The Finch Foundry

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Mike has been wanting to go to this place ever since… oh, the day we came down here. And every time we see the brown signs off the A30 I am ‘reminded’ again. So, to kick off this year’s round of summer outings, we thought we’d give it a go.


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Located in the village of Sticklepath, near Okehampton, The Finch Foundry originally served as a woollen mill, then a grist mill, before being altered to a forge, saw mill and wheelwright’s shop. It is one of the last water-powered forges in England. At its peak the foundry crafted 400 tools per day, including shovels, scythes, and sickles for miners and farmers across Dartmoor.  It remained an active foundry until 1960 when the roof collapsed without warning and has been a National Trust property since 1994.


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One of the two working water wheels outside the building.


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It turned out to be a fascinating place.


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Every hour during the day an NT volunteer brings it all to life with information about the history of the building and a demonstration of the equipment, including the massive hammer above.


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The hammer is powered entirely by water. The water wheel drives a second wheel, inside the building, which has protrusions at intervals around its metal outer rim (just out of shot). Every time one of these protrusions comes into contact with the hammer it forces it to lift slightly before crashing back down. The volume of water turns the wheel at a quite staggering pace, producing a stamping motion at the business end of the hammer. Maybe not quite the dramatic scale of movement I’d been anticipating but all the same I’m grateful my fingers were nowhere near it at the time. It had no difficulty bending and flattening the red hot shaft of metal proffered by our guide.

The scissor like piece of kit bottom right is exactly that. Hooked up to the water wheel we watched its jaws open and close and another piece of glowing hot metal was neatly sliced in two. It would be a wonder if the original workers had any fingers left.


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You have been warned.


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 Evidence of the building’s age can be seen all over, just look at those beautifully worn steps.

I was grateful to re-emerge into fresh air, the fire does create a bit of smoke, but I can only begin to imagine what conditions must have been like when this was a real working forge.  Our attention was drawn to the original ceiling beams, only just above my head and I’m not tall by any stretch of the imagination.


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In the Carpenter’s Shop, a range of tools made and used.


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The Grinding House

Workers would lie down on the plank, almost on top of the grinding wheel, to better control the edge of the tool they were making. Their heads were so close to the grinding wheel they were literally putting their ‘nose to the grindstone’, hence the expression.*

*info from Britain Express. There’s a fascinating article here, should you be interested in finding out more about the foundry.


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Outside there’s a small but pretty cottage garden..


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And a riverside walk which we saved for another time. It was threatening rain.


But speaking of plants, Mike didn’t get the trip all his own way. As we’d been driving into the village my sixth sense had started to twitch. It was a small sign by the side of the road but not one I was ever going to miss. Bowden Hostas. Chelsea gold medal winning hostas no less. And as we would be returning home again by the same route it could hardly be denied we were passing. No navigational skullduggery required.

Now, I haven’t bought any hostas for years. They always go the same way and frankly I had given up. But if anyone is going to know how to defeat those wretched molluscs it will be someone who grows hostas, yes?


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Only two. (Plus an opportunistic fern.) Strictly for the purposes of scientific research you understand.

The answer, apparently, is garlic. And I have the recipe. Stay tuned..


The Finch Foundry

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2017-10-27T09:33:58+00:00May 18th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Jayne Hill May 18, 2016 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    What a fascinating place, some of the old timbers are gorgeous!
    Good luck with the hostas, I find that growing only the thick leaved blue ones gives me a better chance of not having the whole lot ‘slugged’ to death.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’ve heard the blue ones are a better bet. The one I bought (Halcyon) I’ve had before and it did seem to last longer than most.

  2. kate@barnhouse May 18, 2016 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    How marvellous to see a traditional iron foundry in action, I shall look out for it next time we are down that way. Can’t wait for the Bowden hostas garlic recipe …. This has been the worst year for them yet, thanks to the warm, wet winter, lots of soft vulnerable growth and too many preying molluscs.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      It’s so close to the A30 it would make a good stopping off point on the way to or from somewhere further south. The slugs are everywhere here too. I dread planting out anything I’ve grown, molly coddled in the greenhouse and then put out to almost certain death. It’s soul destroying.

  3. Marian St.Clair May 18, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    How wonderful! Definately worth a visit and a post. Holding my breath for the garlic recipe:^)

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Yes, great way to spend a morning. Especially a rainy one!

  4. Wendy May 18, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    The foundry does look fascinating. I love visiting places like this and I always imagine how it must have been living and working there in the past (hard work and tough living of course!)
    Hope you can defeat your hosta enemies!

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Yes, very tough living. Somehow I don’t think it would get past the health and safety legislation of today.

  5. Sarah Shoesmith May 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    I think you had the best of all worlds… an interesting visit followed by a plant shopping opportunity. Well done! You are a genius. This year the slugs have not touched a single Hosta. Now I have typed that, they will doubtless dine all night long. There will be filigree foliage by morning.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      I did actually find an intact hosta here last week. Not one of the treasured varieties I have planted in the past, no they are long gone. This is one that I inherited so it’s managed to survive years. I’ve no idea how the slugs have missed it.

  6. Caro May 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    That looks like a fabulous day out to kick start your season of outings – I love places like that so wouldn’t have had to be persuaded, particularly with a nursery on the way back! It’s good to be reminded that, however nostalgic we get for the ‘old days’, they weren’t all good. Looking forward to the garlic recipe, I gave up growing hostas years ago for that very reason!

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      No, it couldn’t have been a good experience working there in the old days. The only air conditioning and smoke extraction, apart from the chimney, was an open door at each end of the forge.

  7. frayed at the edge May 18, 2016 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    This is definitely somewhere for us to visit, if we are ever down your way!! We have found a top dressing of bark chips keeps the evil slugs at bay from our hostas

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      I’ve tried everything, bark, gravel, wool pellets, berberis cuttings, you name it. I do believe the Devonian slug is a super-species new to science.

  8. Ann @Ann Edwards Photography May 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    sounds like my kind of place – I have a thing for old tools.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      I think you’d love it Ann.

  9. Janet/Plantaliscious May 18, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    The answer to a lot of things is garlic.. Looks like a fascinating place, and to be c rewarded by a nursery? Excellent trip! Look forward to reading more about garlic keeping slugs away.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Good for the heart. And keeping away vampires. There certainly won’t be too many vampires around here by the time I’m done. Let’s hope the same is true of slugs.

  10. Dorothy Borders May 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful place! Your husband was quite right to want to go there. Aren’t you glad you finally did?

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply


  11. Henriet from Holland May 18, 2016 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Nice! Ironmongery and garden stuff combined, lovely surprise combination. Last year we were in Germany and saw a similar setup of water-powered smithy and cottage garden. It is really striking how alike in shape and techniques and garden! Please stay “with us” on 23 June. (Just joking but with a bit of wistfulness….)

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      I’m sure we will stay. It’s neck and neck but many waverers will surely tend toward the status quo on the day. Better the devil you know. Still, even the professional pollsters got it wrong at last year’s election so who am I to second guess?

  12. CJ May 18, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    What a fantastic place, I bet it was really fascinating. Lovely garden outside as well. Good luck with the hostas, I shall watch this space. I put mine in the front garden where they are surrounded by gravel. Gives the snails a bit more of a challenge. They are barely up at the moment. I’m seeing the odd nibble already. Garlic you say..? CJ xx

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      I tried gravel too. I’ve seen them sliding across it, barely noticing the discomfort. Perhaps my gravel is too soft. It may need to have sharper edges.

  13. Julieanne May 18, 2016 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Sounds fascinating and love the pics. It would be great seeing the demonstration to see how it all works. One for the list next time I’m down that way.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      As with so many things the simplest are the best and once you understand how it all works it’s obvious really. I found myself wondering if we’ll end up going back to water power.

  14. Sam May 18, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    I think we’ve been there when on holiday in Devon years ago. I have a vague memory of tools… I like the look of the left hand hosta. Having spent an hour amusing myself by picking snails off newly planted nicotianas and other tasty leaves and chucking them over the hedge this evening, I wish you the best of luck 🙂

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      It’s a full time job isn’t it. I’ve chucked a fair few myself this evening. There is a lot resting on this garlic thing..

  15. Val Finnegan May 18, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    I always enjoy your blog but especially this one- are you talking about Una Garnett’s garlic wash because if so IT WORKS! I make some every year & husband’s favourites are thriving. So much so that he bought yet another specimen at the Malvern show which is nestled into the shady patch with the others. Hope you have good luck with your purchases, don’t forget to reapply after rain.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      It sounds very similar and your results encouraging. I’m going for it big style with a 5 litre sprayer being delivered tomorrow. Not just the hostas, everything! If you ever need to find me just follow your nose.

  16. Julie May 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    We visited Finch Foundry with the children 15 years ago en route to a holiday in the West Country and I have such happy memories of our visit there. The NT do an amazing job. Lovely post Jessica.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:24 pm - Reply

      It has to be one of the more unusual NT sites, but I doubt it would have survived without them.

  17. sustainablemum May 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    What a fascinating place. How wonderful that you can see the machinery in operation. Garlic? Not heard that one…….waiting with baited breath.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      The power of the water is pretty impressive. Indeed fascinating to watch.

  18. Kris Peterson May 19, 2016 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Garlic?! That’s the first time I’ve heard that. Beer is often used here, although not by me. Since the raccoons declared my garden part of their territory, I have surprisingly few issues with slugs or snails.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Apparently slugs really hate garlic and won’t go near it. Sounds good to me. I wish squirrels ate slugs.

  19. Linda P. May 19, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

    I like the name of the village and the forge. The buildings are set in a pretty location. They certainly made tools to last. It makes you think about the working conditions in order to produce them. Looking forward to hearing more about your experiment on your newly acquired hostas using garlic..

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      I feel quite guilty putting the hostas up as sacrificial lambs. But we shall see. I have high hopes for the garlic.

  20. Amy May 19, 2016 at 8:28 am - Reply

    An old foundry with a cottage garden for testing new hoes 😉 Sounds like a wonderful day trip, perfectly rounded out… Best of luck with the hostas; they’re lovely! I am apparently now raising rabbits, so maybe even slug advice will be needed here eventually – waiting for the garlic recipe!

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Now that must be the advantage of desert gardening.. Plenty of other things to contend with but no slugs. Rabbits may be worse.

  21. Rosie May 19, 2016 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Looks a fascinating place, so full of history and you can imagine how hard the working day would have been there – the noise and smells and heat. Good luck with the hostas, wish we could grow them here. Would be interested in the garlic recipe:)

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      I brought about three different varieties of hostas with me when we moved here and they’ve all gone. I’ll be very interested to see what effect the garlic has, on the hostas and everything else.

  22. Sue Garrett May 19, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Sticklepath is a lovely name for the village. It was amazing to see that the foundry was in operation right up until 1960. We have had hostas mail-order from Bowdens awhile ago some of which we still have it will be interesting to see if your garlic spray works. We are using a spray made by Grazers at the moment it seemed to work OK last year.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Apparently they were barely surviving before the roof collapsed and that event put an end to it. I’ve seen the Grazers spray advertised, I was considering trying the deer repellent.

  23. derrickjknight May 19, 2016 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Glorious – and the photos are good too

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Like stepping into a bygone age.

  24. Growing Nicely (@JillAgardens) May 19, 2016 at 10:41 am - Reply

    What a fabulous place, thank goodness for the NT!
    Re your hostas, have you ever used nematodes? I’ve never used them but like the idea of using something that’s harmless and organic?

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      I’ve tried them a couple of times. I know a lot of people swear by them but it didn’t really work for me, even using double the suggested strength. Expensive too, only really feasible in a contained area like a vegetable garden. If the garlic works it will be much cheaper and also harmless and organic.

  25. Sigrun May 19, 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply

    What a wonderful place – I would like to visit it. Gardentools, very intersting. Do you use snails grain in your garden? I buy always what I need for y year in Britain.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Do you mean the blue slug pellets? Your hostas always look wonderful so I’d be interested to know what you use.

  26. Mark and Gaz May 19, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Best of both worlds on the same trip!

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Always a bonus to find a nursery in an unexpected place.

  27. Angie May 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    My grandfather was a blacksmith and can well imagine him working in such a place when he started out in his trade as a young boy. A fascinating place and nice that Mike can finally score that from his list of places to visit.
    As for the Hostas – I am not fond of garlic and the smell even less! Blue ones do best in my experience. I read tip once that spraying the foliage with diluted miracle grow to toughen up the leaves every fortnight works well and whilst I did try it, it was particularly time consuming and I am not sure it made any difference to be honest. I now just leave them all to get on with it. Best of luck with the garlic.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      I can’t say it’s my favourite smell either. I have been banned from spraying the salad leaves, but hopefully washing will get rid of the residue. I have to at least try on an experimental basis, too many of those are gobbled up before I can pick them.

  28. Brian Skeys May 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    The NT does a wonderful job preserving these places. When ever I visit one I can’t help but think we are missing a trick by not harnessing water power today.
    I hope you are more successful with the garlic recipe than I have been.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t sound as though your garlic experiment was all that positive Brian. I had high hopes for it, although I have to say nothing else I’ve tried has worked so maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath. I’d agree we should be looking at water power, and tidal.

  29. Cathy May 19, 2016 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I have to say I always enjoy your pictures as much as your text, Jessica! These were particularly good, but it was also a great insight into the workings of a foundry. And I am in need of your top-secret, passed on by ‘those in the know’ garlic recipe.

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      You can find it on the Bowdens website, where MI5 are indeed mentioned, but I fear I have oversold it. There are no secret ingredients hidden from the world for many centuries by a band of reclusive monks.

  30. Amy at love made my home May 19, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    What an incredible and fascinating place to visit! I hope that the hostas will be OK, we have mulched – heavily – around ours with chipped bark and – fingers crossed very tightly – so far they are pretty unnibbled!

    • Jessica May 19, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      I really love hostas, but have tried everything in the past. We seem to have a super race of slugs down here!

  31. Vera May 19, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    We had a similar step outside our old front doors, which unfortunately had to be filled in when the new front doors were installed because rain water collected and formed a puddle in the depression made by countless feet over the centuries. It was with regret that I watched the cement filling the dip. It felt like another part of the history of the house was disappearing. But the water would have rotted the new doors eventually, so it had to be.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      There are so many quandaries that face us when renovating. Much as we’d like to preserve it’s not always practical. And then there are all the requirements of the various regulatory bodies like building control which sometimes seem totally at odds with a house not built to meet 21st century rules. It’s often a negotiation between them and the conservation officer.

  32. BethB from Indiana May 20, 2016 at 2:52 am - Reply

    In the US we have a product called Sluggo that my husband puts around the hostas. He says it works!

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      I’ve not seen Sluggo. We have ‘Advanced’ slug pellets which are supposed to be safer for wildlife but nowhere does it specifically say ‘safe’. I do use them though in places where birds and hedgehogs can’t reach, like in vegetable cages and underneath copper impregnated ‘shocka’ mats. It seems to be a combination of different techniques which works best, I’m still experimenting!

  33. Donna@Gardens Eye View May 20, 2016 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Jessica I love this place and what a treat it must have been to see it in person…and the garden too!

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      It was certainly a different place to visit! A very enjoyable morning.

  34. Brenda May 21, 2016 at 1:57 am - Reply

    Imagine that foundry in its heyday. Hot, noisy, and nose to the grindstone. But fascinating. I can’t imagine the workers having a bit of lunch in the little garden. But who knows? Good luck with the garlic. Perhaps the slugs feel a bit escargot-ish when they smell it and return home to bed.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      According to the story told to us on the day the workers were having lunch in the pub next door when the roof of the forge collapsed.
      Lol, I take your point re the slugs. I’m certainly feeling a bit escargot-ish having spent the day spraying garlic around.. I can still smell it!

  35. Jacqueline May 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Having a wet, soggy, North facing garden, hosts abound !!!! We have so many frogs that the slug population is kept down but I await with bated breath, your garlic remedy !!!!!
    ….. and, I can imagine that Mike was in Seventh Heaven at The Finch Foundry !!!!! XXXX

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      I don’t know why we have so many slugs, but it sometimes seems like an invasion. Just this evening I counted seven, SEVEN, on one plant. I gave them all a dose of garlic.

  36. Jacqueline May 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    That’s HOSTAS !!!!!!! XXXX

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Predictive text strikes again 🙂

  37. casa mariposa May 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    What a cool place! I’d love to poke around that foundry. Very curious about the garlic recipe!

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      I was sceptical that it could work, the recipe calls for quite a bit of dilution. But boy, one sniff will knock your socks off.

  38. homeslip May 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    This brought back memories of wet half term holidays staying at Sanders, Lettaford. Good old NT – entertaining and educational. The river walk is lovely too. Talking of our industrial past I was in Birmingham the other day and I squeezed an hour and a half out of my day to visit the Back to Backs. Absolutely fascinating – the history of Birmingham from the Industrial Revolution to the Millennium told by a courtyard of 11 houses.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      That does sound fascinating. I’ll look up the Back to Backs now. I loved Blists Hill in Shropshire, which sounds similar.

  39. Jo May 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    What a fascinating day out and nice to see that you brought the slugs a gift, looking forward to seeing if the garlic works.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      The slugs are going to have to work hard for their gift. Having spent the day spraying garlic around the place I would be quite happy never to see another clove.

  40. Diana Studer May 21, 2016 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    those hand made and crafted tools look so tactile and appealing to use. Made to sit comfortably in the hand.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Yes indeed, they are beautifully crafted pieces. Made with devotion.

  41. hb May 21, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Fascinating seeing that, thank you. Here drought and rats attracted to the neighbor’s bird feeder have wiped out the slug population, but I still can’t grow Hostas due to a lack of winter chill. Saw them in tall (waist high) pots in Oregon, pristine.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      One trick here is to stick copper tape round the rim of the pot, which is supposed to give the slugs a shock when they cross it. Ours seem to have evolved onboard insulation.

  42. CherryPie May 21, 2016 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    The finch foundry looks a fascinating place to visit and I love that it has a small garden attached to it.

    I will be interested to see your remedy for slugs on hostas, I would love to have a collection in a shady area of my garden. I have found that when growing hostas in pots that if you spray WD40 around the rim the slugs and snails will not go anywhere near the plant.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      I haven’t tried that yet, thanks for the tip. If I don’t succeed growing hostas in the ground then pots will be the way to go.

  43. stephanie young May 22, 2016 at 1:18 am - Reply

    you all do the best little weekend get-aways!!! fun, informational, and plants to boot!! Great trip!

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      I used to have a job which involved a lot of travelling around the country. I kept a directory of plant nurseries in the car so I could visit new ones as I went around. Old habits die hard 🙂

  44. thredspider May 22, 2016 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Fabulous photos. We visited Finch when we were looking after Mother in Law- it was fascinating. Made me glad I didn’t live in The Good Old Days.
    I’m interested in the garlic too- there’s still 2 strings of the stuff hanging up in the shed from last year’s crop that is really past eating now …Good luck with it on your new hostas.

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      I noticed today I’ve got some of last year’s garlic reappearing in the raised beds. If it works the next application will be free for me too.

  45. bitaboutbritain May 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Fascinating – another one for the list. Loved the photos. Curiously, som,eone said yesterday that the thing to use to deter slugs etc was copper; look forward to the garlic solution! Question: I have just started blogging on WordPress have been with Blogger, but am having a huge problem leaving comments on my ‘old’ blopspot friends’ sites. When I say ‘huge problems’, I mean I can’t seem to do it using my WordPress ID. Any suggestions you may have would be really welcome!

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’ve tried copper. Reasonably successful but like so many things not 100% reliable on its own.
      I had exactly the same problem when I started blogging. Eventually I opened a Blogger account just so that I could comment on Blogger blogs and have used it ever since, having never been able to get the WordPress ID to work. I don’t know whether it’s something to do with being on rather than .com. But then I have a .com account as well so it really doesn’t make sense.

  46. CT May 22, 2016 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Glorious. What a beautiful place and that has to be the best name for a village ever! X

    • Jessica May 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      It’s a lovely name isn’t it. A pretty village too, fully deserving of the quaint moniker.

  47. emilymbrown13 May 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    What a lovely outing. Please share the garlic recipe – I need help!

    • Jessica May 24, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Garlic recipe, if you can have a ‘recipe’ with only two ingredients, is in the next post!

  48. Peter/Outlaw May 24, 2016 at 5:17 am - Reply

    A very interesting visit! You find such fascinating places. I’m so looking forward to hearing the garlic recipe to repel those hosta-loving mollusks!

    • Jessica May 24, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      Next post Peter. Now I’m just waiting to see if it’s going to work..

  49. dina cuthbertson May 25, 2016 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Loved this, what a place! I think I have most of those implements hanging around my courtyard. It’s always so good to see well made tools, if only they made them like that

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I know. I’d love a fork that doesn’t bend as soon as I hit a stone.

  50. Josephine May 25, 2016 at 3:00 am - Reply

    What a fascinating place, I love blacksmithing so this would have been right up my alley. My husband found an anvil when we were home this past October, and wanted to ship it back to the States…..can you imagine the cost of shipping !
    Loved seeing this old foundry, thank you for sharing.

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      It would have cost a fortune!

  51. Sue May 25, 2016 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant place, I think we would both find things to love here. I love Hostas, last year they survived undamaged, but already the slugs are finding them this year. The mild winter is going to have a lot to answer for pest wise this summer I think 🙁

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      They are out in force here too. And now it’s raining again. Good test for the garlic.

  52. Chloris May 27, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Hope the recipe works , we are getting monster molluscs lately. I am having trouble leaving comments on your post recentlyJessica. They disappear into a black hole. Hope this works.

    • Jessica May 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I did have a bit of down time a week or so back while struggling with a couple of upgrades. Perhaps it just caught you at the wrong time. But your last two comments have come through fine (for which, thank you).

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