Devon EX20 2NW
The pretty little Devonshire village of Sticklepath is full of thatched cottages and is the location of the last working water-powered forge in England.
Three large waterwheels drive a huge tilt hammer and grindstone and local guides demonstrate and humorously explain the workings of the foundry. During the 19th century it was used to make sickles, scythes and shovels for West Country farmers and miners.
On view in the grinding shop is a fascinating display of old tools, while outside at the end of the garden, is a summerhouse that once belonged to Tom Pearse (of the 'Ballad of Widecombe Fair’ fame).
Starting from the foundry there are waymarked walks along the River Taw and up on to Dartmoor.
In the 1700s Sticklepath was the centre of the local wool fulling (shrinking, compacting and beating) and grist (grain) milling trade. Many mills grew up along the fast flowing stream and River Taw.
Finch Foundry started life in the 18th century as a wool fulling mill. In 1814, the Finch family took over the lease of the Manor Mills, first converting part into an agricultural tool factory and then, with the decline in the wool industry, converting the rest.
The Finch family prospered and finally bought the premises and much property in the village as well. In 1830, William Pearce bought the old Quaker burial ground behind the foundry and gave it to the village as a non-denominational cemetery.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:
Opening Hours & Admission Costs
Not open Tuesdays. For up to date times and costs click on the following National Trust website link.
Machinery demonstrations and talks are scheduled at quarter past each hour from 11:15 to 16:15.
There are No Toilets.
There is a Tea-room, Shop & Picnic tables.
There is a Parking drop-off point for disabled visitors.
The National Trust website - link below, has detailed Access information under 'Facilities & access'
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1837 840 046
- By Car
The Finch Foundry is 4.4 miles (7 km) east of Okehampton, off A30.
Free parking is available for cars but is not suitable for high vehicles. Access is narrow and low.
Google Map - Finch Foundry