No 2 King Street

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2 King Street


No 2 is the narrow single-bay building to the right of the black shutters of Hettich


The building

Historic Environment Record: Listed building. Late Victorian rear entrance to The Peirson pub in Royal Square. A very narrow building squeezed between two fine buildings either side, which adds character to the streetscape. Three-storey, single-bay. Roof unseen behind parapet. Wall rendered with "Estb 1881" in relief plaque below parapet.


There is confusion surrounding the numbering system for properties at the eastern end of King Street. For most of its length, the street has odd numbers on the south side and even on the north. But at the eastern end almanacs have always listed the corner property with Halkett Place as 1 Halkett Place and 4 King Street. No 2 was the number given to the narrow building on the opposite side of the road between Nos 1 and 3. These two properties were occupied for many decades by jewellers Hettich and Pearce, respectively.

The property does not appear wide enough to have been a shop of any kind and today all that remains is a doorway and passage through to the Peirson Hotel. The 1920 almanac shows H J Pearce occupying Nos 2 and 3, but by 1930 No 2 was home to M and then A C Gallie, tobacconist, who continued there through the Occupation. The 1950 almanac was the first to divide the King Street listing into south and north sides and No 2 had now been renumbered 1a, still occupied by Gallie's. By 1960 it had become the back door to the Peirson, and has remained so ever since.

Official records now designate this property as No 1a King Street, and suggest that Burton opposite occupies Nos 2 and 4. But there is no doubt that businesses shown in almanac street listings and commercial directories over the years as occupying No 2 were on the south side of the street.

Chronology [1]

  • 1833 - J Aubin, Chemist and druggist
  • 1880, 1885, 1890 - J Keefe tobacconist
  • 1900 - W H Bigwood
  • 1902 - Mrs Fullalove, tobacconist
  • 1903-1909 - Edward de Gruchy, tobacconist
  • 1912 - T Perree
  • 1919 - H J Pearce
  • 1930, 1940 - M Gallie
  • 1945, 1950 - A C Gallie, tobacconist
  • 1960 - The Peirson

E C de Gruchy

We have now been able to establish who E C de Gruchy, who was running a tobacconist and fancy goods shop at No 2 in 1905, was. He was Edward Capples de Gruchy, born in 1881, the youngest son of George Charles de Gruchy (1848- ) and Jane Esther Noel. His father was a sea captain who became 'Inspector of Foreign Cattle' for the States. Edward emigrated to Canada some time between 1911 and 1914.

This 1903 photograph shows No 2 in the foreground, and small though it may have been, there was clearly a shop window there for W H Bigwood. But where was the door?

Notes and references

  1. Many of the start and end dates given for businesses are approximate. As more business advertisements and other records are discovered the dates can be adjusted
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