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A   H I S T O R Y   O F   R E S T O R A T I O N

Henry Crowther started to produce Lead garden ornaments from his new Chiswick workshop in 1908, which in fact was a corrugated roof placed upon two garden walls tagged onto the back of an old blacksmith shop at the bottom of his garden. He also had no idea where it was going to lead. Over a century and four generations later his company is still in the business of restoring and reproducing Lead and is still under the same corrugated roof in Chiswick West London. In fact very little has changed since 1908 apart from the fact that we are now known globally.

Almost from the beginning Henry was approached for advice on how to restore and in some cases, to replace important pieces from what have now become very important gardens. Along with supplying many of the new gardening projects that were taking place at that time, Henry soon had his hands full honing the skills needed to restore the Cisterns and Ornaments that were beginning to fill up his workshop.


        Above- Henry Crowther in the Chiswick             show ​garden


In 1940 Jim Crowther, Henry's son, took over as senior restorer. Concentrating on developing the skills he had picked up from his father since joining the company ten years earlier at the age of fifteen,

Jim took Lead conservation to another level. With his new techniques Jim was able to travel to many important figures all over the country and restore them in situ rather than having to dismantle the figure itself, saving unnecessary distress to the figure and keeping the cost to a minimum. Jim's first major restoration project was a life size figure of William of Orange, cast by John Van Nost.

Left - Jim restoring in situ

Grandson of Henry, Paul Crowther began working at H Crowther Ltd in 1968 at the age of fifteen. (The same age as his father was when he started) Paul threw himself into the family business learning every aspect of it in fine detail. Learning from Jim, Paul soon became an expert in restoring large 18th century Statues and by the time Paul took over the company, his knowledge on ornamental Lead work and restoration was being sought by individual owners, trusts and organisations from all over the world. Paul has added his own skills and techniques to the knowledge he has learnt from his father Jim and turned the restoration of Lead ornamentation into an art form. He has traveled many times to Europe and America to restore.
Right- Jim in the Crowther
Studio with a very young
Paul behind
Above - Paul and Peter restoring in America. 
Peter restoring in situ

Peter McBride started at the studio in 1983 at the age of sixteen. Under the tutorage of Paul and Jim he soon became an eager student in restoration. By 1986 he was working on his first major restoration, an 18th century figure of Punch by John Cheere and by the early 1990s Peter had travelled to Australia and many times to America to advise and restore. He has also had the honour of working in some of the most important private and public gardens throughout the United Kingdom. Peter is currently the senior restorer at H. Crowther Ltd.

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