Founded in 1836 by Henry Hart, W Hart & Son Ltd started life as Saffron Walden’s finest printers and the original printing press he bought can still be seen today at Saffron Walden Museum. Over the years the company grew to become the town’s favourite retailer of stationery, musical instruments and books.
For over 175 years Hart’s has been Saffron Walden’s independent bookseller of choice, occupying shops in the centre of town. In 1963 the Fountain Bookshop was acquired next to the old Rose & Crown Hotel, and suffered considerable damage in the tragic Christmas night fire at the hotel in 1969. Four years later Hart’s Bookshop was opened next door to the Town Hall. It was here that the Hart’s enjoyed many years of business – until 2008, when the decision was made to close down the book shop.
We are proud to be bringing back independent book selling to the town, next door to Hart’s Yard – the original birth place of Hart’s back in 1836. We know we have a wonderful legacy to build upon, and we hope to do it proud.
© Photographs from the David Campbell Collection, Saffron Walden Town Library