St Albans jeweller moves into expanded premises

The new section of the Christopher Wharton shop

The new section of the Christopher Wharton shop - Credit: Archant

A CITY centre jewellers has finally completed its move into expanded premises.

Christopher Wharton Goldsmith, in George Street, has taken over the former La Senza premises next door following months of planning negotiations.

The buildings are in the St Albans conservation area so any work had to preserve their history, which at one time looked like preventing a decent-sized opening between the two shops.

Owner Christopher Wharton, wanted to create a proper passageway between the two buildings, but the plans initially stalled after the council said they would only allow a 75cm opening – not a 90cm as per the business’ original plan. The council said to allow more would damage the historic material of the Grade II listed building.

But fortunately the matter was resolved without any further complications, as Mr Wharton explained: “When we began to remove the more modern plaster from the opening area we found that a previous owner had had the same idea.

“There was a brick infill of some two metres across.

“We had the bricks tested and dated and it was proved they had no historic value, so we had our opening!”

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The jewellers, founded in 1947 by Alan C Wharton, has now expanded to offer new jewellery brands including Pesavento, Roberto Coin, Babette Wasserman, Clogau gold and Marco Bicego as well as high quality gifts such as crystal glass Ralph Lauren Living, Culinary Concepts, Halcyon Days Enamel and bronzes by Richard Cooper.

Mr Wharton added: “The new showroom is like a dream come true, giving us the space we need to greatly expand our product base. We are really proud of what has been achieved and the result is very much due to the enormous effort that my son Sam, wife Cathy and every staff member has put in.

“We are really looking forward to showing our customers both long standing and new all the fabulous new stock.”