Clayhills - the history behind our name

The name “Clayhills” derives from a company name “Thomas Clayhills & Son”.

The company is believed to be the oldest trading company in Estonia and one of the oldest in Europe. Thomas Clayhills & Son was established around 1633 by a Tallinn (Reval) merchant, Thomas von Drenteln. After his death the company was through marriage left to the Clayhills family, which originated from Dundee, Scotland and found their way to Tallinn in the 17th century. The name of the company was changed to “Thomas Clayhills & Son” and in 1729 Johann Clayhills bought the house on Pikk 13 and opened one of the first merchant stores (kaubamaja) in Tallinn.

Thomas Clayhills & Son traded from 1633 up to 1940/41, when the company became nationalized during the Soviet period.

The merchant tradition has always been and still is very much alive at Pikk 13. This property always been used commercially, starting from 1360, when it was first mentioned. During soviet period building was under the railroad jurisdiction and housed yet another merchant store, but obviously with a soviet twist to it. From our side, we are happy to see such a long history of trading record within the building and hope it will serve us well, as it always had done before!