The High Street, running through the centre of Market Harborough, has long been the town’s beating heart. Each building dotted along the street has hosted several businesses over the years, and number 18 is no different. It is currently owned by the pub chain Wetherspoons, however, back in the early 19th century it was a grocery shop.
The shop belonged to Thomas Goodwin Goward and his family. Goward’s grocery shop thrived, it backed onto a warehouse which was used by members of staff to blend tea, grind coffee and spices, wash fruit, and dice sugar. The latter is where its current name, the Sugar Loaf, originates from. Sugar used to arrive at the warehouse in cone-shaped loaves and was then hand-diced to sell to the public. Goward, his family, some of his staff members and a couple of domestic servants resided above the shop until the late 19th century
Prior to Goward’s, the building was another grocery shop named Austin and Allen, and prior to that, in the late 18th century, it was a drapery owned by William Andrews. This large lock was attached to one of the doors at 18 High Street and dates back to the early 18th century.