School Lane

School Lane connects Etnam Street and Corn Square. Etnam Street was laid out by the monastery with burgage plots available for rent in the mid-1200s.

School Lane appears to have been laid out a little later, as a cut-through allowing travellers who had entered town from the east to get straight to the heart of the town quickly. At busy times, the travellers were therefore effectively squeezed into a bottleneck and slowed down, so this was a prime site for shops. 16 & 17 Corn Square is one of the oldest buildings, dating from the 1400s.

Although the shop front now faces onto Corn Square, evidence suggests that the building housed four small basic lock up shops, each facing onto School Lane. These were speculative units built by the monastery to rent out. Later, this building may have housed the school that gave the street its name. 15 Corn Square, on the other side of the junction of School Lane & Corn Square, dates from much the same time, and may also have had shop fronts facing onto School Lane.


8 School Lane

Now Ye Olde Sweet Shop

Advert for 8 School Lane, 1939.

Number 6 and Number 8 School Lane are both in the same building, which has a timber frame and was built in the late 1600s, probably on the site of an earlier similar building. The shop fronts of both date from the early 20th century.

Newspaper advertisements show that number 8 has long been a place to buy good things to eat. From 1928 until 1959, it was a bakery, café and tearoom, run by Mr and Mrs McEwan and family.


Image Acknowledgements

Images of advertising sourced from British Newspaper Archive ( and The British Library Board.
© 2022 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited.

Images of Leominster shopfronts with kind permission from Herefordshire Museum Service.