Historic York building to reopen – and they’re filling it with gin!

4 Apr 2019 @ 5.07 pm
| Food & drink

One of York’s most iconic buildings is being brought back to life for the summer.

York Gin are opening a pop-up shop in Sir Thomas Herbert’s House on Pavement. The shop is best known as Jones the Bootmaker which closed several years ago.

The company have been working with building owners the York Conservation Trust for the last few weeks to bring the shop back to life.

They’re busy putting the finishing touches to the shop and are hoping to open its doors in the next few days.

Bursting with excitement

Street history
York Gin director Pete McNicol said he was speaking to the trust about something completely different when they told him about Herbert House.

  • Suddenly I had a vision for York Gin to fill it. And literally six weeks later we’re opening our pop-up.

    It has meant a huge amount of work but the trust have been amazingly supportive. We’re bursting with excitement about opening our doors in such a beautiful building.

As well as the company’s four gins – its classic London Dry, Roman Fruit, Cocoa and Navy Strength Outlaw – the company will be selling high quality merchandise including fridge magnets, key rings, bottle openers, tea towels, a small range of clothing and other Yorkshire gins.

A spokesman for York Conservation Trust said: “Herbert House is a remarkable building with a wonderful history and York Gin is a great local company with a bright future.”

After the summer, the trust plans to completely renovate the building that dates back to the 16th Century. So York Gin will have to find a new home in the autumn.

History of Herbert House

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Depending on which account you read, Sir Thomas Herbert was either born in the house or in adjacent Lady Peckitt’s Yard in 1606. It was his family home – great grandfather Christopher Herbert had lived here when he was Lord Mayor in 1573.

Sir Thomas was a great friend to Charles I, and his strong supporter during the Civil War. The banqueting room at Herbert House may have been the place where members of Charles’s retinue were entertained during the royal visit to the city in 1633, and the king himself on a second visit in 1639.

Even when the royalist cause was irrefutably lost, Sir Thomas remained steadfastly loyal. He accompanied Charles to his execution on January 30, 1649, at Whitehall in London.

So as not to shiver in the cold – and so appear fearful of his fate – the king asked for two shirts.

As Sir Thomas was responsible for Charles’ wardrobe, it is believed that he supplied them.

How it used to look: Herbert House when it was Wilson’s Drapers in the early 1900s. Photograph © Explore York Libraries and Archives