General Lawrence and his tower. 
A Zoom talk by Dr Sue Knox on Thursday 5th August 2021 at 6pm. 

This talk will explore the work of General Stringer Lawrence, who became known as the “Father of the Indian Army”, and the story of the Palk family of Haldon House. Robert Palk built the tower in 1788 as a memorial to General Lawrence who had been a friend and fellow employee of the East India Company in the 18th century. During Robert Palk’s lifetime the Tower served as a venue for elaborate entertaining, including a Royal visit, but sadly his descendants did not share the business skills which had produced his massive fortune. The vast estate, including most of Torquay, was gradually sold off and the family sank into bankruptcy and ignominy. The Tower came into private hands in the 20th century and was eventually taken over by the Stringer Lawrence Memorial Trust. It has recently been immaculately restored in the care of the Devon Historic Buildings Trust, and is often open to the public during the summer months, and available to hire for weddings and other special events throughout the year.

Dr Sue Knox is a retired doctor, and spent most of her professional career working at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital; on her retirement she became a Red Coat Guide for the city of Exeter. She is a Trustee of the Stringer Lawrence Memorial Trust which owns the Haldon Belvedere. The Trust was set up in 1994 by Edward Dale, the last surviving private owner, and was charged with restoring and maintaining the Tower as a memorial to General Stringer Lawrence.

Tickets are £5 per device accessing the talk. 
To purchase a ticket please call us on 01548 830832 or email Please note that payments are non-refundable. 

Booking will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 3rd August and the joining instructions will be issued to participants by email later that day. You will need to supply a valid phone number and email address for our records.

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Where we are

Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, Devon, PL21 0TW

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