DISCOVERED - the Victorian pharmacy where time stood still for decades

The pharmacy where time stood still <i>(Image: SWNS)</i>
The pharmacy where time stood still (Image: SWNS)

THESE stunning pictures show the inside of a 'time capsule' Victorian pharmacy that was uncovered - after being boarded up more than 100 years ago.

William White’s Chemist Shop operated from 1880 until his death in 1909 but lay untouched and unknown about for decades.

His son Charles was unqualified to dispense drugs so boarded up the store when his father died.

The presence of the sealed room was only revealed after the death of the last of William’s granddaughters Margaret White and the sale of the property in South Petherton in 1987.

At the time it had been entombed for 80 years.

And as the 107-year occupancy by the White family came to an end - the locked door was opened to reveal the hidden store, frozen in time, exactly as William had left it.

Upon hearing of the incredible discovery, Flambards in Cornwall rescued the shop and began a painstaking task of numbering and charting thousands of artefacts.

Flambards said it has since fully rebuilt the store in its new home, and "reassembled every medicine bottle, apothecary jar, quartz carboy, demijohn, and pill dispenser in exactly the same positions they were found in - cobwebs and all."

A spokesperson said: "After examining the contents of the store, it was discovered that William White, though primarily a chemist, also dealt to some degree in groceries – especially teas and tobacco, wines and spirits.

"Not at all unusual in a village environment in Victorian times."

The shop's last owner Margaret White had closed the store in 1971 rather than convert to using decimal coins.

But when the auctioneer went to have a look around ahead of its sale they discovered the back half of the shop entirely sealed off.

The contents of the shop were put up for sale separately from the building itself and bought by Flambards.

While they used almost all of the original stock that was sealed away, some of it was confiscated by the Home Office as it contained dangerous compounds and poisons.

Pictures taken inside the store now show various shelves, work surfaces and a bright overhead light without a lamp shade.

There is a white box on a cobwebbed shelf while boxes of herbs which would have been used for medicine are also on display.

William White is still honoured by the front of the shop, which features a Victorian 'prescriptions accurately prepared' sign hanging in the window.

Other images show old red boxes of oxo stock cubes and other familar brand names on display.

There is a display of large jars containing liquid herbal medicine used in the Victorian period while weighing scales lie covered in cobwebs.

A dusty old type writer used to create prescriptions and labels is featured while Spey Royal Whisky is written on a shelf filled with bottles and jars - highlighting that alcohol was often used for medical purposes at the time.