A garden of two parts

 Newly planted flowerbed coming to life, Finch Foundry, Devon

Find out more about the history of the garden at Finch.


The area where we have our picnic tables is land that was used by the mill for hundreds of years. The garden alongside used to belong to Foundry House, our next door neighbour.

Foundry House was owned by the Finch family for a long time and many different people lived there. According to photographs we hold in the archive, up until the turn of the 20th century, it was full of cabbages. Joyce Barron (sister-in-law of Bob and wife of Richard who started the museum here) really worked hard on the garden and was the last person to live at Foundry House before the National Trust purchased it.

When Joyce was in residence, the garden really reflected the perfect cottage garden, with small trees and beautiful flowering shrubs. Somehow Joyce, with her green fingers, knew exactly what would grow well on this neglected piece of land. Since the National Trust have been here we have had mixed fortunes with the garden. Surveys showed that the soil was of very poor quality in places and there was also a lot of buried rubbish.


Our garden volunteers, along with the garden team at Castle Drogo, have worked to tidy up the garden and improve the soil quality, adding compost and mulch.

Replanted flowerbed at Finch Foundry, Devon
Replanted flowerbed at Finch Foundry, Devon
Replanted flowerbed at Finch Foundry, Devon

This has now been replanted with the aim of bringing Joyce's quintessential cottage garden back to life. Look out for little surprises which will evoke the spirit of the burning forges, sparks and hot metal from within the foundry. 

The plants are growing well and are beginning to fill the bed with colour again and there's something new to see each week.