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Valtos Smithy

Valtos Smithy

The smithy, located near the pier in Valtos and now a ruin, was established by Murdo Smith (Murchadh Gobha) originally from Strome, whose son and grandson continued the trade. The following appeared in Uig News in April 2001:

The smithy, the ruins of which can still be seen on the right of the road to Valtos Pier, would have been a hub of activity. It was started by Murdo Smith who came from Strome and lived in the Carnan. His son Donald continued the business after an apprenticeship in Glasgow, followed by his son Murdo until the late 1940s, when demand tailed off.

The plinth for the large anvil is still there, and Tochie (a resident of the village) remembers being there as a boy to help work the enormous bellows. These were made of leather with metal studs, with a long handle like an oar. Coal had to be burned as peat would not give sufficient heat.

There was a constant demand for iron for boat building and repairs. There was no smith in Bernera so Valtos Smithy was used extensively. The blacksmith made agricultural implements and shod horses. Iron for the smithy came from Glasgow by boat to Miavaig. The first Murdo Smith was also a part-time missionary for Baile na Cille and had a horse and gig to take him to meetings.

An earlier smithy was located near the old Valtos cemetery and lumps of iron can still be found amongst the stones of the boundary wall.

 

Title: Valtos Smithy
Record Type: Buildings and Public Amenities
Type: Smithy
Grid Ref Easting: 109519
Grid Ref Northing: 936896
Record Maintained By: CEU
Subject Id: 21803