pavements using the ‘cleek’ (Scots for ‘hook’). This was a popular toy before streets filled up with cars.

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The Museum would like to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance in funding, contributing to and arranging this exhibition.

Derek Bayne

Lenny Cerajewski

Patricia Harvey

John Henderson

Andrew Johnson

Arlen Pardoe

Museums Galleries Scotland

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design