AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4199
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): 1893-1982
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 12.65 linear metres
Name of creator(s): J W Falkner and Sons Ltd | builders


Administrative/Biographical history:

J.W.Falkner and Sons Limited was a building company with its origins in the mid-nineteenth century, with William John Falkner (1804-1864) who had been apprenticed in 1823 to a carpenter and builder and traded in his own right as a carpenter and house agent. On his death the business was taken over by his son John William Falkner (1844-1909). It was John William who developed the firm including building premises at 24, Ossory Road, off the Old Kent Road, SE1, where the firm remained until the 1990's.

When John William retired in 1900, he handed over to his sons - chiefly Alfred Beech Falkner (d.1942), other sons set up several firms in the industry as builders or builders merchants. William Bernard Wood (1882-1944) worked in the firm as a surveyor and when Alfred Beech got into financial difficulties in 1928 was instrumental in establishing a new limited company - J.W.Falkner and Sons Limited.

Work in the 1920s and 1930s was executed for several of the leading architects of the day, including Lutyens, Curtis Green, Giles Gilbert Scott, Collcutt and Hamp, Claire Neuheim, and Wills and Kaula. A variety of houses around Beaconsfield and Le Touquet were built during this time.

Richard Alfred Wood (b.1915) entered the firm in 1934, becoming a director a few years later. On his father's death he obtained compassionate leave from the military service to arrange matters at the company and the firm continued in low-key for the remainder of the war. War-time jobs included work at the naval station at Lyness on Hoy in the Orkney Islands, a job for the Ministry of Aircraft Production at Colnbrook and a variety of bomb shelters and war damage work.

After the war the company worked for various architects such as Hatchard Smith and Bertram, Sergei Kadleigh, Fry and Drew, and Austin Vernon and Partners. They had a regular involvement with St Thomas Medical School and did work for both the LCC and GLC, and developed a speciality in the alteration and refurbishment of historic churches, contracts included work at All Souls, Langham Place; Holy Trinity, Southwark; and Saint Stephen's, Walbrook.

It was at this time that the company purchased Melhuish and Saunders Limited of Wells, Somerset, which was then run by Richard Alfred's brother William Stanley Wood. In 1962 Richard Alfred established another subsidiary - the Preservation Centre for Wood. Thus in 1963 the original company became a formal holding company - Falkner and Sons (Holdings) Limited, and a new subsidiary - J.W.Falkner and Sons Limited. In 1993 the latter company went into administrative receivership and was liquidated, the name was changed to Testlodge Limited in 1997 and wound up 1998. The assets of this company were sold by the receivers to Falkner-Wood Limited (in operation as of 2010). Falkner and Sons (Holdings) Limited became FH2 Limited in 2001 and was dissolved in 2008.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of J W Falkner and Sons Limited, 1893-1982. This collection consists of administrative material including office files and correspondence (1902-1963); financial records including ledgers, cash books and accounts (1893-1964); and plans and files relating to the various commissions the company undertook (1893-1968).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LMA/4199/A: Administration; LMA/4199/B: Finance; LMA/4199/C: Works

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in two accessions in 1998. Futher material was received in 2001, 2006 and 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Falkner family was involved with the London Master Builders Association, whose records are also at LMA (A/NFB).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"