Built in 1876 and located in the main street of Angaston, Hardy and brother Bert were third generation Doddridge’s working this blacksmith shop. In 1965, when in his eighties, Hardy shod his last horse. He kept working other parts of the ‘smithy’ until the 1970s. Doddridge’s Blacksmith Shop shod cart and riding horses, and made wrought iron for carts, buggies, ploughs and tools.
Blacksmith shops were an essential part of rural life and this is one of the very few remaining main street ‘smithies’ in South Australia. It is an extremely significant vernacular industrial building.
After Hardy’s death in 1981, local residents rallied to purchase many of the tools and sought to preserve the long and continuous association with the Doddridge family. It was officially opened to the public on 25 October 1996. The museum is dedicated to the skills of the blacksmith, it is steeped in history with over 130 years of blacksmithing at this site and many of the original tools and equipment make this a real trip back in time.
The Angaston & Penrice Historical Society now own the heritage listed forge and have built a shed at the rear that houses a museum that includes the 1926 Dodge Turner Butcher Van and the Holmes/Angas Wagon. This was achieved due to over 200 people and organizations donating a combined total $160,000 in 2017.
The Society’s volunteers operate the working forge on weekends, public holidays and during special festivals. It is also strongly supported by the Artist Blacksmiths Association of South Australia (ABASA).