Etnam (previously East) Street was the last piece of major town planning by the monks at Leominster Priory. The road was laid out in the mid-1200s.
The old road leading east away from Corn Square (of which Grange Walk is the last remnant) was moved 100 metres south, and burgage plots were laid out on either side of the road. In medieval times, such town plots were owned by the lord (in Leominster’s case, the monastery) and rented out. For traders wanting to sell goods, roadside frontage for their shops was in high demand, so the plots were long and narrow, with outbuildings at the back, behind the shop.
This pattern can still be seen on town maps today. Those who rented burgage plots had trading rights and were allowed to pasture their animals on certain fields. There have been many different businesses in the street including pubs, bakers, butchers, a bellhanger and a locksmith.
Images of advertising sourced from British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) and The British Library Board.
© 2022 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited.
Images of Leominster shopfronts with kind permission from Herefordshire Museum Service.