An inn has occupied the current site of The Exchange at No.1 Fore Street since 1830. At that time, it was one of four inns located in Ivybridge. The other three were The Grocer’s Arms on Exeter Road, The Ivybridge Hotel on Western Road and the London Hotel.
In 1746 it is known that Richard Seldon, a wood-turner was leasing a property on this site from the Rogers of Blachford, then lords of the manor. In 1812 John Seldon, Richard’s grandson, inherited the property. Whilst a painter and glazier by trade, he was a very enterprising man and is believed to have been responsible for the construction of the terrace of four small houses which originally stood adjacent to his property. His enterprise did not stop there as he had an ambition to turn his own property into a public-house. This unfortunately was frustrated by a long-standing prohibitive clause within his lease, preventing the sale of liquor, whilst his landlord Sir John Rogers, was also opposed to such an idea.
In 1830, with the passing of the Beerhouse Act, Seldon’s vision was to become reality. The Act encouraged the opening of beerhouses in an attempt to draw the poorer classes away from the consumption of gin. This, together with Sir John’s change of heart in withdrawing his opposition, paved the way for the establishment of a public house. Perhaps to commemorate the accession of King William IV, Seldon named his house the King’s Arms.