Pragnell is proud to unveil its expanded and refurbished Stratford-upon-Avon showroom, marking a new chapter in the building’s 425-year history. The sixth-generation family-run jeweller, which moved to number 5 Wood Street in 1954 and expanded to number 6 in 1993, has now incorporated number 7 Wood Street into its flagship store, becoming one of the largest fine jewellery and watch showrooms in the UK.
A Tudor building in Stratford-upon-Avon’s historic centre, number 7 Wood Street has lived many lives. Built following the town’s great fire in 1594, it was designed and financed by architect Abraham Sturley, a close friend and drinking partner of then-30-year-old William Shakespeare. Sturley was granted permission by the court of King James to adorn the ceiling and fireplaces with regal Jacobean patterns used in royal households; features which have been painstakingly preserved to this day.
Over the last four centuries, the building has acted as a private home and housed a number of local shops and businesses, including lawyers, butchers and bakers. From 1632 until 1774, it was home to the Unicorn Inn, complete with its own Shakespearean theatre. Pragnell acquired the building in 2015. After extensive planning and a 12-month renovation, the next chapter in its history has begun.
Pragnell worked alongside conservation experts to preserve and restore the 16th century, Grade IIlisted building’s original features, including its timber beams and Tudor walkway. Hints of the building’s history are seen throughout the décor, from pomegranate motifs, which were used as a symbol of fertility in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, to the performing unicorns of the 17th century. The renovations were carried out using traditional materials and techniques, including reinstating lime plaster walls and incorporating reclaimed oak.
The expansion increases the size of the showroom by over 50 percent, and provides additional office space for Pragnell’s growing team. Number 7 now houses Pragnell’s roster of prestigious timepieces. Extending the watch area has provided more space to showcase Pragnell’s extensive collection of modern and antique fine jewellery.
The refurbishment also encompasses a new private room, where clients can try on one-of-a-kind Masterpieces or discuss a bespoke commission away from the main showroom floor. A new professional-grade kitchen, installed behind-the-scenes, provides the ability to host private dinners for clients and VIPs in the showroom amongst one of the finest antique silver collections in the country.
Pragnell worked with British interior designers, who specialise in sympathetic restorations of period properties, to update and modernise the showroom. New lighting, carpet, furniture, fixtures and fittings work in harmony with the 16thcentury surroundings.
The expansion into number 7 features hand-painted wallpaper, alongside lamps and mirrors to evoke the feeling of a private home, while new furniture provides a modern, elegant feel that complements the Tudor building. The showroom’s exterior has also been restored and updated with the addition of new window displays.
The expansion of the Stratford-upon-Avon showroom comes 18 months after Pragnell opened its first central London boutique on Mount Street, Mayfair. The Mount Street boutique was designed to bring a sense of the brand’s history to Mayfair, while the new-look Stratford-uponAvon showroom is representative of Pragnell’s status today as an international jewellery house.
“The expansion of our Stratford-upon-Avon showroom is a hugely exciting step in the history of Pragnell,” says Charlie Pragnell. “My grandfather moved his family to live and trade from number 5 Wood Street in 1954, my father expanded the shop into number 6 and it was the right time for me to evolve the headquarters of our company further. The enlarged space allows us our expert team to better showcase the exceptional quality and diversity of our collections, improving the experience for our customers and making our Stratford-upon-Avon showroom an even more attractive destination for those seeking the most diverse selection of fine jewellery and watches in Great Britain.”