London jeweller takes over historic gem of a store
A HISTORIC jewellery shop and pawn brokers in the centre of Bristol is set to reopen after a leading London company took over the business.
As reported in The Post the iconic Chillcott's jewellery store in Park Street went out of business in the run up to Christmas.
Between 1865 and 1870, Chillcott's was one the first businesses to convert the house in Park Street into a shop, although the ornate facade was added several years later by local architects Foster and Wood.
The firm moved from its original store on the Christmas Steps and became a fixture for more than a hundred years.
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During the Second World War the founder's great-grandson, Hubert Chillcott, was in the shop when the Luftwaffe wreaked devastation in the area. At least half of Park Street was destroyed, but the jewellers was one of the few to escape unscathed.
Fittingly one of London's oldest jewellery firms has taken over the shop and has promised to stay faithful to the heritage of the business.
Suttons opened for business in 1770 and was the capital's most distinguished jewellers and pawnbrokers.
The firm's latest acquisition on Park Street has opened this week and the new owners said they are thrilled to have a presence in the city.
A spokesman for Suttons said: "The opening once again assures the Bristol community that this shop famous for quality jewellery and pawnbroking will be continued.
"Much of the old and historic areas within the shop that have, until now been lost behind cavity walls and false ceilings are now exposed to show the glory of this magnificent building. We are delighted to be here in Bristol and we are thrilled with the new premises."
During its time Chillcott's was well known as a pawnbrokers and there is still evidence, at the rear of the building in Hill Street, of a discreet hatch where "respectable" Clifton ladies who had fallen on hard times could pawn their family jewels without being seen.
In its latest guise the shop had been trading as Mappin and Webb, which is silversmith to both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.