Step through the doorway of Finch Foundry and you step into Dartmoor's industrial past. Here you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of three thundering waterwheels powering massive hammers, shears and sharpening stones.
The Finch family stamped their name on this, one of the South West’s most successful edge-tool factories. Once a common sight, water-powered forges were part of our rural economy. Today, Finch Foundry is one of a handful of working examples of this kind.
This richly illustrated guidebook tells the story of the rise and fall and rescue of Finch Foundry, and looks at the lives of the men and women who worked here and the community that grew up around the forge and the area’s other rural enterprises. It also looks at the complexities and challenges of conserving industrial machinery with working parts over a hundred years old.
Based in Sticklepath, now an attractive Devonshire village, Finch Foundry preserves a piece of our industrial heritage, a near-extinct tradition of manufacturing, but when the waterwheels turn and the hammers start to strike, history is brought resoundingly to life.
About the authors
Anna Groves, formerly the Guidebooks Editor for the National Trust, has written guidebooks for the National Trust’s properties in Dorchester, the home in which novelist Thomas Hardy was born and the home in which he died; for the first of the National Trust’s great houses, Blickling Estate in Norfolk; for Giant’s Causeway and Larrybane & Carrick-a-Rede in Country Antrim. Frank Whitcomb is a Conservation Assistant at Finch Foundry with knowledge of its industrial past and its present operation that few can rival.
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