The Shapland and Petter factory was established by cabinetmaker Henry Shapland (1823-1909), following a trip to America in 1848. While there, he saw an ingenious new machine which he realised could be used for cabinetmaking. Upon his return to Barnstaple, he reproduced the machine from notes he’d made and set up business in a mill. He later met Henry Petter, an accountant, and together they achieved rapid success. In 1888 the mill burned down. Undeterred, they moved to larger premises. The same factory now produces high-quality joinery.