This record is held by London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

Details of LMA/4199
Reference: LMA/4199

This collection consists of Administrative material - files and correspondence (1902-1963); Financial records - ledgers, cash books accounts ((1893 - 1964); and plans and filesrelating to the various commissions the company undertook (1893 - 1968)



Date: 1893 - 1982
Held by: London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

JW Falkner and Sons Ltd, 1928-1993, building company

Falkner, Alfred Beech, d. 1942

Physical description: 188 files
Access conditions:


  • Building design
  • Building services
Administrative / biographical background:

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 this latter company went into administrative receivership and was liquidated.

Link to NRA Record:

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