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A storied bookshop renowned for its intricately carved oak façade has announced its closure, marking the end of an illustrious 144-year history.

J&G Innes, an iconic establishment in St Andrews, will permanently close its doors on Hogmanay, bidding farewell to a legacy sustained by the same family since 1879.

Celebrated for its distinctive hand-carved exterior, the bookshop drew attention from Hollywood luminaries and became a cherished cornerstone of the town.

Owner Jude Innes, expressing her desire to retire and prioritize time with her family, conveyed the bittersweet decision to bid farewell to the cherished institution.

In a heartfelt online statement extending gratitude to loyal patrons, Jude reflected on the emotional weight of departing from a business intricately woven into her family's heritage. "The shop has traversed four generations on my father's side. However, my sisters and I believe it's the opportune moment. We all long to devote time to our families and loved ones," she explained, contemplating the future of their iconic building.

The shop's legacy traces back to Jude's great-great-grandfather, George, who, alongside his brother John, founded the store 144 years ago—a period predating the publication of Arthur Conan Doyle's inaugural short story.

The building has housed the St Andrews Citizen newspaper since John's tenure, leading locals to affectionately refer to it as "The Citizen Shop."

Jude, who began working at the shop in 1996 following her father's passing, reminisced about the timber façade commissioned by her grandfather, WG Innes, in 1927. Crafted in the Liberty style, it paid homage to his affinity for the Arts and Crafts movement. The meticulous renovations, undertaken by architects Walker and Pride, transformed the building into a town attraction, a process spanning over five years.

Recalling memorable encounters, Jude recounted the visit of acclaimed actor Tom Hanks, discreetly browsing through their collection. "There have been a few famous faces over the years, but Tom Hanks stands out. I spotted him engrossed in our pen counter, perhaps during his daughter's university days here. I offered a polite smile and left him in peace, not wanting to intrude," she shared.

Over time, the bookshop evolved, hosting an art gallery on its upper floor, diversifying its offerings while maintaining its literary charm.

As the curtains draw on this venerable institution, the fate of the cherished building remains uncertain, leaving locals and patrons curious about its future iteration post the departure of J&G Innes. Photo by Remi Mathis, Wikimedia commons.