Clocks and watches
The fascinating horology collection includes clocks, watches and workshop tools. Most of the watch collection was bequeathed by C.R. Venn in 1928 and is one of the most important outside London. Clockmaking was not highly organised in Devon and some local makers acted also as wholesale dealers and retailers, offering materials, parts and finished clocks made elsewhere. In rural areas some combined their horological activities with other trades such as ironmongery, gunsmithing and even taxidermy. Records suggest that at the beginning of the 18th century there were only ten or so clockmakers active in Exeter. Even so, the area produced some notable makers such as Ambrose Hawkins (d.1705) and Jacob Lovelace (d.1755) of Exeter, Abell Cottey of Crediton (d.1711) and William Stumbells of Totnes (d.1769).