The Old Chemist - 'A spooky old store'
This ancient 15th century old timbered building sits on top of the busy main shops below in High town. It has a beautiful black and white design and old style dusty windows. The house also has many wood carvings on it's black wooden frame and the small, old black front door looks very welcoming.
Because the house has such an 'out of place' appearance it is easy to notice whilst walking by this stretch of shops in the Town centre. This building is known to have been an old Chemists and the building has always remained in the same place.
Originally underneath the building was Marchant and Matthews shop. The front of the shop was a mixture of 17th century and late 19th century timber work. The top part is dated at 1600ís .
When construction and the redevelopment of the Littlewoods building began in 1965 they were instructed not to demolish this part of the shop and so the oldest part was moved onto wheels into High Town for a few months. The building was wrapped up in Polythene and it stood on bricks and wood. Whhen it was returned back to it's original place the whole event was watched by a local crowd as it was hoisted up and placed back on top of the shop buildings.
There is a plaque on the wall underneath the building which gives the date and remembers the big move it had into the City.
The building was the family home and birthplace of Marchants and Matthews and was in business for over 150 years, the original name was Webb and Bosely ( Mr E Bosely was Mayor of Hereford over a number of years, afterwards it was Bosely and Marchant and then Marchant and Son.
There was a chemist under the address of this building in 1886 named Ralphe and Clarke chemists. This haunted building holds a story that many locals know about and that is of the unfortunate and accidental death of a young Apprentice boy who was staying in the building when it was a chemist. The Apprentice boy complained of toothache late at night, so the Apothecary who was in charge of the boy mixed up some medicine but as it was dark he failed to notice that he mixed the wrong ingredients and so the medicine was actually poison. The boy drank the medicine and suddenly died, the man was so distraught over his unfortunate mistake that he hung himself in the building on one of the top wooden beams and now his tormented soul is said to haunt the building. Underneath this historic building is now the New Look shop. New look is also rumoured to be haunted as many staff have experienced strange goings-on in the upstairs part of the building. The New Look store and the Marks and Spencerís store next door lie just outside the Old Saxon City walls and the rear of their premises are on the line of the wall. Upstairs of New Look is a door that opens up directly into the house, there is small gap with a long drop when the door is open, the door looks into the top part of the old house.
This door is always locked though and there is no public access to the house. Since the small old house was returned to its original place it as not been used but it remains as a top attraction to the Cityís tourists that visit all throughout the year.
The old chemist being moved on wheels into High Town in 1965.