The History of JW D’Arcy -Jewellers of Westgate

The January 2020 meeting of the Society was, despite the wet cold night, very well attended. Our Chairman, Trevor, as usual, introduced the meeting and gave preliminary information about the April charity meeting at the Cathedral. Posters and tickets for the event will be available next month.

David D’Arcy, the present owner of the JW D’Arcy, Jewelers in 7, Westgate, and the Great Grandson to J W D’Arcy gave us an informative illustrated talk on the history of the Shop premises and D’Arcy family.

A Mr Walter Swayer originally opened the shop, as a jeweller, in 1855. He was a clock and watchmaker and expanded into jewellery. In 1898 the original shop frontage was altered to very much as it is today.

An early image of the D’Arcy shop front.

In 1924 John William (Jack) D’Arcy formally took over the business and it became their family home In the 1970’s the premises survived a compulsory purchase order from the Peterborough City Council when Queensgate Shopping Mall was being planned. By  1990 the last member of the family vacated the family home this was when the family home part of the premised was converted into flats. Although the shop frontage hasn’ t changed very much in the past 100 years there have been various alterations to the interior.

The shop cabinets renovated and improved lighting added.

The shop frontage now has a preservation order placed on it by the Council as a part of the City’s heritage.

Mr D’Arcy concluded the talk with a question and answer session and members then were able to look at the copious amount of information Mr D’Arcy had collected to do with the premises and the family.

More information can be found on the D’Arcy website  –

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