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GREAT FIRE AT RAWLEIGH FACTORY IN 1869 AS REPORTED IN THE NORTH DEVON JOURNAL

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In around 1863, the Messrs Shapland and Petter established a water-powered factory at Rawleigh where it regularly employed one hundred hands in the manufacture of suites of furniture, marble mantel-pieces, mouldings, beading and other general fittings. Large quantities of these goods are sent to London, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Scotland and Ireland.
The photograph, used with the permission of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon, shows the factory buildings behind the row of adjacent cottages, known today as Raleigh Cottages. The history of the factory is described in considerable detail in this transcription of a two-column, 3500-word article in the North Devon Journal on 22nd April 1869 following the total destruction of its eastern wing and a number of adjacent cottages by fire.
Many thanks to the North Devon Journal.

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