Local legend is that the recipe for this gingerbread was given to an Ashbourne baker by a French prisoner of war, billeted in Ashbourne during the Napoleonic Wars.
When the Gingerbread shop was built around 1492*, it was built as three separate units. Later the ground floor was made into one. However, in the roof space one can see the original partitions that divided it into three units, as well as the smoke blackened timbers indicating that the buildings originally had open hearths. The street frontage of this shop is three times that of the Cob Shop next door showing that each original unit had the standard plot street frontage. At one stage the building front had mock Tudor timbers but they have been removed. Inside the cafe part of the shop, some lath and plaster has been exposed for all to see.
The building is believed to have been an Inn until the period of the Napoleonic Wars when it became a bakery. It is the spiritual home of Ashbourne Gingerbread. Local legend is that the recipe for this gingerbread was given to an Ashbourne baker by a French prisoner of war, billeted in Ashbourne during the Napoleonic Wars; and you can still buy local gingerbread in this bakery to this day.
* See the report entitled 'The Development of Ashbourne Market Place in the 15th and 16th Centuries' at the bottom of the Building Features page. This has used tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) on a number of properties in the town.