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.
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.