The Christopher Pharmacy Shop
The Christopher shop, which forms the largest part of Bradford on Avon Museum is the reason why the Museum came into existence.
It was established in Silver Street in 1863 by Thomas Prideaux Saunders, who was succeeded in the business by Albert Cooper in 1881, then by William Norris 1891. Richard Thorney Christopher took over in 1908 and was there until he died in 1962, to be succeeded by his daughter Angela.
The Christophers had an antiquarian interest in pharmacy and many other subjects, so they tended to keep the old items and continue to make old-fashioned medicines, while also selling modern medicines and cosmetics too. They didn’t live in the building, so there was space behind the scenes to retain many old bottles and equipment.
When Angela announced that she would be retiring in May 1986 and that the shop had no buyer, so would close, Bradford on Avon Museum Society was formed to try and preserve its old contents for the enjoyment and education of future generations. The rest of the Museum grew up around it.
- A reminiscence by one of Christopher’s apprentices (opens as a PDF)