History of 28 Pavement
In 2012 we researched the history of 28 Pavement, where the whole Rowntree story in York began, and we created a Travelling exhibition Timeline history of 28 Pavement. Our work has resulted in a better understanding of the history of this key building in York, and enabled us to dispel a number of myths long associated with it – for example, the idea that Lewis Fry, an apprentice, belonged to the Fry Chocolate dynasty of Bristol (he didn’t). We were also able to show that the building was completely rebuilt in the 1870s – which is why on the blue plaque on the exterior describes the building as the ‘site of Joseph’s birthplace’ rather than his ‘birthplace’.
After the blue plaque was put up we gave a lecture on the history of the building to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and wrote a cover piece in the Quaker journal The Friend. Our work brought to light the life of the Apprentices, including contemporary accounts of working for the family, and unearthing a valuable ledger which lists the duties and daily life of the shop in Rowntree days.
Our project was generously funded by grants from the Two Ridings Community Foundation, the Feoffees of St Michael’s Spurriergate, and the William A. Cadbury Charitable Trust.