Boolteens, Castlemaine, Co. Kerry. Tel: +353 (0) 66 976 71 37

History

Family & Local History

About Us

The Anvil B&B, Bar & Restaurant is a family run business, famed for its warm welcome and friendly Irish hospitality.

It is located in the village of Boolteens (near Castlemaine – birthplace of ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’) and nestled between the Slieve Mish Mountains and the Dingle Peninsula on the Wild Atlantic Way, an area renowned for its rugged beauty and unforgettable scenery.

It is an ideal base for exploring the Kerry sights such as the Dingle Peninsula, Killarney National Park, The Ring of Kerry or to just take a stroll on nearby Inch Beach which provides a safe swimming area and is also popular with windsurfers and horseback riders.

Our Promise

We take great pride in sourcing our food locally and our award winning restaurant is open all year round. We serve a variety of starters, main courses and desserts. We also offer a catering service in our large function room for groups up to 100 people whether it’s a wedding party, birthday celebration or family get together.

Listen to local traditional Irish music or just relax near the open fire and enjoy the lovely friendly atmosphere this bar has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you and answering any queries you may have regarding golf clubs, walking routes or the ‘ideal’ fishing spot. Make our home your home – away from home. We look forward to meeting you soon.

Florence O'Sullivan (83) - Blacksmith from Boolteens, Castlemaine, Co. Kerry

“I’m the fourth generation of blacksmith here now and the last. I don’t know how many more years I’ll stick at it but I don’t know anything else. they tell me to slow down but it’s hard to change the habit of a lifetime.

Originally my father’s family would have come from the Dingle direction but my great grandfather built the forge here around 1870.

I started helping my father Patrick at the work when I was 13 and a half and he passed away in 1955. I suppose I fell into it but there was nothing else I wanted to do. Four of my uncles were blacksmiths so it was the family trade and sure the forge is built onto the side of the house here. It was always good to us and we were never short thank God.

I used to love shoeing the horses most, only once ever did I get a kick. I remember it was a stallion and I had a dead leg for 11 weeks but there was no long-term injury. I was very light on my feet you see and so avoided kicks.

When I was young you’d wake up in the morning and there would be farmers outside the door with their horses waiting to be shod and to have their donkey and horses’ carts mended. We did the banding for the wheels. I did a lot of welding in the fire. The noise of the blacksmith at work and the smell of the fire in the forge filled the air; it was something else on a busy day. There was a lovely atmosphere, people chatting away and local news being shared, it was the way rural Ireland was then…but it’s all changed in recent years.

In recent years I’d do jobs for people from far and wide. There are very few of the old blacksmiths still around, it’s a real shame but that’s the way Ireland had gone. People are less willing to repair things. Instead buy new and a lot can weld themselves.

Mostly now I work on a lot of troughs for sheep and cattle, make tongs and pokers for the fire, the occasional gate and the frames of doors. There’s a great peace in the work and I take great pride in everything I make.

I took no notice of the hard work and long days over the years. As I get older I feel it now, but I find it hard to stay out of the forge – there’s was something to be tipping away at.

I’ve brothers and sisters living away, with one brother a priest in America, but I never felt the urge to travel far from Castlemaine. I was only ever abroad once, to Lourdes.

I never married so there’s no one to continue on the work after I leave this house. It’s sad it will be the end of a long line of blacksmiths, but what can you do only work away each day and enjoy the job you have.”