Historical information

As quoted from Wikipedia, ‘An anvil is a block with a hard surface on which another object is, struck. The block is as massive as it is practical, because the higher the inertia of the anvil, the more efficiently it causes the energy of the striking tool to be transferred to the work piece’. The lightstation’s anvil is a red-painted iron block with a conical beak or horn at one end that was used for hammering curved pieces of metal. It would have stood on a heavy free-standing pedestal, such as a large tree stump, to allow complete access to the item being hammered. Some anvils display the manufacturer’s name in the metal on the side, but this is not the case here, and its age, although unknown appears to be quite old, perhaps c.1900. It appears to have had a lot of use, and although no record of this survives, it is presumed that a forge operated on site for hammering, cutting, shaping and repairing tools such as bolts, nails, hooks, chain segments, pulley blocks, hinges, crow bars, picks, chisels, horseshoes and harness hardware. A hames hook (which forms part of the collar worn by a draught horse) survives at the lightstation as do many other heavy metal tools
and pieces of equipment. The anvil is an example of the necessary resourcefulness and self sufficiency practiced by lightkeepers working and living in a remotely located workplace and home, and many of the iron items in the collection may have been repaired or even made on its working surface.

As a lightstation manager Chris Richter used the anvil to manufacture pulley blocks for sash windows, repair brass door hinges & sharpen cold chisels, crowbars and picks and other lightkeepers have used this anvil for many fabricating jobs such as manufacturing ducting for the generator room ventilation system."The lightship only came in every three months with supplies and there would have been repairs to do between visits from a blacksmith - who would have had to travel on the ship. Also, the ship was only anchored in the bay long enough to unload supplies and collect and deliver lightkeeping staff – probably not enough time to get much smithy work done – especially if the weather packed it in and the ship had to depart. Lightkeepers in our time had to be self sufficient, resourceful and innovative and I imagine that would have been the case in the past."


It has second level contributory significance.

Physical description

Red painted blacksmith's anvil.