From a former life as London’s oldest timber yard to hosting the city’s most forward-thinking designers, Newson’s Yard is proud to continue as a site dedicated to craftsmanship.
Newson’s Yard was built around 1840 by prolific London builder John Newson. It was constructed to provide Newson with a builder’s yard where components were made and materials were stored, as he was building in the local area.
Newson had first arrived in London from Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1830, initially taking a road sweeping contract in Berkeley Square before moving into the building industry by making trunks for maidservants. By the mid-1830s, Newson was an established builder. He built Bloomfield Terrace next to Newson’s Yard, naming the road after his wife’s maiden name Bloomfield. Newson and his family lived at 19 Bloomfield Terrace.
The yard was constructed at a time when this part of Belgravia was being developed into an exclusive neighbourhood for nobles and gentry.
Located on the southern end of the Grosvenor Estate in Belgravia, the builder’s yard was fully established by the mid-19th-century, and first appeared on the Wyld Map from 1848 to 1899, showing simple blocks of buildings forming a yard surrounded by Grosvenor Row and Queens Street, in the same location as what is now Pimlico Road.
Newson’s Yard was destroyed by a fire in 1877, and was subsequently rebuilt using brick piers to carry the roof trusses, still in existence today.
A photograph of Newson’s Yard from 1910 shows a sign that reads: “W.H Newson and Sons Timber Merchants”.
During World War II, Newson’s Yard remained largely undamaged although the block surrounding the yards suffered “blast damage, minor in nature”, according to the London City Council Bomb Damage Map from 1945.
Over the years, the building has been in continuous use as a timber yard, and was taken over by Travis Perkins in 1997.
The yard’s interior still retains much of its historic architecture features, including the central roof light, tall perimeter walls, and colonnade of brick piers, some of which are dotted with timber marks.
In 2001, a planning application was submitted to demolish the timber yard and erect five houses in its place, which was refused by inspectors on the grounds that the “building makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area”.
Now a high-quality retail space dedicated to interiors, Newson’s Yard sits comfortably within its historic context to make positive use of the existing architecture of the former builder’s yard.