The History of W. Carter & Son

W Carter & Son Limited is one of the oldest family businesses in Wiltshire & as you will see below we have been trading from the same premises for over 200years….

Over the years W Carter & Son has been a Watch & Clockmakers, jewellers, silversmiths and even an opticians, today W Carter & Son is a flourishing shop providing Salisbury and surrounding areas with our wealth of experience, knowledge & expertise offering a range of services from new & antique jewellery, new & pre-owned clocks & watches, valuation services, hand & machine engraving, jewellery & watch repairs, bespoke jewellery designs, silversmith.

1817 - 1819

On 10th March 1817, William Carter announces the commencement of his business as a watch & clock maker at 3 Minster Street after purchasing the stock from William Bennett who was the clock & watch maker in the Salisbury Market-place.

1820 - 1853

In 1820 William Carter and his wife Ann give birth to a son, William Carter.

1854 - 1876

When in 1854 William Carter and his wife Ann pass away through cholera, young William Carter takes on the W. Carter & Son business.

1877 - 1890

In 1877 William Carter expands the shop and buys 5 Minster Street and by this stage the shop is listed as a Jewellers, silversmiths, watch & clock makers.

1891 - 1892

In 1891, William Carters son, William Holderness Carter is made a partner in the business.

1892 - 1893

In 1893 William Holderness takes over the business from his father.

1894 - 1933

In 1894, sees Percy Holmes made an apprentice and is later asked by Bessie Carter to become a partner in the business.

1934 - 1953

In 1934, Stanley Holmes, Percy’s Son begins working in the workshop for his father and Bessie Carter, who is still a partner in the business at this point. During the Second World War, Stanley spent his time as an instrument maker.

1954 - 1967

1954 sees Stanley Holmes and his wife Phyllis ‘Joan’ take over the shop with Bessie Carter when, tragically Percy dies winding the clocks at Longford Castle. Seven years later Brian Holmes (Stanley & Joan’s’) eldest Son joins the business followed by his younger brother Eric ‘Tad’ Holmes two years later. Bessie Carter remained a partner until the late 1950's.

1968 - 2005

In 1968, Andrew Cross joins the business as an in house engraver and stayed with us until his retirement 2018.

2006 - 2010

In 2006 Stanley Holmes dies and both Brian & Tad take on the business.

2010 - 2013

2010 sees family friend Sebastian Salt join the business as a Gemmologist and in 2011 Brian’s daughter Paulette Newman joins the business after many years in banking. Later in 2011, both Sebastian and Paulette become Director’s and part owners of the business.

2014 - 2016

In 2014 Charlotte Salt, Sebastian’s wife joins the business.

2017 - 2021

2017 see’s the business celebrate it’s 200th Anniversary, still trading from the same premises from where it all began in 1817.

2020 the world is struck by Covid-19 and with most business’s, W. Carter & Son was forced to close for many months. During this time brother’s Brian and Eric ‘Tad’ Holmes decide to retire.

2021 see’s the birth of Sebastian and Charlotte Salt’s daughter, Henrietta……. who knows a career in jewellery may one day beckon…………the W. Carter & Son story continues.


Brian Holmes sadly passes away.

Meet The Team

John Frank

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John Frank

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John Frank

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John Frank

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