We have some amazing shops in Ireland; family run, independent, treasure troves of shops, but did you know the oldest shop in Ireland is in County Mayo?
Jeremiah Higgins is in the heart of Claremorris. Take a step back in time as you walk through the white cast iron gate and bright red door. The shop was opened in 1820 and has stayed in the same family for five generations. The shop has survived many historical events and has stood the test of time.
You can find out much more about the history over on their website.
‘This layout has been retained, but our stock has changed. When, at one time, we were in the business of general drapery and leather crafting, we now specialise in Irish gifts, leather goods and high quality apparel. The shop has evolved into new trades frequently throughout the generations; selling everything from detachable shirt collars to haberdashery products. Jeremiah Higgins is now a destination for those seeking hat special gift.‘
There is so much to look at! You can see the order book that dates back to 1899, in fact there are several books and receipts and they are in great condition. Behind the counter are the original fixtures and fittings, the little drawers for pins, tapes, ribbons, etc.
This really is a living museum, and there are so many beautiful Irish gifts and apparel that you can buy. As you browse you will hear the music from the gramophone.
I was chatting to Noreen and she was telling me all about the shop and the history, she pointed out so many things of interest. Most of the furniture you see in the shop belonged to family home, you will see their wardrobe and dining table, among other things. The sewing machine that belonged to Elizabeth (Jeremiah’s wife) takes centre stage amongst the ribbons and buttons. There’s also a cabinet showing Elizabeth’s beautiful embroidery.
Noreen also pointed out some paperwork from Providence, which was the original name for Foxford Woollen Mills, and you can find the beautiful Foxford products in the shop.
The main shop opens into what was originally the coach house, this is a stunning room, and again houses some of the original furniture and old toys belonging to the family. I even spotted a tin of Arnott’s biscuits. There’s a chaise lounge covered in beautiful cushions, and cute teddies sitting on velvet chairs.
I could have spent hours in this beautiful shop, it’s a credit to the Higgins family. The good news is that you can order online, and they ship to a number of countries. So, happy shopping! https://jeremiahhiggins.com/collections