Finch Foundry and Foundry House


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Finch Foundry and Foundry House, Sticklepath, Okehampton, EX20 2NW


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Statutory Address:
Finch Foundry and Foundry House, Sticklepath, Okehampton, EX20 2NW

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Devon (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 64187 94084


SX 69 SW 12/202 SAMPFORD COURTENAY STICKLEPATH Finch Foundry and Foundry House

GV II * Originally woollen factory and grist mill then tool factory, saw mill, carpenter's and wheelwright's shop now a working museum.

The earliest buildings date possibly to the late C18 with considerable alterations during the C19, various additions and infills were made throughout the C19. Stone rubble walls with some cob. Gable ended slate roof. The house has rendered brick stack at left gable end.

Plan: Foundry House probably dates to the early C19 when the adjoining premises were taken over as a foundry and has a two-room central entry plan. In the early 1800s the premises consisted of two separate buildings - the larger one to the east a three-storey woollen factory, with a smaller building a short distance to its west functioning as a grist mill. In 1814 the eastern building was taken over by William Finch to become an edge tool works - used mainly as a forge rather than a foundry. The first and second storey floors were removed and the water wheel inserted at the right-hand side. In a deed of 1835 the building is referred to as a hammer mill and the second water wheel at the rear was probably added at this time to give an air blast to the forges. In circa mid C19 the adjoining westerly grist mill building was leased by Finch and converted to a grinding house also powered by a water wheel at its side. At subsequent stages in the C19 a stable was built in front of the right side of the forge building with an office on the first floor at its inner end and an open storage area below; to the right of this the area between the two original buildings was roofed to form a saw mill. Between the forge and the house a first floor room used as a workshop was built, allowing access below to the Quaker burial ground behind the premises.

At the rear of Foundry House a long outbuilding was built to store reed and straw which was used to wrap up the tools before despatch. The Saw Mill was subsequently demolished for road widening.

Exterior: Foundry House to left has symmetrical two-window front of original 16-pane hornless sashes with central C19 panelled double doors. Between the house and forge to the right is a tall archway with thoroughfare below (to burial ground) and granite steps to its right leading to balcony in front of first floor doorway. To their right is fallstone arch now infilled with door and window. Beyond is the forge which is lower and has doorway at its left-hand end. All three overshot water wheels survive at rear and side of forge and right side of grinding house.

Interior: retains the complete machinery from when the building was working, apart from the saw mill, consisting of tilt hammers, shear and drop hammers, four hearths and two furnaces, a polishing wheel, band saw and grindstone in the grinding house. The machinery is still in working order.

Listing NGR: SX6418794084


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Barron, R A , The Finch Foundry Trust and Sticklepath Museum of Rural Industry


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 09 Mar 2002
Reference: IOE01/05629/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ken Vincent. Source Historic England Archive
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