Back in the days when recycling was a dirty word, a few enterprising families started gathering other people’s building scraps and selling them on to like-minded individuals. These days it’s called architectural salvage and everyone’s at it.

There’s even an annual salvage fair at Knebworth and if you want to find truly original items for your house and garden, this is where you should be heading.

If you can’t make it, then below is a guide to eight of the best salvage and reclamation yards around the country.



Old school chairs like these look great in modern kitchens £40

This is where the architects and designers go, so while there is obviously good stuff you will have to be very quick off the mark to find the hidden gems. Prices are on the high side as a reflection of both clientele and location. Staff tend to be history of art graduates and know their stuff. Occasionally they will refuse to sell an item if they don’t approve of what you plan to do with it.

BEST FOR: Old school laboratory desks make great teak worktops. Often has very large pieces and more traditional finds. Usually has a large stock of cast iron radiators and Victorian pine floorboards.

Brunswick House, 30 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 2LG; 020 7394 2100



Search for treasures like these hand-blown glass pendants at £55 each

Opened in 1993, the owners studied architecture at university before starting the business in Glasgow and moving to London four years later. It’s a small set-up, but their selection is top rate.

BEST FOR: Unusual and sometimes whacky items from the 1960s and 70s. If this is your vibe, or you just want to find something a bit different this is the place to come. They now also do interior design so if you want the look (and can afford to pay for it) this is the place to come.

2A Ravensworth Road, Kensal Green, London, NW10 5NR; 020 8960 6060



Belfast sinks are always popular in kitchen renovations from £140

With 12,500 sq ft of covered warehouse and half-an-acre outside, this is one of the largest salvage yards in the country. It also has a good website which is updated every two weeks and flags up new arrivals.

BEST FOR: Old doors and handles, fire surrounds, reclaimed beams, flooring, brassware and decorative items.

10 Fosseway Business Park, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9NQ; 01608 652505



Seen here as a water feature, the company also suggests using these ceramic insulators as lights

Located in a old pub, there are some 4,000 square feet arranged over four floors. Browse through the online catalogue to get an idea of what’s available and then ring or visit.

BEST FOR: Unusual garden water features created from old ceramic insulators.

252 Chester Road, Hulme, Manchester, M15 4EX; 0161 839 5525



These 1930s glazed doors cost £450 each

Two yards, one for building materials such as bricks, tiles, timber flooring and joists, and one for the interiors, doors, furniture and fireplaces. There is also a repro shop which produces high quality replicas of popular items that are always in demand.

BEST FOR: Unlike many of the other yards which have begun to specialise, Walcot refuse to be pinned down. However, they have an enormous selection of doors arranged by size and style so it’s easy to find the right one. They are also specialists in sensitive demolition and can advice on moving larger pieces.

108 Walcot St, Bath, BA1 5BG; 01225 444404



Made from 200-year-old elm from a Sussex barn this unique piece costs £1,350

The owners used to restore houses but started hunting for architectural antiques seven years ago. This has now taken off and they run a salvage yard full time. They offer lots of advice on restoration, which products to use and will show you how to avoid the most common mistakes as well as creating furniture from reclaimed wood.

BEST FOR: Known in the region for their large selection of doors, Arc do also have a few fireplaces and some church furniture but such is their selection of doors that other dealers in the area now contact them if they find any.

Unit 1, Upper Downgate Farm, Sandy Lane, Steep Marsh, Petersfield, Hants, GU 32 2BG; 01730 231 995



Reclaimed freestanding baths are a popular item

Established in 1997, Mongers uses local craftspeople to restore and repair many of the items in their stock. There are several buildings and workshops on site with a vast range of furniture and architectural features to choose from as well as a formal garden displayed a selection of garden antiques. Owner Sam Coster is passionate about salvage and most of his own 15th century cottage is furnished with stuff he has found over the years.

BEST FOR: Fixtures and fittings from the 1890s to the 1950s including Georgian fireplaces, Victorian doors and iron railings and Norfolk quarry tiles.

15 Market Place, Hingham, Norfolk, NR9 4AF; 01953 851 868



A treasure trove of architectural antiques

Begun as a means of recycling old building materials, this company has now expanded to fill one of the largest barns in Cumbria and offers everything from furniture and fireplaces to garden ornaments and windows. The site now includes an in-house potter, antique furniture restorers, a restaurant and art gallery making it an all round good day out.

BEST FOR: ironmongery and garden statuary but there is also a garden design service specialising in reclaimed slabs and statues and a kitchen design service using old ecclesiastical fittings.

Yew Tree Barn, High Newton, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria; 01395 31498;


Thornton Kay is the senior partner of Salvo, the online directory of reclamation yards. More than 150 dealers have signed up to the Salvo Code, a voluntary code of conduct designed to give greater confidence to buyers that they are not about to take possession of anything stolen, wrongly removed from a listed site or toxic.

In addition he suggests the following:

Ask where it came from and if it can be used for what you want.

Do ask your builders if they have used salvage before.

If you buy at auction you may not be able to get your money back if an item is not what it seems. Similar at trade fairs.

If you buy at a yard, the usual consumer protection laws should apply to private purchases.

Do wear gloves and stout boots so that you can rummage about.

If you are buying several objects then do ask for a discount.

Visit Salvo for a list of dealers in your area.

For more shops and sites you might like try

Eight of the best Vintage shops

Tags : architectural featuresbest reclamationbest salvagedoorsfireplacesold school laboratory desksreclaimed floorboardsvintageworktops
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. One thing I would like to add, used to be Kent Reclamation.

  2. Sombody mentioned I purchesed 2 cast iron lamp posts with delivery to the US for £1400. That was Feb. 4, 2016. Haven’t heard from owner David J Channing since. I’ve done some research and found there are many other stories like mine. Do youself a favor, avoid at all cost. I wish I had.

  3. Looking for a scrap of old yew wood to repair the back splat of an English, late 18th, early 19th century Thames Valley Windsor chair

  4. I reckon the best places to go are the open air markets. there are huge ones in Newark and the one at Kempton SW London is great too. there used to be a nice one in New Cross but I think closed down now

  5. OoooH! Also have a brand new Belfast sink but, sadly, not for free! Same as salvage yard circa £140 or best offer in that region! Ta

  6. Does anyone want FREE decking reclaim? about 20/30 (or more) long planks, tantalised.. collect from North London

  7. Hiya,

    Does anyone know of a salvage yard that would be able to supply railway sleepers and that delivers without costing the earth.

    I’m on a very tight budget and don’t drive so am unable to collect them.

    Also would anyone know what the typical price of a sleeper is please ??

    Thanks for ANY help you can give me.


  8. Can I ask you if you buy old original street signs. Its a very rare one as it is no longer in the same borough.

    ‘Wandsworth Council, Streatham High Road SW16’.
    Streatham High Road is now in Lambeth not Wandsworth.
    Would you be interested.
    It measures 52cm x 90.5cm
    I do have a photo if you wish to see it.

  9. I have over 200 replica cast iron radiators with feet,2 types,the 4 ribbed type and old school type for sale,eiether in bulk sale or in units please call 07934877405 thanks,theese are various sections wide and 760 mm high

  10. I have recently bought a victorian house in south london. I am going to renovate the whole house. There are all original floorboards, free standing bath skirting boards, ard deco style kitchen with modern electric oven, architraves, large glass doors to rear of house (not old). also there are about 3 or 4 fireplaces too.

    If you could give me any advice i would appreciate it

    Marian mcveagh

    1. Hi Marian, there is lots of advice free on the blog on all sorts of things from planning kitchens to painting floorboards. If you would like a personal consultation (either over the phone or in person) then I run an interiors consultancy If you would like to know more about how I can help then drop me an email at kate @ It sounds like a great project, Kate

  11. Hello I have for sale 35 used fire doors in fine condition
    Also various office desks also in fine condition
    All at a reasonable price if you are in interested. Please call me on07922416665
    Many thanks Maurice heal

  12. We have 5 antique Columbian pine doors, two mahogany stable doors, 1 framed, Ledged and braced pine door and 1 pair of glazed double doors (pine) and 1 single. Would you or anyone be interèsted. I have photos if so. We are in Berkshire



    1. hello, could i see pictures of any of these doors with sizes please? looking for something very wide. thank you

  13. Hello!

    I was wondering whether you might be able to help.

    I am currently renovating a house (I’m new at this!) and have found an old fruit machine!

    Do you know where or who are the best sort of people to be able to sell this to?



  14. Theres a yard down in kent thats quiet new I visit once a week, doing up the house someone had removed all the fireplaces so visited Dave down there and got a great deal so happy with my fireplaces now and went back for more picked up an old school p.e bench for my garder I love these places! 15 minutes from Bluewater to so got some shopping done there aswell!

  15. I have four 7×3 2″ school doors approx 100years old gun shot tenans Contact me on
    07814091597 if you are interested

  16. I am trying to replace simple rosettes for a tall mirror that was screwed to an alcove. One remains but the other five were damaged when taking off the wall for renovation purposes.

    Are there any suggestions where I might find replacements. Thank you, Anne

  17. Thankyou for the list Kate! I’ve recently acquired 34 1950’s wall lights that were about to be thrown in a skip during a restaurant refit, and I don’t quite know how to shift them! It was ambitious but couldn’t bear them to be thrown away. I have contacted these salvage yards and hopefully they’ll take them off my hands. Thanks again 🙂 best Fleur

    1. Hi there Fleur

      I know this is a long shot as you posted this almost a year ago but I don’t suppose you still have the 1950s lights you rescued do you? If so I might be interested in them 🙂 please feel free to contact me on the attached email address

      Thanks fleur, hopefully speak soon

  18. Hooray, thanks Kate, this is the list I have (subconsciously) been waiting for! I am about to move and am very much looking forward to the perfect excuse to scour reclamation yards for some gems to beautify my new home! That’s the next few weekends sorted! Can’t wait to check out Lassco (and cafe!) Lyndsay x

  19. That’s good to know. I do love a good cafe/coffee when I’m out and about rummaging. Thanks for telling us, Amy.

  20. LASSCO is always a winner for me. I’ve spent many an afternoon exploring room after room of delights. For some reason the Door Furniture room seems to keep me entertained the longest! But if you visit make sure not to miss the fabulous cafe, it is decked out in their eclectic finds, serves excellent coffee and cakes, all in an atmosphere you can happily lounge in. Love it.

Comments are closed.