High Street Property Details

No 2 High Street  

This building, Mill House, is currently occupied by Manor pharmacy. It was built for George Titmuss in about 1890 to replace an earlier house. The new house had seven sash windows facing up the High Street but two have been replaced with a Georgian style shop front. It also has four chimney stacks and eight chimney pots.   The back of the house is separated from the Mill by an alley and the house has no windows on this side.  The house had five bedrooms and four rooms on the ground floor including a dining room, sitting room, breakfast room and a very large pantry.  The door was on the road side where there is now a recessed area with a window.  There used to be a low wall and railings in front of the house but these have gone.  When travelling down the High Street today this is the building that faces you, if you dare take your eyes off the traffic to look.  

The 1901 census shows George Titmuss aged 52, corn and coal merchant, his wife Mary Anne aged 53, their daughter Alice aged 24 and son James W, miller and cycle agent all living at Mill House.   George served on Wheathampstead Parish Council from about 1911-1914.  His son James married Georgiana Simons, a daughter of the village butcher.  James did not fight in the First World War, 1914-1918, as he was exempt for health reasons. 

George Titmuss and his family lived there until 1923.  He moved out then and his son James with his wife and two small children moved in, their daughter Winifred was then eight years old.  They used to have a rowing boat moored on the river.   There was a garden at the side of the house where today there is a single storey building.   The tall fir tree, that stands there now, appears in photographs dated around 1900 and even then it was taller than the house. Winifred was married from the house in 1945.   In about 1957 the Titmuss family left Mill House and it became a shop shortly afterwards.

In about 1960 J Busby (Wheathampstead) Ltd., the chemists, were using this shop at No.2 the High Street.  In the 1960 edition of Kelly’s Directory, Busby’s is listed at both No.20, their old shop and No.2.  Eric Smith came to the village to be the pharmacist in 1955, a position he held until 1990 when he retired.   His wife Ruth worked with him in the shop.   They lived above the shop first at No.20 and then above No.2.  They moved their household belongings and the shop’s stock to No.2 on trolleys borrowed from Helmets Ltd.  Eric was a lay reader at St Helen’s Church.

Manor Pharmacy purchased the business in 1989 and it was renamed Kime & Smith Ltd.   In 1993 it was renamed Manor Pharmacy (Wheathampstead) Ltd. and still trades under this name today.

 

Researchers:    Janet Holmes-Walker & Joyce Munden (et al)

 

References:

  •  interviews with Win Deans (nee Titmus) in 2013
  •  Kelly's Directory 1960

 

 

Property Images

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