8a High Street

8a High Street

Town house turned shop premises


8a High Street was built in the late eighteenth century, most likely as a private town house but has been a shop certainly from around the 1830s when a sketch, shown below, illustrated the building with bow shop windows either side of the entrance door.

In the 1840s it was occupied by Chemist, and Grocer William Veale Matthews who served as Portreeve of Yeovil from 1846 to 1849.

Based on local trade directories, the shop premises were later those of James McMillan Jnr, described as a Gentlemen's Hosier, Hatter, Glover and Shirtmaker between 1895 and 1907. Between 1919 and 1935 it was the premises of Gent's Outfitter Albert Daniel Shute.

The following edited description is from the Somerset Historic Environment Record -

Town House, probably, now a shop. Late C18. Brick, now colour-washed, with plain clay tiled roof; brick chimney stack to left-hand side. 3-storeys of 2-bays. Modern shopfront occupies the whole width of the ground floor. The 2-first floor windows C20 joinery windows in plain openings; two 9-light sashes to second floor. Small scale stone cornice with low stone parapet over.

The property is currently (November 2015) for sale at £270,000.




This sketch, made by Madeley to illustrate his map of 1831, shows the Borough seen from High Street - roughly the view seen today from the north end of King George Street. The Shambles is to the left and the Market House is to the right. The buildings at far left still stand today, that to the left is Clement White's shop, today's 8 High Street, at this time occupied by Benjamin Ryall, a draper whose name appears above the door. After Ryall's death in 1856 the premises were run by his son, John. 8a High Street is to its right.


A very early photograph, dating to about 1860, looks across the Borough to High Street. Overshadowing No 8a at centre (immediately behind the man at centre), the bank building dominating the right half of the photograph had only been built for a couple of years at this time. At left, the Town Hall lacks a clock tower which was not to be erected until 1864 but taken down in 1887 as unsafe. As seen by the awnings, 8a was definitely a shop at this time.


From my collection

Judging by the size of the tree in the front garden of the Bell, this colourised postcard dates to about 1900. At this time 8a was occupied by James McMillan - Gentlemen's Hosier, Hatter, Glover and Shirtmaker.


This postcard, dated 1905, looks from the first floor of the Medical Hall along High Street to Stuckey's Bank in Hendford. At left is James Bazeley Petter's ironmongery store - he later opened another branch, just a few doors along in High Street, located between the tree and the Town Hall.


A hand-tinted postcard of the Borough dating to about 1907. James McMillan Jnr's shop premises are seen at centre.


8a High Street, photographed in 1983.


.... and photographed in 2014 (still between tenants). The second floor window replacements look good and are in keeping with the building's age.


Nice to see the building occupied again. Photographed in 2017. Empty again by mid-2018.