Courtyard Curiosities, The Barrow

Courtyard Curiosities, The Barrow
25th February 2020 the courtyard
courtyard Knutsford

Are you looking forward to spring, warmer weather and the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing alfresco breakfast, lunch, or just a quick coffee in our lovely courtyard. I wonder what will be on the barrow this year? A selection of fresh herbs or some home grown fruit and veg perhaps?

The Barrow

The old Costermongers barrow has been a feature of our lovely courtyard for several years now. We don’t know how old the barrow is, but it is typical of a design that was common in Victorian times. Such barrows were typical at Spitlefields in London where young men ran around with these very heavy contraptions loaded to the hilt with spuds and other items. Though the Spitlefields barrows were usually painted green with red wheels.

Many of our visitors find the variety of curiosities both inside, and out, to be a charming and intriguing aspect of the cafe.

You may like to visit our museum to see our collection of penny farthings


  1. anna 2 months ago

    I do love the museum there – it’s chock full of things like this. It’s fun to think about what life must have been like way back when things like this barrow were in the streets, and how different it must be from today.

    • the courtyard 2 months ago

      Thanks for your comment Anna. It is amazing how life and times have changed in the lifetime of many of our local familiar buildings and establishments including our own!

  2. Shenna 2 months ago

    I’ve actually been looking for a Spitlefields barrow like this one for my garden, do you know where I can get one? Are they incredibly pricey? I imagine an antique of that age must be.

    • the courtyard 2 months ago

      Hi Shenna,

      Thanks for your comment on the barrow. These were a common sight in all of the London (and Midlands) markets right up until fairly recent times. If you google the Spitlefield barrows you will find a lot of info. Our barrow was probably made by Hilier Bros in the east end of London.

      Here is an interesting blog article on the famous Hiller’s company which is now sadly defunct.

  3. Caren Michel 2 months ago

    It feels like Spring has been stolen from us this year, with the flash of unseasonably cold weather… I trust the gardens are doing well in Knutsford though! I’m looking forward to getting lunch there once everything opens up again. Hopefully not too much longer.

    • the courtyard 2 months ago

      Thanks Caren,

      We have been working in the courtyard to keep everything nice and fresh ready for our eventual re-opening. As with many others we have taken the opportunity to do some re-painting, and of course, there has been a bit of planting and general tidying of the garden and flower beds.

      We look forward to welcoming you and all of our other patrons back in for lunch soon.

  4. Shawn McGehee 2 months ago

    That barrow certainly is interesting. I’d like to know more history on it, when you get a chance. How did it come to be a part of your collection? I think a nice plaque or something to draw more attention to it would do well on your grounds, I’m sure many people have walked right by it over the years and not even thought about how it got into your possession. Antiques are so culturally relative, what is totally commonplace in some regions can be truly rare in others.

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