History

The Kingerlee business was established in 1868 by Thomas Henry Kingerlee, then a plumber living in Banbury.

Thomas Kingerlee moved to Oxford and soon established a thriving business, not only undertaking building works for a variety of customers but also developing new homes for the expanding city. Many houses were built in west Oxford where Helen Road and Henry Road were named after members of his family and where he built a house for himself, which is now the River Hotel. More houses were built in south Oxford and then later back in west Oxford in the area that became New Botley. Many other important projects were completed in this period and those still standing in Oxford include The Old Fire Station, The Apollo Theatre in George Street and The Jam Factory in Park End Street.

The company continued to thrive and consolidate through the twentieth century although with the arrival of the internal combustion engine, two World Wars and the Great Depression, things were certainly never dull. During the latter part of that century the company concentrated on general contracting, playing its part in rebuilding after the second war and responding to the boom years in the sixties and seventies. Much work was done at Cowley's Pressed Steel Plant, now BMW's new Mini factory, where the Apprentice Building and Paint Shop remain. In 1970 the Company re-started its development business, building amongst others, a number of prominent apartment blocks in North Oxford creating more than 200 new homes in all, and the new studios and offices for Radio Oxford in the Banbury Road.

Thomas Kingerlee died in the 1920's but by then his two sons and a grandson had joined the business and continued to manage a variety of activities, which included a Joinery and a Builders Merchant. Subsequent generations followed them into the business and today two of the founder's great great grandsons are involved, David Kingerlee and Richard Wilsdon.

Left to right: Henry Kingerlee, Thomas Henry Kingerlee, Thomas Kingerlee, Steven John Kingerlee.

 

 

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