The History of Ainsworth – Blackburn’s Oldest Jewellers


Nestled in the heart of Blackburn’s Cathedral Quarter, Ainsworth Jewellers stands as a beacon of elegance and tradition, weaving a rich tapestry of history that spans over 150 Years. Since its opening, this iconic jewellery store has not only been a purveyor of exquisite craftsmanship but has also played an integral role in the cultural and social fabric of the community.

Let us embark on a journey through time to explore the fascinating history of Ainsworth Jewellers.

The story of Ainsworth Jewellers began in 1870 when it was founded by Joseph Ainsworth.

With a passion for jewellery and a keen eye for quality, Joseph set out to create a store that would be synonymous with sophistication and timeless beauty. The modest shop, originally located on Darwen street in Blackburn, quickly gained a reputation for its exceptional craftsmanship and personalised service.

As Blackburn flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so did Ainsworth Jewellers. The store expanded its offerings to include a diverse range of jewellery and watches, from classic diamond engagement rings to avant-garde pieces that reflected the changing tastes of the time.

Ainsworth Jewellers embraced innovation, incorporating new design techniques and staying at the forefront of emerging trends.

Beyond its role as a retail establishment, Ainsworth Jewellers has been an active participant in community affairs.

All five generations of the Ainsworth family have been dedicated to supporting local causes, contributing to charitable initiatives, and fostering a sense of community spirit.

Between 1910-1926 Ainsworth Jewellers were even responsible for the supply of the FA Cup medals to the Football Association, and in 1910, they donated the clock to the conservatory in Corporation Park which is still there to this day.

The store has hosted events, sponsored and arranged local festivals, supported the talent of the future with its collaborations with the college and played a crucial role in the vibrant cultural life of Blackburn.

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Like any enduring institution, Ainsworth Jewellers weathered its share of challenges.

The two World Wars presented difficult times for the business, but the resilience and adaptability of the Ainsworth family ensured the store's survival.

Throughout economic fluctuations and societal changes, Ainsworth Jewellers remained a constant, providing a touch of luxury and beauty to generations of customers; even supplying generations of the same family with their engagement rings and wedding bands.

As the world entered the 21st century, Ainsworth Jewellers embraced modernity while staying true to its roots.

The store adapted to changing consumer preferences by introducing an online presence, allowing customers to explore their exquisite collections from the comfort of their homes.

Despite the technological advancements, Ainsworth Jewellers continues to prioritise the personal touch that has defined its legacy, to become a trusted authority on Diamonds and Jewellery.

Today, Ainsworth Jewellers is headed by Philip (5th generation) and his wife Helen Dimmick a renowned jewellery specialist, who is also a fellow of the gemmological association and qualified diamond grader as well as the face of ITV’s ‘Bling’ show hosted by Gok Wan. It stands as a living testament to the enduring power of craftsmanship, tradition, and community.


Its legacy is not just about the jewellery it sells but also the stories it holds – tales of engagements, anniversaries, and milestones celebrated with Ainsworth pieces, some which can be seen in the store’s own family museum.

The store remains an integral part of Blackburn's history, contributing to the cultural and economic vitality of the region, as well as continuing the tradition of supporting the community with links to The Cathedral, East Lancashire Hospice, The Deaf Village North West and Blackburn Youth Zone.

Ainsworth Jewellers in Blackburn is more than just a jewellery store; it is a repository of memories and a custodian of tradition. Ainsworth is proud to share their expertise in a warm and welcoming environment within the store that gives consumers the opportunity to choose that prefect piece whether it’s an engagement ring or other item for that special occasion.

Through decades of evolution and adaptation, it has stood the test of time, remaining a cherished establishment in the hearts of its patrons. As Blackburn continues to grow and change, Ainsworth Jewellers remains a steadfast presence, continuing to add sparkle to the lives of those who walk through its doors.