No. 7-8 High Street

No. 7-8 High Street is a three storey building dating to around the 1940s with a modern shop front. Historic records suggest there were two separate buildings on this site prior to the current one which has recently been occupied by MENCAP.

No. 7

Trade directories from the mid 19th century show George Wade, a boot and shoe maker was trading from No 7 High Street from at least 1840 until 1870 when the shop was taken over by George Gossling, a pastry cook and confectioner.

By 1932, Herbert Gossling had taken over the shop and was running a restaurant here until Boots the Chemist took ownership and combined with No 8 with a larger building in 1935.

No. 8

A trade directory dated 1850 lists a glove maker, Miriam Woodcock occupying No 8 High Street. Miriam appears to retain ownership by the time of the 1865 Valuation book although the shop is empty.

By 1869, Enoch Steel a photographer was trading at No 8 and shortly after by 1870 Beales and Kennerell had occupied Nos 8 and 9 where they continued to operate until 1896 when John Maxey a Druggist and Chemist has taken over. The shop remained a chemists under John Maxeys until 1911 when it was taken over by W.R Girling and finally by Boots Cash Chemist in 1932-3. Boots the Chemist retained ownership in 1935 when demolished No 8 along with No 7 High St to create a larger store.


In 1935, on behalf of Boots the Chemist, architect Percy Bartlett submitted a planning application to re-build the premises at 7-8 High Street. The application was approved and the building we see on the High Street today was constructed. It had a chemists shop on the ground floor, storage in the basement and a subscription library at first floor. On the second floor a single smaller room was built – this was the girls tea room.

Planning documents held by Fenland District Council include an application made by Boots the Chemist in 1965 to replace the existing shop front.

Photographs held by FDC Conservation team show a shop called Bardells in the 1980s and 1990s, The Pound Shop in the early 2000s and most recently Motor World which closed in 2016. In May 2017 a new charity shop opened up at No.7-8.


No. 7-8 High Street

Comments about this page

  • This advert may fill in some gaps.

    At the Public Hall in Wisbech, on Friday the 16th day of June 1893, at Seven o’clockin the evening precisely. subject to such conditions of sale as shall then be produced, the following extremely truly valuable
    All those desirable Shops and dwelling-houses with the yards thereto, situate in the centre of the town of Wisbech, and known as Nos. 8, 9 and 10 High street, abutting upon premises of Mr. William Shepherd Collins west and south, and Premises of Mr. Rothwell M. V. Johnson east.
    Nos. 8 and 9 have been in the occupation of Mr. John Kenneril, photographer for many years, and No. 10 in that of a Mr. Thomas Pulley Maxey and Mr. John Thomas Maxey, chemists, for upwards of 40 years. For further particulars apply to the Auctioneer. Wisbech ; or to Messrs. WELCHMAN & CARRICK. Solicitors, Wisbech. Wisbech, 23rd May 1893.
    Lynn Advertiser – Saturday 03 June 1893

    By Garry Monger (15/01/2021)
  • Further details about the Steel family and a 1871 census record transcript error and examples of their photographic work is shown on the Fading Images website.

    By Garry Monger (26/12/2019)
  • John T.Maxey of High Street, Wisbech is listed as a subscriber in FJ Gardiner’s History of Wisbech 1848-1898.

    By G Monger (25/10/2019)
  • Mr W.R.Girling, Jun appears to be occupying a chemist premises at the time of the ‘Great Fire’ in 1906.

    By G Monger (25/09/2019)

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