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St Clement's Day at Finch Foundry 2023

Iron snail art, made in the forge at Finch Foundry, Devon
Iron snail art, made in the forge at Finch Foundry | © National Trust Images/Mel Peters

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional craft in action as some of the best blacksmiths in the country gather at Finch Foundry to compete and create.

What is St Clement’s Day at Finch Foundry?

Every year Finch Foundry open the forge to welcome blacksmiths from near and far to celebrate the feast day of St Clement, the patron saint of blacksmiths. Originally a holiday for blacksmiths, it’s now an excuse to gather and share their skills and stories from the year. You’re invited to come along and experience this traditional celebration.

When will St Clement’s Day be?

St Clement’s Day will take place on Saturday 25 November 2023. Drop in any time between 11am and 4pm, free entry for all, no booking required.

What will there be to see?

Blacksmiths will be making use of the indoor and outdoor forges to show off their skills. There will also be the annual Great Snail Race where blacksmiths compete to see who can forge a ‘Sticklepath Snail’ in the shortest time. This metal snail, made from a metal bar 20cm by 1cm, needs to be free standing and complete with shell, head and antennae.

Brace yourself for the firing of the anvil, which is thought to date back to medieval times, a little gunpowder is poured into the ‘hardy hole’ of the anvil and ignited to create a bang.

There will also be traditional music and dancing throughout the day.

Will dogs be allowed?

Dogs are welcome on leads. Please be aware that it can get very loud inside the forge when the machinery is working.

Car parking

Free parking is available at Finch Foundry. Access to the car park is restricted - 2.3m high and 2m wide (7' 5” x 6' 5”). There may be parking available on the road through the village for larger vehicles.

Will there be food and drink?

There is no longer a tea-room at Finch Foundry. However, there are some local places in the village that can provide tasty refreshments.

Visitors on a tour of the forge at Finch Foundry, Devon

Discover more at Finch Foundry

Find out when Finch Foundry is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.