Mog AwayTo Finch’s Foundry

The National Trust operates many a wonderful heritage property but this particular venue is probably our favourite one in all of Devon. Today the sun was beating down and the grass rapidly turning a parched shade of biscuit brown.  We enjoyed a gentle picnic in the Orchard Garden that slopes towards the south.
Finches Foundry lies in the middle of South Tawton just off the A30.  From the road it does not appear to be much of any significance, blending easily with the roadside cottages, local pub and is easily overlooked. But spare a moment and look closer; behind the row is a delightful tea garden and cafe alongside an ancient Quaker burial ground beside the river Taw. Within the building the old foundry and blacksmithy houses a wealth of machinery and collected tools that were made on this site.
Out of sight from the road A382 are the waterwheels that still operate below the elevated waterway which channels thousands of gallons every day into this power house of industrial archeology.
After our stop here our next stop was at the National Bee Centre in  Okehampton and then a pleasant drive over the moor via Grimspound and Widdecombe.  Had to reverse about two hundred yards for a 30Ton lorry – Enjoyed an ice cream to cool off.

One of several such water wheels

Above head hight the raised leat flows with the crystal clear Dartmoor water

This wheel powers air blower fans that generate heat in the blacksmiths forge

The shoot carries surplus water away down the leat

The forge and the anvil 

Off road parking where the 4/4 is quite safe

The ton and a half power hammers

Ancient timber gantry with pully wheels and belts overhead

Cogs and bevel gears hum and drive belts flap and flail

The teeth on the cog wheels lift the power hammer

The leat that powers the wheels underneath

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