12 High Street East



This small stone building was probably built in the earlier 17th century as shop, with accommodation above. The original building had two rooms on each floor, with only one of the first floor rooms having a fireplace. The owner in 1656 was Henry Sewell, a gentleman who would have let the property to tenants, rather than living in it himself.
Although the end gables and rear wall are built with the standard 17th century stonemasonry features of the area, the north front wall was originally jettied, with timber-framing, a rare occurrence at this date in Rutland. The jettied frontage can be seen in a historic view of c1820, but was removed later in the 19th century, when a large glazed shop-front was installed.

(Nick Hill, Rutland Record 2011)

Two stories attach to this building; both interesting but neither very likely. One is that this is the old medieval market office and town hall that in 1587 was in ‘great decay’. If there is any truth to this what we have today is a replacement from the early 17th century. The other tells of a passage under the High Street connecting to Beans coffee shop. While it is true there is a blocked up doorway in the cellar, it is more likely to be one of those many cellars running out under the pavement such as found in the Market Place, in front of Norton’s ironmongers, Don Paddy’s and elsewhere in the High Street.

Better founded is that Stilton cheese was once made in this cellar, the reason why at the beginning of the 20th century the building was called ‘Stilton House’. Alas, health inspectors and economics have put paid to this laster maker of blue stilton cheese in Rutland.

From 1876 this was a grocer’s shop, a connection ending with Gailey’s and lastly Paul Nurse. Now the shop is a florists run by Allison Lowe.