If these walls could talk…

Here I am, sitting at the desk browsing through the shop photos from our photographer when I come across some shots that I know were taken here, but I can’t immediately put my finger on where exactly in the shop…

It got me thinking, we so often busy our minds thinking about lots of different things, that we don’t notice the things right around us! We are so lucky to be based here, so today we are taking a moment to really appreciate our beautiful shop and its history.

The Harrogate district has a rich history full of colourful characters, sensational stories, religious rebellions, proud uprisings, infamous intrigues and the great rivalries of the wars of the roses. Perhaps the most famous of Harrogate’s history is its rise in popularity as the leading spa in Europe during the late 1800’s. Offering ‘the cure’ from the spring waters of the naturally occurring artesian wells, Harrogate became renowned as a second home for visiting royalty.

Royal Parade was built in the 1840’s, just after the construction of the Royal Pump Room. Royal Parade was named because it was indeed where the Crowned Heads of Europe promenaded and was known as ‘the place to be’. It became the ‘place to stay’ as it directly overlooked Harrogate’s most prominent spa, The Royal Pump Room, where literally thousands of people came to take the waters each day. And there also lies our beautiful little shop, steeped in a history all of its own.

Bespoke eyewear resides in what was originally the Royal Parade chemist, once owned by the Windermer family. Our shop front and interior is Grade II listed and dates back to 1845. The shop is full of stunning, original mirror backed mahogany with original gold leaf draw labels for medicines and medical supplies.

The Victorian Society from London come and visit our premises every year, and share with us the little golden nuggets of history that they have discovered, like the fact that during the Victorian times, our shop was visited by the Tsar of Russia!

In the 70’s and 80’s, an episode of ‘Heartbeat’ was filmed here, also, ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’, and ‘The French Collection’.

The shop is a real attraction with tourists who often come in to take a look and delve into the history of this beautiful place. It really is something to behold!

We tell them what we know, but if these walls could talk, what stories would they tell? What secrets do they hold?