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Description: Finch Foundry
Date Listed: 8 October 1987
English Heritage Building ID: 93084
OS Grid Reference: SX6418794084
OS Grid Coordinates: 264187, 94084
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7305, -3.9257
SAMPFORD COURTENAY STICKLEPATH
SX 69 SW
12/202 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 2-room central entry plan. In the early
1800s the premises consisted of 2 separate buildings - the larger one to the east a
3-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 2
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 2-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 3 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, 5 hearths and
furnace, a polishing wheel, band saw and grindstone in the grinding house. The
machinery is still in working order.
Source: R A Barron - The Finch Foundry Trust and Sticklepath Museum of Rural
Listing NGR: SX6418794084
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.