Edinburgh Architectural Salvage Yard
Holyrood Architectural Salvage was born in the mid-nineties and focused originally on roll top baths.
Managing director Ken Fowler had a bath badly restored for his own house by a local company and thought that he could do better! He started “All About Baths” employing local spray painter David Gallacher. Ken & Dave soon had a thriving business restoring antique baths in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Borders.
Ken then started to source roll top baths for resale, took on a single workshop in Leith and when Dave didn’t have a customer’s bath to restore he would come to the workshop and enamel the bath that Ken had sourced. The salvage side of the business was born!
Ken continued to buy baths, Dave continued to restore them and a small showroom/workshop was rented just off Gayfield square. This damp dark & dingy showroom which may still be remembered by some of you was really the start of something big!
Ken noticed that his bath customers were looking for the full suite and started to source Victorian basins, toilets (often decorative) high level cisterns and taps. He used to strip the chrome of the taps and polish up the brass underneath and was ever so proud of his efforts. Business continued to grow on both sides with Dave focusing on the baths whilst Ken had the salvage bug!
He became a salvage hunter and was often seen digging through skips, frequenting scrap yards and visiting any site that was being demolished or restored. Asylums, old hospitals, stately homes, schools or wherever treasure was to be found, Ken was there!
Gayfield Square was quickly outgrown and new premises were sought! It was then that Ken chanced upon the old Dryborough brewery in Duddingston. An amazing listed structure was the perfect setting for the growing collection. A deal was struck with the landlords and the name changed to Holyrood Architectural Salvage. The business went from around 500 square feet to 6, 600 square feet overnight and the stock looked ridiculously inadequate in such a cavernous space.
Alan Brown visited Holyrood, liked what he saw and already being a friend of Ken’s from way back, decided to join the team. Ken and Alan continued to buy everything they could find and some of their earlier purchases can still be seen in Holyrood today – in hindsight, not the most desirable items but they were learning as they went. Among the ‘can’t sell list’ are a pair of huge columns from a masonic lodge and a bronze bank teller’s screen.