According to the Census of 1851, there were in London fifty-seven firms of builders employing fifty or more men, and nine firms were reported as employing more than 200 men. In 1872, at the time of the great lock-out of their workers by the London master builders, the secretary of the Central Association of Master Builders claimed that there were "fully 250 large building establishments" in London. A fair proportion of these firms were probably organized on [Thomas] Cubitt’s model — particularly the largest of them.

Firms of such a size and character were quite large by the standards of industrial Britain in the mid-nineteenth century. In the space of half a century an industry which had been organized primarily on a craft basis had, without the stimulus of any important technological advances, thrown up a group of large, complex, and markedly capitalist businesses. — E. W. Cooney 173

Thomas Cubitt, detail of his statue in Dorking by William Fowke.

Individual Firms

Links to related material


Anderson, Christy. Review of James Ayres's Building the Georgian City. The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 59: 2 (June 2000). 252-54.

Cooney, E. W. "The Origins of the Victorian Master Builders." The Economic History Review 8, no. 2 (1955): 167–76.

Halliday, Stephen. Making the Metropolis: Creators of Victoria's London. Derby: Breedon, 2003.

History RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). Web. 7 November 2021

ICS (Institute of Civil Engineers): History, Web. 7 November 2021.

Long, Helen C. Victorian Houses and Their Details: The Role of Publications in Their Building and Decoration. Oxford: Architectural Press, 2002.

Powell, Christopher G. The British Building Industry since 19800: An Economic History. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Spon, 1996.

Spencer-Silver, Patricia. Pugin's Builder: The Life and Work of George Myers. Hull: University of Hull Press, 1993.

Created 7 November 2021