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28 Pavement

The location in York of Joseph Rowntree’s (Senior) (1801-1859) original grocer’s shop at 28 Pavement, York, where many apprentices lived and worked, including George Cadbury. Purchased in 1822, it was also the birthplace of all the Rowntree boys, John, Joseph, and Henry. Joseph Senior came to York on his 21st birthday to attend an auction at The Elephant and Castle Inn in Skeldergate with the intention of purchasing a property in York and even had to sober up the auctioneer by putting his head in a bucket of water. The Rowntree family moved out to Blossom Street in 1845.

At 28 Pavement, George Cadbury came to train in 1857. Records state that George worked specifically under Joseph Rowntree in the 1850s, and that most likely he served not as an apprentice but as an assistant.  George Cadbury went on to develop the great chocolate manufacturing business in Birmingham with his elder brother Richard. Their cousin, Richard Cadbury Barrow, whose mother was a Cadbury, also served an apprenticeship with the Rowntrees in 1848, before going on to become a tea and coffee merchant in Birmingham – the shop later well-known as Barrows.

Although it is sometimes stated that Lewis Fry from the Bristol firm served an apprenticeship at the shop, there is no evidence that this was so. A man named Lewis Fry is shown in contemporary photographs but he was from a different family altogether.

Timeline of 28 Pavement

1822, June 10: Building bought at auction by Joseph Rowntree from Scarborough, aged 21.

1823: ‘Joseph Rowntree Grocer and Tea dealer’ – registered at this address.

1832: Joseph marries Sarah Stephenson from Manchester.

1845: Family moved to Blossom Street but Pavement shop maintained.

1848: Family moved to Bootham.

1851: A manager with eight apprentices and four to five domestic servants at 28 Pavement.

1858: Business at 28 Pavement known as Rowntree & Sons: (the sons being John and Joseph junior).

1859: November 4, Joseph Rowntree senior dies.

1876: 28 Pavement (which by now extends into 26-27 Pavement) known as ‘Rowntree, Hills & Co, grocers and teadealers’.

1884: Business disposed to Thomas Hills and styled Rowntree Hills & Co.

1892: Firm taken over by Thomas Coning of 39 Goodramgate who kept Rowntree name.

1896: Coning & Sons.

1932: Street numbers are changed in Pavement.

1943: July. Coning business at Pavement sold to JB Collinson and Sons. Now no.10 Pavement.

1967: Acropolis Restaurant.

1968: Rowntrees Grocery Supermarket.

1976: Vacant.

1982: Corinthia Restaurant.

1984: Acropolis Restaurant.

1985: Vacant and under alteration.

1987: Pizza Hut.

Kids’ Quiz

Where was Joseph Rowntree’s parents’ grocer shop?