Pinces Gardens, St Thomas, EX2 9DT
Pinces Gardens stands on the site of William Lucombe's nursery founded in 1720.
The most famous introduction of this notable nursery was the Lucombe or Exeter Oak, a semi-evergreen hybrid of the Turkey Oak and Cork Oak. In the 1820s, the nursery became 'Lucombe, Pince & Co.' was famous for its "Wonder of the West" strain of cinerarias, calceolarias, and an extensive rockery. By late Victorian times, the gardens were regarded as one of Exeter's finest sights, drawing visitors from far afield to admire its exotic plants (palms, orchids, other sub-tropicals). 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 to this day.
In the nineteenth 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 the City Council bought the site and converted it into a pleasure ground.
Today the park is home to Pinces Bowls Club and Pinces Croquet Club.