Summary

Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.

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Brief description of site

William Lucombe's nursery was founded on this site in 1720. The nursery became Lucombe, Pince & Co in the 1820s. In 1912 Exeter City Council bought the site and converted it into a pleasure ground.

Brief history of site

The first of Exeter's notable nurseries was William Lucombe's at St Thomas, founded on this site in 1720.

Location information:

Address: Pinces Road, EX2 9ED

Locality: Exeter

Local Authorities:

Devon; Exeter

Historical County: Devon

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 193 Grid Ref: SX913912
Latitude: 50.7102 Longitude: -3.54089

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

This is a municipal park for general public use.

Key information:

Form of site: urban park

Purpose of site: public park

Context or principal building: public park

Site first created: 1720

Main period of development: Early 18th century

Survival: Extant

Description

Owner: Exeter City Council

Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter

Site designation(s)

Conservation Area

External web site link: http://www.exeter.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1970

History

The first of Exeter's notable nurseries was William Lucombe's at St Thomas, which was founded on this site in 1720. The most famous introduction was the Lucombe Oak. The nursery became Lucombe, Pince & Co in the 1820s. Their catalogue (dating from around 1870) featured an illustration of part of their Italian garden. The nursery, shaded by fine old Lucombe oaks, was famous for its 'Wonder of the West' strain of cinerarias, calceolarias, and an extensive rockery.

In the 19th century the nursery was renowned for its vast glasshouses packed with orchids, gardenias and rare palms. The nursery was sold in 1890 to The Exeter Nursery Company. In 1912 Exeter City Council bought the site and converted it into a pleasure ground.

The 45 yard long pergola of mature wisteria was one of the main features of the nursery in the 1880s and is still the most impressive feature today. The pergola is a very light construction of metal hoops and is reminiscent of the pleached alleys in Tudor gardens. The simple lodge and pavilions are of traditional design and, together with the well kept bowling green and croquet lawn, give a satisfying feeling to the pleasure ground.

Features

pergola

The 45 yard long pergola of mature wisteria was one of the main features of the nursery in the 1880s and is still the most impressive feature today. The pergola is a very light construction of metal hoops and is reminiscent of the pleached alleys in Tudor gardens.

pavilion

bowling green

croquet lawn

References

Organisations associated with this site

Devon Gardens Trust

Sources of information

A History of British Gardening

Hadfield, Miles A History of British Gardening (London: John Murray, 1979)

Devon gardens : an historical survey

Pugsley, Steven Devon gardens : an historical survey (Stroud: Sutton, 1994) 92

Images

  • Pinces Gardens, Exeter Gates. 1997.

    Pinces Gardens, Exeter Gates. 1997.

  • Pinces Gardens Exeter Wisteria Tunnel 1997.

    Pinces Gardens Exeter Wisteria Tunnel 1997.