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London contractor moves office for first time since 1759

4 December 2020
Sykes & Son staff outside the original Essex Street premises on a company day out in the 1950s

London contractor Sykes & Son, which claims to be the capital’s oldest building contractor, has moved to a new office after being based on the same street for 261 years.

The firm, founded in 1759, will move to Sykes House, a purpose-built, energy-efficient office in Bloomsbury, from Essex Street.

The company, formed by John Willis, worked at St Clement Dane’s Church in its founding year – a church that the company worked on again 250 years later. It has its roots in glazing and plumbing work but now operates as a multi-disciplinary firm.

Among more recent clients, Sykes & Son works with C Hoare & Co – the oldest bank in the UK – and carries out maintenance for Historic Royal Palaces at HM Tower of London. Other key clients include English Heritage, City of London Corporation, Victoria and Albert Museum (since at least the 1920s) and the Royal Albert Hall.