Garton and King

New Pages

a history

The Golden Hammer

Welcome to the Exeter Foundry Website

The Holladay family, who have been involved with the business of Garton & King from 1898 until 1990, have put together this History of the Company and hope you will find it of interest.

Garton & King, and its predecessors (which includes, amongst others, King & Munk and Garton & Jarvis) can trace their trading history back to 1661, that is well over three hundred years of business within Exeter, mostly in and around the High Street.

Since the Website was created in 2009 we have added much additional information. Chapters on 'The Dunbar' or to use its catchier title 'The Curious Incident of the Sunken Stoves' and then a Chapter on the almost unbeaten length of time the Company has been AGA Agents under the Title 'AGA, A Grand Affair'. We have also added the Guestbook and some interesting comments have been posted, some by past employees and if you have worked in the past for the Company, either under Alec in the Showroom or down at the Foundry when it was at Tan Lane you are sure to recognise some of the names mentioned in the Postings. Perhaps you will be suitably inspire to add your comments - but keep it clean, no Foundry Language please! or, if you would rather, contact me direct.If you have any Archive Material or memories I really would like to hear from you - see the 'About Me Page' for contact details.

We now have much more information on Stove Sales and an alphabetical list of who bought what and where they lived.

Don't forget, if you live fairly local to me (Chudleigh) and belong to a Club or Social Group I am equipped to give Illustrated Talks on G & K Ltd's History - all my Contact Details are on the About Me Page.

Overlooking the Obvious

Gates at ExminsterGarton and KingThose familiar with the former Main Road through Exminster will doubtless, as I have done, passed these gates as they head southwards through the village; they are to be found a few yards beyond the turning to Exminster Hill on the left hand side at 'Milestone Cottage' It just goes to show that some of the more prominent works of Garton & King still survive.

My thanks to David Solman, who has recently moved to Exeter and forwarded these images on to me, shame on me that I hadn't realised they were the product of the Company.

My research shows they once were the gateway to EXMINSTER HOUSE but I am unfortunately unable to date when they were erected but were presumably connected with The Palks and the Lords Haldon and a part of Exminster House's history I have reproduced below.

In 1887 there is evidence that this property was in the ownership of Sir Lawrence Palk (later Lord Haldon). The occupant at the time, a Mrs Eleanor Vernon, claimed that the property was given to her in 1866 by Lord Haldon who had seduced her when she was young and by whom she had given birth to a child in 1865. Lord Haldon had offered her a property in Torquay which did not meet with Eleanor's approval so he advised her to "Look at Exminster House, I think it will suit you.. I think of you morning noon and night!...."

In 1892, the property was described as being "an excellent residence, containing 7 bedrooms, 8 sitting rooms, 3 stall stable, coach house and harness room and a large productive walled garden".

On Tuesday 5th October 1897 the premises were set alight. A fire had been lit in the wash-house in the morning but the fire in the chimney soon ignited the thatch on the main building and as there was a strong wind the fire soon spread "assuming alarming dimensions." In spite of the brave attempts by the local Asylum Brigade and shortly after assisted by the City Fire Brigade the fire gutted the premises leaving nothing but the outer walls standing.

I can only presume that the premises were never rebuilt–the nearby properties are a 20th Century development but no-one lays claim to the gates They seem uncared for and do not appear on the adjacent properties' Land Registry Records. I may attempt to have them "Listed" in order to protect them for future generations.

With acknowledgement to the Totnes Weekly Times. The Gloucester Citizen, the Western Times and the Exeter & Plymouth Gazette.

If YOU happen to notice a product of the company that hasn't got a mention on this site let me know. 08.09.2016