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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 B/HIG
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1868-1978
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 6.81 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Higgs and Hill Ltd | builders


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Matthew Hill and William Higgs both established building firms in the 1850s : Hill and Sons in Islington, and Higgs in Westminster (later moving to Vauxhall). Friendship between the two families led to amalgamation in 1874 as Hill, Higgs and Hill. William Higgs' yard in Vauxhall became the company headquarters and was renamed "Crown Works". On the retirement of Rowland Hill in 1877 the firm's name was simplified to Higgs and Hill. The firm enjoyed several prestigious early contracts, including the Tate Gallery on Millbank, Harvey Nicholls department store in Knightsbridge, and work on the new St Thomas' Hospital at Westminster Bridge.

In 1898 the business was incorporated as a limited liability company; getting a flying start with the winning of a new contract - the largest yet - for the Royal Naval Training College at Dartmouth.

The company moved its headquarters from Crown Works in 1967, to New Malden, Surrey. The workshops were moved to Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, along with the joinery works which operated under the name of Foster and Dicksee Limited. As the business continued to expand, other building firms were taken over, including Holliday and Greenwood.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Higgs and Hill Limited, builders, and of subsidiary or merged companies, 1868-1978. The records are largely of financial nature, but do include other administrative material and contract information. There is a particularly good run of tender books for the period 1906-1965, detailing all the jobs for which Higgs and Hill tendered, regardless of whether or not they won the contract.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged by firm, beginning with Higgs and Hill themselves, and then the small firms which became attached to Higgs and Hill Limited: Holliday and Greenwood Limited {B/HIG/HG}, Foster and Dicksee Limited {B/HIG/FD}, Patman and Fotheringham Limited {B/HIG/PF}, And A. Hone and Sons (Brickmakers) {B/HIG/HS}. Within these groups the records are divided into four main categories - administrative records, financial records, records concerning contracts, and miscellaneous material. The records listed as Higgs and Hill Limited {B/HIG/HH} also contain material which relates to more than one firm in the Higgs and Hill Group.

Conditions governing access:

Open access to most records, except wages books under 65 years old (indicated in list).

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made from the material for private study. Readers wishing to publish copied material should obtain permission from the Copyright rests with the depositors.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The archives of Higgs and Hill Limited were deposited in the Greater London Record Office in 1968 (Accession number Ac.68/49) and 1996 (Accession number ACC/3716).

Allied Materials

Related material:

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

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