The fine jewellery destination

Let us introduce you to Mallory, the oldest jewellers in Bath who are celebrating their 125th anniversary. The great-great-granddaughter of the original owner, Katie Vander Woerd gives us some insights into the business…

Mallory’s history began in Bath in 1998 when Edward Palmer Mallory, Katie Vander Woerd’s great-great-grandfather, took over Routley the jewellers. “According to the 1891 Census, Edward Palmer Mallory began his career working as a ‘Jewellers Assistant’ in Cheltenham. He later moved to Bath gaining employment at Routley the jewellers at No. 1 Bridge Street and in the summer of 1898 he bought the business which became E.P. Mallory & Son. In the ensuing years and helped by his wife Mrs M.T. Mallory, the couple grew the business until it became a central part of commerce in the city, with people travelling from miles to buy jewellery.”

Ladies used to come to Bath to take the waters in the early years of the shop and came in to buy silver tea sets. “During the late 19th century the pause for afternoon tea became a fashionable social event. For high society, the afternoon tea table was one of great opulence and refinement. Tea drinking for the upper class came with a whole host of accessories – fine porcelain teacups and saucers, decorative silver teapots, mahogany tea caddies, silver tea urns, exquisite table linens and personalised tea blends.
At that time silverware was highly valued for its craftsmanship, intricate designs, and the intrinsic beauty of silver and was desired by the gentry. E.P. Mallory & Son would hand-deliver fine silverware to many of the great and the good of Bath, as well as serving those who visited the Bridge Street showroom.”

Over the past 125 years the business has embraced world wars and recessions, changing fashions, seasons and trends – all of which led the business to change and evolve. ”One of the most significant changes in 2005 saw the opening of our now dedicated watch department. My father, Robert Vander Woerd, had the foresight to predict the growth of the watch industry and to expand this area of our business, making us the first jeweller outside London to bring a multi-brand offering to a retail business, representing some of the finest luxury watch houses in the world. Our unique offering of fine jewellery, high end timepieces and luxury accessories made us a true shopping destination.”

Katie Vander Woerd came into the business ten years ago. “I was happy and proud to join the company and to be part of this fast-paced and fascinating industry. It’s often about carving a niche for yourself, harnessing the skills and talents you have and deciding how they can bring value. As the fifth generation, I feel immensely privileged to be able to continue to build on the heritage, brand and family values that have been created.”

Mallory is one of the most prominent jewellers in the country. “We are one of the largest independent family-owned and run jewellers in the UK today – there are not many left like us! We employ around 40 staff and the Mallory premises spans six Georgian buildings – so a lot happens behind the scenes! At the top of the house, we have dedicated state-of-the-art workshops where you will find our our accredited watchmakers and technician who service and maintain timepieces, as well as two talented goldsmiths who produce our beautiful Mallory creations, and repair and restore fine jewellery.”

We have a team of people who have been in the trade for a long time and have acquired a wealth of knowledge over the years. An important part of the watch and jewellery world is to pass on knowledge and expertise in the different specialisms, whether that’s antique jewellery, watches, gemmology, valuations, jewellery manufacturing or watch-servicing.”

Is there a secret to the success of the business? “We are a personal business, and we believe in offering a unique and personal experience. We never compromise on our standards or values. As a family company we are in control of our own destiny. Bath is a special place, and we feel fortunate that Edward Palmer Mallory chose to reside here. Our customers come from all over the world, but our home is here in Bath – we have a deep sense of our heritage in this wonderful city.
Clients come to us to buy something special. We are here to impart our knowledge and guide… and hopefully make dreams come true!”

Mallory, 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath BA2 4AP; 01225 788800;