Featured Event

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, 
Magdalen Road, Norwich, from their 1898 Catalogue.

This photograph is of St. Paul’s taken in 1956 prior to demolition by George Plunket, and part of the George Plunket Collection at www.georgeplunkett.co.uk

Other B&P churches at Burgh Parva and Babington. 
Babington photo taken by Ricky Hetherington

George Plunkett photographed a B&P 'Tin Hut' which served as police station in Market Square Norwich until it was demolished as part of the redevelopment in 1938. The brand new City hall can be seen in the background.

A photo and plan from B&P Catalogue for 1913 



A 1934 B&P catalogue B159 illustrates Pavilions, Club Houses and Boathouses. This included Type B526 thatched pavilion as built for Norfolk County Bowls Club at a cost of £700.  The bowling club website shows the pavilion in good repair and well thatched at http://norfolkbc.org.uk

In the same catalogue was B524 Pavilion as built at Gresham's School, Holt with Norfolk Reed thatch at a cost of £750.  

NHBG is currently identifying B&P buildings through documentary research and Internet searches with the aim of building up a photographic record and measured recording of standing buildings. 

Documentary Research Group are in the process of sifting through the 132 boxes kept at the NRO. These contain the Boulton and Paul archives and Jim Colman's papers as company archivist. Most boxes have been examined and the contents recorded. The group are now photographing pages from the over 100 catalogues, which are revealing a wide range of buildings including, residences, village halls, boathouses, revolving shelters, churches and hospitals.

Recent work has found some gates designed and made by Boulton & Paul, including one for Eaton Park. 

Two B&P buildings in Poringland 
photographed recently - both at the end of their lives. 


This B&P building was part of the school at Deopham, now a private house. 
 Suffield Village Hall

  This pavilion at Eaton Park is in fine form and open for business.

Recently on the market Tin House at Briston, with a railway carriage in the garden. Possibly a B&P building. There were several companies making similar buildings so it is not easy to be sure. Not far from the church at Burgh Parva. 

If you would like to get involved with this project or have information about B&P buildings - standing or demolished- please contact