Harry Hems’ Luckie Horseshoe studios

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Harry Hems’ Luckie Horseshoe studios

In 1866 a young carver named Harry Hems came to Exeter to seek his fortune. As he walked from the station towards the centre of the city he saw a lucky horseshoe lying in the gutter. On picking it up he vowed he would one day hang the horseshoe over one of the finest buildings in Exeter.

By 1881 Hems had built up a business in sculpture and ecclesiastical work which employed about 70 men. His firm had worked on over 400 churches and 100 public buildings. In that year he employed Robert Medley Fulford, a leading local architect, to design new studios in Longbrook Street. They were excellently equipped; by the 1880s they had a tramway, telephone extensions, good lighting and a huge moveable crane. The building still stands in Longbrook Street.

Acknowledgments: Westcountry Studies Library