The oldest sweet shop in England, as its name not by chance suggests, is the oldest sweet shop in England. Of course, It’s a right claim, but also modest, as the Oldest Sweet Shop in England is, in fact, also the oldest candy store in the world, as recognized by Guinness World Records.
The shop is located in the small but historic market town of Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire, in a building that began life as an apothecary in the early 1600s. The sweet shop opened in 1827, and many of the original fittings remain, including the vintage wooden counter, the oil lamps, the antique measuring scales, and the old cash register.
And then, of course, there are the sweets.
Rows upon rows of glass confectioner’s jars line the shelves, each filled with colorful candies that recent generations may not recognize at all.
Most of them are traditional sweets, some of which are now hard to find elsewhere. Among the classics are so-called humbugs, aniseed balls, pear drops, and lemon bon bons, as well as plenty of chocolate and fudge. More recent vintage sweets also include popping candy, Parma Violets, kola cubes, and Sherbet Fountains.
Licorice (or liquorice, for all the Brits out there) is also sold in various shapes and sizes but, for a proper local classic, you can buy a bag of Pontefract Cakes: small, circular black sweets made of licorice that have been manufactured for centuries in Pontefract, about a one-hour drive to the southeast of Pateley Bridge and, according to a sweet local legend, they are among the oldest in the world.
For the last 20 years, the Oldest Sweet Shop in England has been run by Keith Tordoff, a former detective. In December 2019, however, he announced that he’d be running for election as the county’s next police, fire, and crime commissioner. And with that came another major announcement: the Oldest Sweet Shop in England was now up for sale.
A fairly reasonable £399,000 (about $520,000), for a piece of history. And It seems that no one has yet purchased the business….
Images from web – Google Research