Saturday, 29 June 2013


A delightful little antiques shop called Spirals (after the staircases) opened a couple of years ago, on Castlegate in the small market town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. In the beginning people peeped admiringly through the pretty window display into the tasteful ground floor garden room, but few ventured further. Rather oddly, you may think, it has now become a junk shop with no name. And, when you look inside, it's bursting with happy, smiling customers. Visitors are cramming down their ice-creams (Brymors at No.1, across the road), desperate to get in and grab the bargains before someone else does.

What has happened ? The proprietors, Mr and Mrs M, looked at the shop's performance objectively and decided that "pile it high and sell it cheap" was what locals and visitors liked best. So they did.

Just look at these prices!

I'm sure that Mrs M regrets the desecration of her beautiful interiors - the chalk painted furniture and antique garden ornaments are mostly gone - but she throws herself into running the new-style shop with enthusiasm.
A view from the spiral staircase.

New stock arrives daily, with useful pieces of furniture for sale as well as small items. Mr M, as well as now being a junk dealer, is also a fine art specialist and always has a few rarer pieces tucked away for the discerning buyer, so don't forget to look at the shelves behind his desk.

Er, should I be telling you about The Shop With No Name?
Too late now...



  1. Your little secret shop is safe with me - too far away, unfortunately! I do miss this creative and inventive shopkeeper mentality which doesn't seem to exist here in Spain - certainly not near me. Good on them! (Rather fancied those lions..)

    1. What I love is this couple's lack of snobbery and pomposity - they are happy to do what works in this lovely little historic building, whilst still keeping their more "serious" pursuits going on the side.

  2. Wish I lived a bit closer. I am in California. Oh well.

    1. Lots of US buyers come over the ocean to visit our antiques shops and events, you know. Maybe one day?

  3. Ooh .... I think a trip further down Yorkshire may be on the cards now.... It has been ages since we went to Harrogate and Knaresborough. Too late ... The cat is out....
    Julie s

    1. The shop often has trunks & furniture that would benefit from your skilful paintbrush. And I've picked up some good decorating paintings here. Haggling is allowed!
      Knaresborough has another great shop The Grey Bear, in the High Street.