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Finch Foundry

finch foundry

Discover How Iron Was Forged at Finch Foundry in Devon

Step back in time to the age of steam at the atmospheric Finch Foundry in Sticklepath, Devon. One of Britain’s last original working water-powered iron forges, this fascinating family attraction gives a hands-on glimpse into traditional industry.

Kids will love getting to grips with iron working, exploring the Victorian machines and seeing traditional techniques come to life. Here’s an in-depth guide to making the most of a family day out at Finch Foundry.

finch foundry

Getting There

By car

Finch Foundry is easy to reach, located in the village of Sticklepath near Okehampton, just off the A30. It’s around a 25 minute drive from both Exeter and Okehampton.

By Bus

Local buses to Okehampton stop in Sticklepath village, a short 5 minute walk away.

By train

Okehampton station is a 4 mile walk away

Opening Times

The foundry is open:

April – September: Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

October: Weekends only

Last admission is one hour before closing.

It’s closed over winter but has special festive openings. Check the website calendar for exact dates.

finch

Ticket Prices

Entry prices are:

  • Adults – £9.40
  • Children – £4.70
  • Under 5s – free
  • Family – £14.10

National Trust members are free. Gift aid tickets are also available.

Hands-on History

There’s plenty of hands-on fun to be had exploring the historic forge:

  • Watch the mighty waterwheel-powered hammers shaping red-hot iron, an incredible sight.
  • Tour the Victorian workshop filled with original tools like the enormous power hammer.
  • Learn how the furnace, anvil and waterwheel all work together to shape iron.
  • Try crafting iron by hand over the anvil in the participatory demonstration area – great photo op!
  • Pan for copper and minerals just like workers here 150 years ago.
  • Dress up in costume like traditional blacksmiths and founders.
trip hammer at finch foundry

Interactive Museum

When you need a break from the noisy workshop, there’s also an interactive museum telling the wider story of Finch Foundry:

  • Listen to oral history audio from the last founder to work here and watch films.
  • Discover how the foundry made vital goods for local industries and households over the centuries.
  • View the UK’s largest collection of original pattern books containing customers’ orders.
  • Marvel at the skilled craftwork in the Foundry Forge display.
  • Try out the hands-on exhibits like the mechanical bellows that stoked the furnace flames.
  • Play games and quizzes based around the foundry history.
demonstration at finch foundry

Food and Facilities

The on-site cafe serves delicious homecooked meals, snacks and drinks – perfect for refuelling after a morning exploring the site. Picnic tables provide a place to eat your packed lunch too.

Toilet and baby changing facilities are also located here – strollers and wheelchairs can access most areas on the ground floor.

Step back to a time of water power, steaming machines and iron craft at atmospheric Finch Foundry. With hands-on heritage fun, it makes a truly memorable family day out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Finch Foundry? – Yes, but they must remaon on a lead and under control.

Is the site accessible for wheelchairs? – Generally yes, it is accessible, but there are some uneven steps in the workshop, but the staff will assit where needed.

anvil at finch foundry

Other places to visit nearby

There are loads of brilliant places to visit when you are in the north of Dartmoor at Finch Foundry. A few examples are:

  • Fingle Bridge – Charming 17th century bridge crossing the River Teign in Dartmoor National Park. Picturesque countryside spot surrounded by woodland.
  • Okehampton Castle – Medieval ruin with interactive exhibits bringing history to life. Great for kids and set amidst stunning Dartmoor scenery.
  • Lydford Gorge – Dramatic gorge with waterfalls and lovely nature trails along the River Lyd. Owned and managed by the National Trust.
  • Castle Drogo – Impressive 20th century castle near Drewsteignton. Offers tours of the extraordinary granite interiors and scenic gardens.
  • Roadford Lake – Large reservoir in Lifton with walks, cycling, fishing, water sports and outdoor adventures available.
  • Dartmoor Railway – Vintage steam train rides along scenic moorland countryside departing from Okehampton station.
  • Tavistock Abbey – Impressive ruins of a 961 AD Benedictine abbey. Fascinating for history enthusiasts to explore.
  • Launceston Steam Railway – Nostalgic steam trains running along the Tamar Valley from Launceston to New Mills. Perfect for train enthusiasts

You can find out more about other National Trust places in Devon here.

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