Our Story

Our showroom and offices are in Sun Street Canterbury, close to the main entrance to Canterbury Cathedral.

We follow an ancient tradition of goldsmithing in our part of the city, which can be traced by archaeology back into the ninth century. While we are newcomers in comparison, we are proud that our business can trace its origins on its present site back to Victorian times. Cousins Jewellers has been owned and managed by our family for four generations.

Sun Hotel Circa 1900
Sun Hotel Circa 1985

The original shuttered shop was founded by John Martin, and beneath the timbered elevations of the old Sun Hotel the shop frontage remains as it was in his time. 

The business passed into the ownership of Stanley Sladden, whose daughters were staffing the shop after the second world war. The baton was taken up by Thomas Cousins who married Betty Sladden and they ran and grew the enterprise together until 1985. In that year befell a tragedy, when during an armed robbery Thomas Cousins was killed while bravely defending his family and business. 

Jonathan Cousins in the Showroom circa 1977
Nigel Cousins in the Showroom circa 1977

Currently, the showroom is managed by his sons, Nigel and Jonathan Cousins, while Betty Cousins, Thomas’ widow, still enjoys coming to work at her advanced age. Daughter-in-law Rachel Cousins is our capable administrator and has artistic licence over the window displays. Thomas’ and Betty’s granddaughter Araminta Chapman brings our business to the fourth generation.

With our hard-earned experience and corporate memory, we know how things used to be done, and the high standard to how things can be crafted, which has taught us techniques that we incorporate into jewellery of modern design. The result is exemplified in our production and sourcing of pieces of distinctive appearance, that we expect to stand daily wear and the test of time, and which we have exhibited internationally. Our gallery gives you a taste of our quality and style.

Shop Showroom Circa 1995