140 years specialising in the supply and manufacture of equipment for the study of the Natural Sciences

Equipment to identify, record, collect, store and observe insect life is all here. You can browse our products and order online, or we have a fully illustrated colour catalogue available on request, free of charge.


Our History

Our History

Watkins & Doncaster was founded in 1874 by William Watkins in Eastbourne. His house, called 'The Villa Sphinx' was named after the Hawkmoth and gained the nickname 'The Villa Stinks' as a result of the all-pervading smell of moth balls. He established a butterfly farm in his grounds, three-quarters of an acre being devoted to rearing Lepidoptera collected from all over the world.

In 1879 Watkins moved the business to 36 The Strand, London - pictured here. He formed a partnership with Arthur Doncaster which only lasted until 1880 when William Watkins left to continue independently.

Read more at Our History Page