Hingham Shops

Hingham is still a thriving town with a wide range of shops catering for most needs. Until the 1950’s there were over fifty businesses which meant that Hingham was almost self-sufficient. You could buy the baby’s layette, your wedding dress, furnish your house and buy everything you needed from the town.

Blackwell’s  (No 1 Market Place)

Date: 1892 – 1915

This was a china and glass shop owned by John William Blackwell.One half was devoted to high class ware while the other side was for domestic china and pottery.

Harwood’s (No 1 Market Place)

This again was a shop selling china and owned by Herbert Harwood.

Hingham House (No 1 Market Place)

Date: 2002 – 2005

A gift and flower shop owned by Ms Newson.

Blackwell’s (No 2 Market Place)

Date: 1892 – 1915

John Blackwell ran this shop together with No 1. This side of the business was for drapery and grocery.

Elsy’s (No 2 Market Place)

Date: 1793

George Elsy was recorded as being a glass and china man although we cannot be certain that he traded here; however from 1830 – 1847 it is recorded as being owned by another George Elsy (his son?) who sold glass, china, ironmongery and stationery and was also licensed to sell silver plate.

Harmer’s (No 2 Market Place)

Date: 1857 – 1860

William Harmer continued the Elsy’s business.

Whitear’s (No 2 Market Place)

Date: 1860 – 1891

Thomas Whitear is recorded in Kelly’s (1883) as being a grocer, draper and wine and spirit merchant.

Lee’s Stores (No 2 Market Place)

Date: 1937 – 1965

Jack Lee ran the shop together with his sisters Dulcie and Alice,. Jack and Dulcie sold groceries on the right-hand side of the shop whilst Alice dealt in drapery and wool. A doorway on the left led to a smaller room where they sold crockery and pans.

Joyce’s / Barry’s (Flaxman) (No 2 Market Place)

The main shop was known as Joyce’s sold drapery and clothes. The smaller shop on the left was used for the sale of groceries under the name of Barry’s. Since the death of Joyce, her son, Barry, has used the whole of the premises for the sale of army surplus goods and more recently Christmas decorations.

Cooper’s (No 4 Market Place)

Taylor Cooper  traded as a grocer here until his death in 1761.

Howard’s (No 4 Market Place)

Francis Howard, a woollen and linen draper, first rented the shop on a yearly tenancy from Richard Booty, the owner. He purchased the building in 1801 and continued trading until his death in 1813.

Howard’s (No 4 Market Place)

Charles John Howard traded as a wine, spirit and hop merchant. He later moved his business to No.6.

Alexander’s (No 4 Market Place)

Date: 1822 – 1841

John Alexander traded here as a grocers and drapers.

Driver’s (No 4 Market Place)

Date: 1841

Samuel Driver dealt in oil, pitch and tar.

Lucas’ (no 4 Market Place)

Date: 1841 – 1854

Samuel James Lucas ran the shop as a grocer but was declared bankrupt in 1854.

Clarke’s (No 4 Market Place)

Edmund West Clarke traded from here as a builder, cabinet maker and upholsterer. Thomas Parmentier Viall married Ellen the daughter of Mr Clarke and became a partner in the business by 1875. A few years later Viall was running it as an ironmongery.

Turner’s (No 4 Market Place)

Date: 1888 – 1991

Charles Turner started his career as an assistant at Clarke’s and by 1888 he owned the business. In 1914 Charles described himself as a dealer in hardware, ironmongery, groceries, earthenware, tobacco, boots and small wares.  At the back of the premises was a small warehouse where up to 20lb of gun-powder was stored; across the yard were buildings used for storing a lorry and van with paraffin and 100 gallons of petrol. Charles Turner died in 1941 and three of his children, Ted, Tom and Gertie carried on the business until Ted was over 80 years old.

The Vintage Pharmacy (No 4 Market Place)

In 1991, Mark Pritchard moved his chemists’ business to the Market Place from Bond St. He traded here until 2002.


Moss Pharmacies (No 4 Market Place)

Date: 2002 – 2009

The business was sold to Moss Pharmacies and was subsequently renamed as the Alliance Pharmacy.


Boots (No 4 Market Place)

Date: 2009 –

Alliance Pharmacy merged with Boots in 2009 and their name now appears above the door.


Clarke’s (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1881 – 1892

Louisa Clarke ran a Tobacconists and general shop from here.


Howes (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1901 – 1911

John Howes and his daughter, Mary Anne Freebury,  ran a fish-mongers from here.


Fawkes (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1911 – 1916

Charles Fawkes continued as the fish-monger.


Purdy’s (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1922 – 1957

George (Rocky) Purdy continued as fishmonger for some 30 years and also sold fruit potatoes and poultry. On Fridays and Saturdays he had a fish and chip business. He also smoked hams, kippers and bloaters in an outbuilding where herrings were also wind-dried. His wife Beattie carried on the business until 1957.


Jane’s (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1957 – 1966

Kenny Herwyn, trading under the name “Jane’s” continued with the fish trade, combining it with the sale of flowers until about 1966.


Sadd’s (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1966 – 1989

Terry Sadd bought the premises and, after extensive alterations, transferred his builders’ merchants from just down Norwich St.


Rowland’s Country Furniture (No 14 Market Place)

Date: 1991 – 2009

Paul and Zena Rowland moved their Furniture business here from their previous premises in Scoulton. Furniture was made in the rear building and the front rooms were used to sell the furniture and decorative items.


Jolly’s Bakery (where the public conveniences now stand)

Date: 1864 – 1869

James Jolly was listed here as a baker in 1864 and 1872 and his wife, Emily, as a baker in 1868 – 1869.


Sewell’s Bakery (where the public conveniences now stand)

Date: 1881

John Sewell, a labourer lived here with his wife Emma being a baker.


Thurston’s Bakery (where the public conveniences now stand)

Emma Sewell’s aunt, Mary Thurston, succeeded to the Bakery.



Ollett’s Bakery (where the public conveniences now stand)

Sometime between 1901 and 1911, it is reported that Mr Ollett continued the Bakery.



Fellowe’s (where the public conveniences now stand)

Date: 1838 – 1851

Robert Fellowe traded in groceries, drapery and tea.



King’s (where the public conveniences now stand)

Date: 1861 – 1892

Henry King carried on a shoe-making business here until his sudden death in 1883. His son Edward continued the business until 1892.



Lister’s (where the public conveniences now stand)

Date: 1892 – 1933

Henry John “Pedlar” Lister was recorded as a hawker in 1892, a hawker and shopkeeper from 1896 to 1916, a grocer in 1915 and as a shopkeeper from 1922 to 1933.


Mrs Glover’s (where the public conveniences now stand)

Date: 1933 until the late 1930s

Mrs Glover was the daughter of Henry Lister and she succeeded to the business. She sold hardware, saucepans, paraffin, seeds, sherbet, liquorice and sweets.


Vince’s (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1848 – 1854

James Vince traded in grocery, linen, drapery and earthenware. His wife, Ann, was using the shop as a watch-makers establishment.


Dawe’s (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1883

William Dawes was running a watch repairing business here.


Larkman’s (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1890 – 1901

Harriet Larkman took over James Vince’s grocery, drapery and earthenware shop.


Whitear’s (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1901 – 1911

George Whitear moved his business as a grocer and draper here from No 2 Market Place.


Cooke’s (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1911 – c 1920

Herbert Cooke was running the grocery business.


Forster’s (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1920s

Alfred Forster, a boot maker, was here in the 1920s. He later moved to other shops in the Market Place.


Shingles’ (No 15 Market Place)

Date: 1929 – 1938

Robert George Shingles had a second-hand shop here, also selling shoes and sweets.


Lane’s (No 15 Market Place)

Mr Lane traded in drapery and clothes, (including second-hand), scout uniforms and furniture.



Hoy’s (No 16 Market Place)

John Hoy, watch and clockmaker traded here. His son William George Hoy took over by 1908 and continued until 1925.



Money’s (No 16 Market Place)

Walter Money started a fish and chip business here in 1934. He also sold Lyon’s ice-cream. Upstairs, he sold tea, coffee and refreshments.



Farrant’s (Nos 15/16 Market Place)

In 1942, “Bunny” Farrant bought both parts of the house. He traded as a greengrocer in No 15 and continued the fish and chip business in No 16. He also made “King Don’s” potato crisps.



Ted and Dot’s (No 15/16 Market Place)

Ted Scott continued the combined business.



Playford’s (Nos 15/16 Market Place)

Date: 1976 – 1995

Dennis and Nancy Playford bought the combined businesses, also selling fresh fish and flowers. In 1991 the fish and chip shop closed, trading continuing from a mobile unit. In the course of time the greengrocery specialised in flowers. That closed in 1995.



Mongers (Nos 15/16 Market Place)

Date: 1995 –

The premises were bought by Sam Coster who opened an architectural salvage business, trading under the name of “Mongers”. The ground floor of both shops and the garden are used for display.



Phineas Pitts (No 18 Market Place)

Date: 1841 – 1851

Phineas Pitts traded here as a tailor, draper and insurance agent for the Sun Fire Office.



Cooper’s (No 20 Market Place)

Date: 1890 – 1950

John Cooper moved his shoemaking business here from No 22. He was succeeded by two of his sons, William and Frederick. The room to the left was the workshop and the right hand room was the shop.


Pitts Bakery (No21 Market Place)

Philip Pitts, miller and baker, traded here from 1813. He was succeeded by his son George Waller Pitts in 1846. G W Pitts was declared bankrupt in 1885.



Burt’s Bakery (No 21 Market Place)

Date: 1885 –

Horace David Burt Senior had worked for the Pitts as an apprentice and then as a journeyman baker. When George Pitts became bankrupt, he bought the business and the family still own the Bakery. In 1915 the business passed to two of Horace’s sons, Horace David junior and Leonard Lloyd; they traded as Burt Brothers. Horace junior left the business and Leonard was joined by his son Bernard in 1942; they traded as L L Burt & Son. Leonard retired in 1952 and Bernard and his wife Joan carried on the business until their retirement in 1987. The business was then leased to Mark and Mandy Hansen and two years later the lease passed to the Wheatsheaf Bakery of Attleborough (run by Richard Broad); it then traded as “The Village Bakery”. The Bakery is now back in the control of David Burt and trades as “The Hingham Bakery”.



Nicholson’s Butchers (No 23 Market Place)

Date: Until 1883

John Nicholson ran this as a butchery and was followed by his son John Norton Spence Nicholson.



Semmence’s Butchers (No 23 Market Place)

Date: 1900 – 1962

Alfred Semmence had started a butchers’ business at the Unicorn Public House in about 1880. He transferred to the Market Place. Alfred’s son, young Alfred joined the firm in 1931 when it became Alfred Semmence & Son. The slaughter house was in Copper Lane. In 1962 Maurice Semmence, with his son Richard, moved the business to a modern building at 24 Market Place. Richard carried on the business until he retired in 2007.



Jenness Butcher (No 31 Market Place)

Date: 1881 – 1901

Sarah Jenness took over an existing butchery business here by 1881; combining the trades of pork butcher andcarter. She was succeeded by her son William in 1891.



Howchin’s Butchers (No 31 Market Place)

Date: 1901 – 1911

Walter Howchin started his butchery business here before transferring to No 38 Market Place.



Brownlow & Sons (N0 31 Market Place)

Date: 1911 – 1930

They sold jams, pickles and cakes made on the premises.



Walter Payne Barber Shop (No 31 Market Place)

Walter moved here from No 35. He was also a tobacconist, sold watches and was a bookie’s runner.




Derek Myhill Barber Shop (No 31 Market Place)

As well as barbering, Mr Myhill soldboots, watches, garden seats, seeds, tobacco and items for bicycles; he also took in shoe repairs.




Osborne’s (Now demolished, was No 33 Market Place)

Date: 1861 – 1871

George Woodbine Osborne traded here as a grocer.




Cooper’s (now demolished, was No 33)

Date: 1911 – 1965

William Cooper was a wardrobe and furniture dealer. He was succeeded by his daughter Minnie who dealt mainly in second-hand clothes, shoes and drapery.




Etteridge’s Newsagents (No34 Market Place)

Date: 1931 – 1959

Philip William Etteridge sold newspapers, tobacco, stationery and toys.




Lee’s Newsagents (No 34/35 Market Place)

Date: 1959 – 2006

Clifford and Joan Lee bought No34 and also bought No 35 in 1970 and quadrupled the size of the shop. They were succeeded by their son Graham and his wife Jill until they retired in 2006.



Dionne News & Confectionery (No 34/35 Market Place)

Date: 2006 –

Alfred Jeevarajah and his wife Ann are the current newsagents.



Bakery (No 35 Market Place)

No 35 was a bakery for many years. Proprietors were Charles Hardy (1841), Richard Lilley (1851), Benjamin Murrell (1861 – 1871), Thomas Hunt (1891) and Fred Tofts (1901).




Model Dairies (No 35 Market Place)

Date: 1930s

Preston’s Model Dairies traded here.




Middleton’s Saddler & Harness Maker (No 37 Market Place)

Date: 1869 – 1925

John Middleton started his business here in 1869 and was followed by his son, John Wesley Middleton who became a cycle agent.




Foster’s Shoemakers (No 37 Market Place)

Date: 1925 – 1932

Alfred Foster worked here and John Foster had a carpentry business at the back.




Lewis Purple’s Clocks & Watches (No 36 Market Place)

Date: 1932 – 1970

Lewis Purple moved his shop here from Bond St. As well as selling clocks and watches, he also charged accumulators. Later he dealt in bicycles, wirelesses and televisions.




Mrs Purple’s Café (No 37 Market Place)

Lewis Purple’s wife Dorothy ran a café here and had a small sweet shop.





Margaret Sheridan (Nos 36/37 Market Place)

Date: 1970 – 2010

Tim and Libby Denny bought the interior design business from Watton and traded here for 30 years.





Hingham Furniture (Nos 36/37 Market Place)

Date: 2012 –

The shop now sells furniture.





Houchin’s Butchers (No38 Market Place)

Date: 1911 – 1937

Walter Houchin brought his pork butchery business here from No 31.





The Hingham Butchers

Date: 2013 –

Barry Drewery brought his business here from his previous premises in Bond St.