top of page

Gray Palmer

Family owned business trading in Saffron Walden for nearly two centuries.

Menswear

Style is far more than just appearance, it is the delivery of the man's distinction.

Morning wear

Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.

Evening wear

Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquillity that no religion can bestow.

Highland wear

“It's a kilt, dumbass. It's only a skirt if I'm wearing underwear.” - Damon Suede, Hot Head

Tailoring

Personal Tailoring is a made-to-measure service which bridges the gap between bespoke and ready-to-wear.

School wear

Official supplier of quality uniforms to schools in Saffron Walden and the surrounding area.

A selection of our menswear brands

Gray Palmer has been trading in the medieval town of Saffron Walden for fast approaching 200 years. We moved to our present site of No. 47 High Street at the turn of the 20th century. Originally the building called London House was two shops, Gray Palmer and Walbros, which sold toys and bicycles. When Walbros ceased trading Gray Palmer moved through to the adjoining premises. Gray Palmer is a family owned business, with its present Managing Director, Mr Robert Gray Palmer being the great great grandson of the founder. Now supplying a complete range of menswear to formal suits and overcoats, the store also services many of the local schools with their uniforms and also has a comprehensive formal hire wear department. Established in 1842 by Samantha Palmer who was a boot maker to the Audley End Estate. She moved from Audley End Village to Cuckingstool End, which was at the bottom of Debden Road, to become one of 22 boot and smock makers in Saffron Walden at the time; all manufacturing for Audley End Estate which at that time employed some 3,000 people. Because of the space restrictions, Gray Palmer sold mainly boots and shoes, along with a few items of men’s clothing. The early 1900s saw the business making financial progress as the shop moved to its present High Street location, which was formerly London House, a Temperance Hotel with stabling at the rear for coaches. The use of all living area, yard and premises next door increased the shop size to over 4,000 square feet. During this time Gray Palmer passed the thriving business to his son, William, well known sales staff Harry Cox and Bert Silick, who during their 50 years of salesmanship behind the counter became familiar faces in the town, and are still fondly remembered. The present owner is Robert Palmer, great great grandson of Gray, and son of late Richard, having been at the shop for nearly 30 years. Robert has fond memories of his time at the helm... "My long time manager was Fred Dare, who retired in 2009 after some 43 years' service, and Dennis Clark, who retired in 2002 after some 37 years' service. I have photos of London House prior to Gray Palmer in 1877 showing the archway and courtyard, which I remember from being a boy. Also interestingly a copy of the Saffron Walden Weekly News from Friday August 14th 1914, showing the internment of Gray Palmer: 'It is with regret that we announce the death of Mr Councillor Gray Palmer of Saffron Walden at the age of 54' - described as a quiet and unostentatious disposition and who was greatly esteemed by his fellow burgesses. He had for two and a half years been a member of the Town Council obtaining his seat at a by-election. His brother in law, Mr W. Newman, was the grandfather of the present owner of James Jewellers. I also have a copy of the Morning Advertiser, dated Saturday May 17th 1879, which not only reports the impending advance and actual situation of the Zulu War! The shop then moved to London House in 1887, being run by Gray Palmer who in 1907 was Mayor of Saffron Walden, selling mostly work wear and specialising in hats. His wife Clara gave birth to 11 children, one of whom was William, my grandfather. Wallace Brothers had premises next door selling Rudge motorcycles and Riley cars. When Wallace Brothers ceased trading in 1971, Gray Palmer moved through into the adjoining premises, also having two flats upstairs where my grandfather and father lived. They then moved to Debden Road. The shop has always prided itself on excellent service and like Pennings, who some people remember as a grocers in the market square, we had some 200 accounts allowing customers to pay weekly or monthly to spread the cost, a service we still offer to the present day. I have a ledger dating back to 1900 handwritten by my great grandfather showing the state of accounts."

Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
Tint overlay image
banner-shop-olympus.jpg

Buy it now!

For convenience, why not purchase selected items from our menswear range, or order your children's school wear online for home delivery or collection. Or to ensure the perfect fit, come and see one of our fitters in our shop in Saffron Walden.

Purveyors of exquisite menswear since 1840

Welcome to Gray Palmer, the premier destination for gentlemen's clothing with over 175 years experience providing quality menswear and formal wear. We pride ourselves on our excellent service and commitment to our customers for an attentive shopping or hire experience. Our attention to detail ensures that each item of clothing we offer is of the highest quality.

Our store is thoughtfully stocked for every occasion, whether purchasing casual wear or hiring outfits for that special event. We are also proud to be the go-to supplier of school uniforms for local schools, and branded sports wear for local clubs. Customers can purchase selected items through our online store for collection from our shop in Saffron Walden, or opt for home delivery. 

Our collection of suits, shirts, trousers, shoes, and accessories are carefully curated to ensure that our clients look sharp and feel confident in any setting, formal or casual. For the perfect fit, our experienced staff will help you find the perfect outfit for any event or occasion. Family-owned and operated, trust Gray Palmer to make you look and feel your best.

For all enquiries please call us on 01799 522159 or email info@graypalmer.co.uk

Example of school sports wear
Knit wear
Gray Palmer shop from history
bottom of page