NEVER TO BE REPEATED WOODS
Woodworks are on a quest to find the very best wooden treasures.
This has always been our mission, and thanks to our experts’ experience through the years, when we find something extraordinary, we know just how good the material is.
Telling stories of the past, reclaimed woods represent some of the very best and most history-packed timbers available.
We have travelled to every corner of the globe to reclaim beautiful woods steeped in historical meaning. From local architectural buildings in the United Kingdom to renovated homes in South East Asia, we love to tell the stories behind our reclaimed floors, and here are just a few…
It’s not often that the opportunity to own reclaimed wood of such historical impact presents itself.
We’re very fortunate then to be the custodians of beams from the Old War Office, and iconic landmark in London. This neo-baroque building in London’s Whitehall, built in 1901, became the administration centre of the British Army during both World Wars, all the way through until 1964.
After 1964 the building continued to be used by the Ministry of Defence, who referred to the building as the “Old War Office.”. In 2014 the Old War Office was transformed into a modern luxury hotel. Once the development was underway, we became the proud owners of the wooden floorboards.
This reclaimed British Colombian Pine sat above the air raid shelter in the basement of the building and was privy to the private conversations and footsteps of key influential figure in British history, including Winston Churchill.
The restoration process was meticulous.
When creating these engineered boards with perfectly hand rolled edges, our artisans took extra care to ensure the centuries old wood was never dishonored. Thousands of handlings and hundreds of years of collective experience were needed to bring out the very best this reclaimed pine had to offer.
Covering earth and air, is the story of Dark Colonial Teak.
We travelled almost 5,000 miles to reclaim this history-packed Burmese Teak from South East Asia, which was living at the heart of homes which were ready to be renovated.
It naturally resists decay, insects, rot and is aptly nicknamed ‘the King of the Hardwoods’ due to its extreme stability, hence why it was selected for use in these East Asian homes throughout the centuries.
To preserve remaining forests, new teak has become a controlled timber by the Indonesian government.
As a result of it no longer being freely available, it’s become increasingly more difficult to obtain, making it one of the rarest species of wood in the world.
Making this rare Teak such a rich, dark colour was a happy accident after some of the teak was stained accidentally, creating this beautiful deep tone. We loved it so much, we repeated the process, creating an extraordinary floor complete with historical markings and a polished patina.
The story of our Dutch East Indies Teak begins in the early 1800s, when Dutch traders sailed across vast oceans and settled in what is now known as the Republic of Indonesia.
The influence of the Dutch settlement is still very much prevalent in architecture in Indonesia today. Colonial homes were almost always the preserve of the wealthy Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese elite, the architecture being a fusion of Western and Indonesian heritage.
Our Dutch East Indies Teak floors have been crafted from flooring extracted from these homes when they were undergoing modern renovations.
During the full restoration process at the hands of our English artisans, extra care was forced to be taken to ensure that the original patina was left intact, bringing a truly unique feel to this reclaimed floor.
Jarrah is a slow growing Australian hardwood, and is one of the rarest timbers that our planet has to offer.
Found on the iron and aluminum rich plains Western Australia, Jarrah is only known to grow in this part of the world.
Jarrah started to be imported into the United Kingdom in 1887 when a shipment of Jarrah arrived to be used as street pavement blocks, in place of cobblestones. The reason behind using Jarrah for streets was due to the timber being highly durable and water resistant.
Kings Cross had a large goods yard and towards the end of the 19th century was handling approximately a million tons of goods. A significant potato market grew up on the eastern margin of the goods station, which was where our jarrah was living.
The wood that we reclaimed from the Kings Cross warehouse was in lengths of up 2000mm and 200mm wide – which for Jarrah is very impressive.
We meticulously worked the wood to craft wide and long engineered planks, whilst restoring the original surface patina and undulations which make this reclaimed wood flooring so special. The result is a prodigious reclaimed floor.
Grown across the Alps and other mountainous regions of Europe, Swiss Pine is a wood that typically experiences the harshest of weathers and coldest of temperatures, making this one of the most resilient woods we have.
The tree grows very slowly, living up to 1,000 years, so you can only imagine the tight and plentiful growth rings inside the wood.
Throughout history the use of the Swiss Pine family has been documented.
Many carvings in Val Gardena, Italy have been created using this wood, it was the field sign of the Roman legion in 15BC and still features on the coat of arms of the German city of Augsburg to this day.
A European treasure, our artisans painstakingly restore each piece, transforming it into an engineered floor fit for modern life – continuing a centuries, perhaps millennia, of storytelling.
Pitch Pine (or longleaf Pine) played a key role in the growth and development of the United States as an economic power.
The exceptional structural quality of the Pitch Pine was utilised in bridges, wharves, trestles, posts joists and piles.
The wood was even used to build the first ships for the English and American navy. Use of this Pine on US ships dates back as far as 1794 when the U.S.S Constitution, known as "Old Ironsides," was commissioned to be built with a keel made of single heart Pine timber and decks made from Pine planks.
Pitch Pine continued its historical impact with the ruling of King George II, who mandated that all straight pines exceeding 24 inches in diameter would be considered property of The Crown. He then ordered his surveyors to brand the Pines with his mark of a broad arrow. In response to this proclamation the colonist starred and feathered the surveyors. This act is considered by many to have been a precursor to the Boston Tea Party.
Our reclaimed Pitch Pine arrives from a plethora of reclamation sites, with Northbank Pine coming close to our home in Liverpool, England. These beams were some of the largest we have ever reclaimed and our artisans beautifully restored and repairs the timber, transforming the pine into a timelessly elegant floor.
Vodka production is now a highly industrialized process, but solid oak fermentation vats were an important part of its history and culture, producing a velvety smoothness to the liquid.
These huge vats were works of art with every element curved to ensure they remained watertight. They had tightly fitting bases and lids with neat access panels and were pulled together with enormous steel straps. Now relics of the past, they highlight the architectural, industrial heritage of Vodka creation in Eastern Europe.
Put simply, you could only use the very best quality wood for these vats. This special European Oak was the prized material of its day; being simply exceptional.
If oak is sawn in a certain way, it will importantly only move in its thickness and not its width (known as ‘quarter sawn’) which is the only way to guarantee the vats function correctly, but finding reclaimed woods cut this way is a rarity.
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to restore these incredible oak boards which have unique markings throughout. For our artisans, it’s a real pleasure to work with, as no two pieces are the same, and there’s character to be found throughout, as well as a perfect original patina.