ALMOST 200 years of history will come to an end today (Saturday) when The County Stores closes for good.

The shutters will come down for the last time at the end of trading at the 186-year-old business in North Street, Taunton.

The shop, which has a food hall and sells groceries and gifts in its three-storey premises, is the latest victim of the high street crisis.

It has been run by five generations of the Duder family since 1832 and has also housed Taunton Post Office since January 2014, when the latter relocated from the nearby building now occupied by Ask restaurant.

The post office is set to remain in the premises until March 29 - and negotiations are underway to see if it could stay permanently.

READ MORE: THEN AND NOW: 20 pictures of County Stores - and how it's changed 

The County Gazette exclusively revealed last month that the directors of the business are currently in talks with a Taunton man over the sale of the building, which could fetch around £1 million.

At the time, James Duder, one of the directors, said the potential buyer hopes to gain planning permission for a car museum on the ground floor, with a cafe at the front and motorcycles upstairs.

Somerset County Gazette:

The County Stores staff were given redundancy notices in October after the directors admitted defeat in their struggle for several years with challenging conditions in the retail sector.