Original Our Heritage

Eve & Ranshaw Ltd. in Louth Lincolnshire is one of the oldest independent, family-run department stores in the UK, having traded continuously through nine successive reigns.

The store was established in 1781 by Adam Eve, a local farmer's son with a shrewd business acumen. He later bought The Louth Carpet & Woollen Factory Ltd., helping the town become one of only three centres in England making flat weave and reversible carpets. The shop soon became the rendezvous for the gentry of Louth and the surrounding district. It originally traded in grocery, wool and linen goods, but expanded over the years under several owner partnerships (including that of Thomas Ranshaw who started as a 13-year old apprentice in the shop), to include high-class tailoring and fashion, and a wide range of home furnishing products and services.

Christopher Sandwith and his son, David, purchased the store in 1977 and David's son, Marcus, took the helm earlier this year. The Sandwith family, having first opened their own Draper's shop in 1891 (RT Sandwith), has therefore traded continuously in the town for 128 years.

We pride ourselves on our rich heritage, our renowned level of customer care and our broad product offering of bespoke and ready-made soft furnishings, men's, women's and children's fashion and accessories, lingerie, millinery and a wide selection of gifts and homeware.



Did you know that: 

  • In 1871, there were sixteen assistants, apprentices and servants living above the shop
  • Younger employees, such as the page boy, would sleep under one of the shop counters
  • No assistants were allowed to go upstairs with their boots on. Slippers had to be worn, or the house boy had to run and fetch anything required
  • The tailoring, millinery and dressmaking department employed more than forty women
  • The shop used to make their own coffins and offer complete funeral services.