Roaming with RAMM Challenge 4 – Answer
And the answer is………………….
Harry Hems’ lucky horse shoe. Harry Hems came to Exeter in 1866 to seek his fortune. Hems was a master stone sculptor and wood worker who came to Exeter from London to work on RAMM’s building in 1868. One of the many sculptures Hems created was the statue of Leofric featured in last week’s Roaming with RAMM challenge. RAMM has several examples of Harry Hems work in its collections, if you would like to find out more have a look by using our collections explorer: rammcollections.org.uk
The story goes that on arriving in Exeter Hems found a horse shoe in the street, and kept it as an omen of good luck. He quickly developed a thriving business in the city. In 1881 he employed Robert Medley Fulford, a leading local architect, to design the new studios in Longbrook Street. This workshop still survives in Exeter today and is currently ‘Harry’s’ restaurant which still features his ‘lucky horse shoe’ hanging over the front door. At its peak his firm employed over 100 craftsmen and worked on over 400 churches and 100 public buildings.
There are lots of ways you can learn more about Harry Hems and his collection online:
Learn how to read a church and look for Harry’s handiwork amongst the carvings with Church Detective
Harry Hems worked on many commissions in Exeter. The Harry Hems trail guides you around a selection of his surviving works. The trail is optimised for tablets and smart phones.