The aim of this project is to identify, record, and raise awareness and knowledge of the wealth of wrought iron field gates that are to be found in Galway County. The vernacular forged wrought iron field gate is a very valuable, but often neglected, aspect of the cultural heritage of our rural landscape. These field gates were, for the most part, forged in the local blacksmith’s forge. They are practical and functional while at the same time are an artistic expression of the blacksmith who made them. During the twentieth century cast-iron, tubular steel and other mass-produced gates became more common while the forged wrought iron gates went into decline as did the blacksmith’s forge. In addition to this, changing farming practices have led to many of these gates being abandoned, as the older forged wrought iron field gates became too small to accommodate new big machines entering fields. However there are still many beautifully crafted wrought iron field gates to be found around the county.
According to the International Council on Monuments and Sites, “The built vernacular heritage is important; it is the fundamental expression of the culture of a community, of its relationship with its territory and, at the same time, the expression of the world's cultural diversity”. Galway Gates will also seek to identify the names of the local blacksmiths and their forges. For more information contact Marie Mannion: email@example.com.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.