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Boulton & Paul’s Prefabricated Buildings.

B&P developed out of an ironmongery shop founded in 1797 producing agricultural and domestic goods. In 1864 the firm expanded after acquiring a larger iron foundry in Rose Lane, responding to the growing demand for prefabricated buildings.

Buildings were manufactured in small sections for easy assembly and disassembly for transportation by railway and steam ship. The result was a flexible, cheap and popular way of quickly erected buildings.

B&P produced a wide range of buildings which included domestic dwellings from villas to humble cottages and bungalows; conservatories, aviaries and other embellishments to great houses; churches, chapels, mission and gospel halls; hospital and sanatoria; school rooms; agricultural buildings such as stock yards, chitting houses, poultry houses, and kennels of various complexity; sports halls, gymnasia, swimming pools, pavilions, and equestrian centres. These buildings were sent all over the British Isles and abroad, particularly to the countries of the British Empire.



B&P issued catalogues which give a good sense of the buildings being manufactured.

This is an illustration of St. Paul’s, Norwich, from their 1898 Catalogue.

NHBG is starting a project to explore and examine B&P buildings with an emphasis on buildings in Norfolk. A first stage of the project is to identify B&P buildings through documentary research and Internet searches and photographic and measured recording of standing buildings. 

This photograph of St. Paul’s, Magdalen Road, Norwich was taken in 1956 prior to demolition. By George Plunket, and part of the George Plunket Collection at www.georgeplunkett.co.uk

If you would like to get involved with this project or have information about B&P buildings - standing or demolished- please contact Dr Brendan Chester-Kadwell on e-mail: boulton.paul@btinternet.com or telephone 01603 260307.