ludham archive

     Stores Cottages - A History

On the corner of The Street and School Road stands a building thought to be the oldest in the village. It has had many names down the years. The locals call it Cook's Corner, a name which goes back to the days when it was once a shop run by the Cook Family. Now it is divided into three homes and is called 1,2 and 3 Stores Cottages.
Here is a history of the building and its many owners:

Stores Cottages
Stores Cottages now

Cook's Corner in the 1970s

Ludham Village seems timeless, but change is always with us. The two photographs above show clearly how quickly buildings can change and how they can take on new uses. We can see that a new window has been added and a door blocked up. There was a time that Ludham could support many more local shops, but most of these have now gone and Cook's Corner has changed into dwelling houses.

earlier cook's corner

The photograph above is a little older and shows Cook's Corner in its days as a store before the tea room was added. Notice the wooden lean-to on the left which is now part of the building.


This building was once the farmhouse for Town Farm (sometimes Home Farm). It was probably first built in the 16th Century although it has been much altered since that time.The land for Town Farm was behind the building and included the area where the Methodist Chapel now stands and the School playing field. There was a barn behind the house (later replaced by a house) and to the left were other farm buildings which were destroyed in a fire in the 1960s.

Aaron Neave and the Methodist Chapel

In the 1850s, Aaron Neave became the farmer at Town Farm. White's Gazetteer lists him as Farmer and Owner (Home Farm). Aaron was a Methodist and it was apparent at the time that the existing Chapel was too small. In 1866, Aaron gave the land for the new Chapel which can clearly be seen on the above photographs behind the house. The new chapel was opened in April 1866 and cost £550 to build. There is more information about the history of the Chapel on this link.

General Store

In 1908 Robert Allard opened a Cycle Agency at the house. It later became a grocery shop operated by Harriet England. This change of business possibly came about because of the competition from H.D.Brooks’ cycle shop across the road. The grocery and general store lasted for the next eighty years.
In the 1920s, Gladys and Herbert Cook took over the shop thus giving their name to the corner of School Road. They ran a grocers and general stores helped by their two sons Humphrey and Donald. This continued until the 1950s when Mrs Cook died.
The shop then had a series of owners over the next 30 years:
The Humphreys were first. They opened “Aarons Nook” a tea room which was accessed by a difficult climb up narrow stairs. This was a fairly short lived venture, but the shop continued trading under the ownership of the Lithgows, Gibbs, Warrens, Taylors and Humphries before it was finally converted into three private dwellings by the Sedgewicks.

Strawberries for sale - Cook's Corner 1931

Notes from Mike Fuller who's family worked in the shop.
Behind the house was a barn and out houses for storage etc. The shop was run by the Cook family and Lilah Moll who lived there. Maud Fuller worked there during the 1930s and 1940s.
It was in the late 1960s that Herbert Cook died and Humphrey took over with Lilah running the shop helped by Sandra Fuller 1966-67.
Later, Humphrey's wife died and he married Lilah and sold up to the Lithgow's.
The Lithgow's altered the lean-to on the end from tin to a brick building so making it permanent. They did not stay long and sold out to Stan and Iris Gibbs in the 1970s.
Next we have Betty Warren. She altered the shop to include a tea room upstairs and opened another door into the shop.
In the late 1980s it was sold to Betty and Ernie Taylor who also bought the wood at Womack and changed it to the wooden houses we see today. They ran the shop and cafe with help from Tracy Fuller for four years 1982-86 and later sold it.
The shop store at the side near the School was burnt down in the 1960s which was very dangerous so near to the thatched roofs.

inside shop
Inside the Cooks Corner Shop

tea room
The tea room


An old building should have a ghost, and this one has one which some have claimed to have seen. It appears as a monk. Watch out for it next time you are passing.

More Information

If you have any more information about this, or indeed, any other building in Ludham, please let us know. Our e-mail address is on our home page.

Back to
                          Interesting Stuff