Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Finch Foundry



On our travels in England we love visiting the National Trust sites.  Some of them are grand and glorious old manor homes or castles or small homes that belonged to famous folks.  Today I'd like to share an interesting place that is different from all the rest, a foundry.


On our ride to the wonderful village of Sticklepath (don't you love that name), check out this gorgeous view!  The high hedges and green pastures above thrill my soul.  I'm still riding on the left as Grayden maneuvers down the lanes of Devon.  


The village of Sticklepath is so charming with its thatched roof buildings.  I see the National Trust sign above, so let's find a parking spot and check out Finch Foundry.





The National Trust reminds us that this foundry is powered by three water wheels that powered huge hammers, shears and sharpening stones to make tools for the industries of Dartmoor's past.



Walking into the entrance we see our first water wheel.



Inside the foundry, this gentleman is setting up a demonstration showing how powerful this old system is that still works.  



Forging tools by hand is a lost art.  This gentleman is showing how some of the tools were made here at Finch Foundry. 



If you've ever had a hand forged tool from your grandparents,  or great grandparents, you know the quality of such pieces.






The wonderful National Trust takes care to save sites that otherwise would fall into disrepair or to development.  I love that about them! 



I love the story of how Rebecca Finch ran the foundry after the passing of her husband, George.  What a brave and smart gal she must have been to run a business such as a foundry!



Grayden especially enjoyed Finch Foundry.  I unexpectedly did as well.  It was a fascinating shop to visit and learn more about how tools were forged long ago.





Of course, I always enjoy seeing the thatched roof cottages that dot the landscape of England and especially here in Sticklepath, Devon.






Charm is everywhere in this lovely village!



Fairy tale villages warmed our hearts as we continued our Golden Anniversary celebration.  I'll continue posting our visit in the order that we saw everything.  If you wish to catch up on this trip it all resides in the tab above under Great Britain.  Thank you for joining us. ♥








23 comments:

  1. Super photos Martha Ellen. I love these old places. In the next village over from where I used to live, there was a castle that belonged to the National Trust but still had private areas where the family - who had owned it for hundreds of years, the Gilberts - lived. The son was a barrister my father worked with often, and they developed a very nice friendship. He is quite elderly himself now.

    Humphry Gilbert, his ancestor, was half brother to Sir Walter Raleigh, and I got the rest of this paragraph off Wiki "Sir Walter Raleigh, also spelled Ralegh, was an English landed gentleman, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy and explorer. He was cousin to Sir Richard Grenville and younger half-brother of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. He is also well known for popularizing tobacco in England.

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    1. Oh Denise, you must look at my last post about Compton Castle! How interesting that your father worked with that family! It's a lovely spot. I really enjoyed the beautiful garden there along with a lovely apple orchard. Thanks for letting me know about this connection to you and do visit my last post.

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    2. I will definitely read your post on Compton Castle. Thanks so much!

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  2. Sticklepath is a charming town in the extreme. I would have very much enjoyed the foundry tour. The old tools are the best ones in my book. I am blessed to have quite a collection. I see some that you have shown that I would like to have. 😉

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    1. With the name Sticklepath, how could it be any more charming, Vee! How lucky you are to have hand forged tools. There is nothing like them.

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  3. Thank you for letting everyone know the National Trust isn't just about stately homes and gardens with your visit to Finch Foundry. Where I work it's Coast and Countryside, only one garden at Colby and one tiny house in Tenby in the entire county, but boy, do we make up for it with natural splendour. It's all about conservation, and making a future for our past {as the slogan goes}

    ~~~Waving~~~From Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

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    1. One day I hope to visit your area and see for my own eyes the beauty of Wales, Deb! The National Trust certainly keeps the coastline and countryside in wonderful condition as we have witnessed in other places around England. Seven Sisters comes to mind--oh how beautiful! xoxo

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  4. That's a great name for a village. Those hedgerows...beautiful to see and scary to drive on. National Trust sites are always a great option. We are hoping to get back to England next September or October....

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    1. I'm so happy for you Ellen. Autumn is a great time to visit England.

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  5. Love the name, Sticklepath! I am sure that Finch Foundry was fascinating! Such artistry goes into making things by hand. Yes, thatched roofs are charming!

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    1. I love that name too, Cheryl! Handmade is always the best quality, isn't it?

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  6. Another great post. I especially enjoyed visiting the foundry. My grandfather, who was a blacksmith did lots of work with metals. My son has continued on and enjoys the process too. My grandfather was known for once having said that a man would "go to hell faster for bending cold metal than he would for lying." Now that must be a pretty bad thing, for sure!

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    1. Mary, that is fascinating to hear about your son and grandfather! That quote of your grandfather is something else! So much danger goes into bending of metals.

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  7. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and hearing about that wonderful old foundry and how fabulous of England to preserve it and keep it going! I actually have a friend who is a blacksmith and have some of hid handmade items. In fact, my great-grandfather was a blacksmith and I have an "apple butter stirring tool" he made and used to make huge batches of apple butter in a big cast iron cauldrons over a fire. So.. blacksmithing isn't a lost art.. as there are several men over the globe who are keeping the skill alive.. thank goodness!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Of course there are smiths all over the world, Teresa. We have visited many of their shops. Not too many men go into that trade these days, so I consider it a danger of dying. That's nice to hear that your great grandfather was a blacksmith! How wonderful to have to have one of his handmade tools.

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  8. Wow that was enjoyable! Amazing that it still works. I love all the different names of these tucked away villages.

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  9. This is especially interesting to me today as I just started reading the first in a new mystery series by Ann Cleeves and the detective lives in the Devon area. Since it's not one I've visited, this gives me a lovely idea of what it is like to better picture the story. I would find this town so charming and the forge very interesting indeed. Love your journey!

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    1. Jeanie, I'll have to check out her new mystery series. Devon is quite charming and very remote in areas. It's a lovely area in England!

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  10. Love those thatched roofs. I like watching the shaping of metal into useful tools when there are demonstrations like the one at the frontier museum in va. Amazing how this is done. charming town and beautiful clipped hedges.

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    1. It is a great trade that I so hope will always continue, Betsy. The charm of England never disappoints.

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  11. Enjoy seeing all your photos. You do spot a lot of beauty with your camera. It looks like a very interesting place to visit. When my ancestor came to this country he was an indentured servant at a foundry. We've gone to see the remains of it, but this is far more interesting!

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    1. Thank you, Dotsie. That's so interesting about your ancestor! I do hope you will share more about him with us.

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