Ulster Folk Museum

Corner Shop

Ballycultra Town building 2

This is an original building. It was built in 1889 in Nelson Street, Irish Quarter West, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. It was dismantled and moved to the Folk Museum in the late 1980s.

This shop is typical of a traditional urban corner shop from a good quality, late Victorian brick-built terrace.

The corner shop served many local streets. The shopkeeper stayed open longer than larger shops and he and his family knew most of his customers. The shop sold groceries, confectionery, toys and writing materials. It also ran a Christmas savings club for its customers.

During the early 1900s the shop and house were home to the Carruth family. Walter Carruth was a successful local businessman who owned a building company as well as the corner shop. The building yard and stores were at the back of the house. Walter’s wife, Margaret Carruth, managed the shop.

The shop and business passed to Walter’s daughter, Mary and her husband Robert McKeown. Robert ran the building business and Mary and her daughter Lizzie ran the corner shop. Their descendants continued to run the corner shop until the 1970s.

Take a look at the type of confectionary typical of the period.