About Southgate Estates


After launching in 2007 as a modern alternative to traditional estate agents, the company quickly became established as a leading player in estate agency in the Exeter area. Our ethical approach received interest from far afield, and we even featured in the Daily Telegraph as a new approach within an industry that carried a somewhat shady reputation.

Since then, the focus has been very much on providing the highest standards to our customers. Both in terms of working harder to offer a specialised and personal service and in working to high ethical standards. After outgrowing our original branding, we re-branded the agency from SaleBoards to Southgate Estates in 2018, giving us an opportunity to market properties with a premium brand.


When Southgate Estates selected our name, it was done so carefully, to reflect the rich heritage of the site of our office. Contrary to some suggestions, it has nothing to do with a certain football manager, who apparently did consider a career in estate agency. If you look at the pavement outside our office, you will see some elaborately coloured paving. Under the ground here, are the remains of Exeter’s famous Southgate – a grand Roman Gatehouse and later a prolific prison.

The gatehouse was originally built by the Romans as part of the city wall and fortifications for the city in approximately AD140. It stood there for more than 1700 years, during which time it underwent some reinforcements and development. Believed to be one of the most substantial and best-preserved Roman gatehouses in the world, it was sadly demolished in 1819, paving the way for the modernisation of the city. In its latter days, the Southgate was used for both a Felons and a Debtors prison. Life was tough and the dungeon-like rooms offered dreadful living conditions. To make it worse, debtors and felons had to pay to be held for their stay. It is widely believed that the phrase ‘living on a shoestring’ originated on this site. Prisoners, starved of food, would dangle their shoelaces through the open windows for passers-by to tie food to.