Thomas Smith’s Trug Shop

The original maker of The Royal Sussex Trug


Thomas Smith’s Trug Shop is the original makers of the famous Sussex Trug Basket having been designed in Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux by Thomas Smith in 1829. Trugs were first made famous when Queen Victoria purchased some personally from Thomas at The Great Exhibition and then awarded the company her royal warrant.

Our Royal Sussex Traditional Trugs are made using locally coppiced sweet chestnut for the handle and rim and cricket bat willow for the boards. The willow is the by-product of the English Cricket Bat Industry and is harvested in England. Three trees are planted for each one harvested, thus maintaining the supply of willow in our lovely countryside.

There are several styles of Trug available in the shop in various sizes for many purposes indoors and out in the garden. Indeed many Trugs are used commercially, for example, as hamper bases for corporate gifts.

  • Royal Sussex Traditional Trugs
  • South Down Contemporary Trug
  • Wealden Sussex Trug which has chestnut frames with birch ply boards
  • Small chestnut sheep hurdles
  • View at gardening & lifestyle shows in England and Europe
  • Demonstrations and talks on Trug Making and its history
  • Trug Making appreciation courses in house and with the Weald & Downland Museum

The company also offers the South Down Contemporary Trug made from European and Scandinavian birch ply from sustainable, certificated, resources. There are three different styles in natural colour (a light cream, which darkens upon exposure to sunlight) and several colours available on the handle and rim. These have been hand-made in Sussex since the early 1970’s and have proven to be very strong and durable, just like the Royal Sussex Traditional version.

Trugs are perfect for all those jobs around the garden and, hung over the arm, allow both hands to be used for pruning and picking. There is also a special Trug for flowers and even one that will hold a nice bottle of local wine or sparkling wine.

Our company is a trusted name in our industry and we supply individual and trade customers all around the world. The company is now owned by Robin Tuppen who has been in the industry for over 37 years.

Trade Memberships / Qualifications / Awards

Robin is a Yeoman Member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, a member of the Basketmakers’ Association, the Pole Lathe Turners and Green Wood Workers Association and the Sussex and Surrey Coppice Group.

In the past Robin has been a member of Gardenex (export trade association) and was chairman of the board for four years. He was also a director of the Garden Industry Manufacturers’ Association and worked for three years on a Department of Trade & Industry Gardening Task Force.


Red Lion Hall, New Road, Magham Down, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 1PN

Telephone: 01323 871640


Website: Thomas Smith’s Trug Shop

Social Media

Twitter: SmithsTrugs

Facebook: thomassmithstrugshop

Facebook: Thomas-Smiths-Trugs-224767854546294

Facebook: robin.tuppen/


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