Architectural Salvage Northern Ireland
Shopping for architectural salvage (fireplaces, doors, etc) and reclamation materials (slates, bricks, timber) is not like taking a trip to Habitat. These shops and warehouses are, on the whole, chaotic, rambling places and you'll need to rummage. You also need a thick skin. In place of smiley sales assistants, you'll often find "trade only" dealers who'd rather not waste their time with romantically minded homeowners in search of railway sleepers. But be persistent; that way you'll find the best bargains.
Salvage is not all period details, either: there's a brisk market in late-20th-century pieces. Granted, it is not always the cheapest way to do up a home, but it is an eco-friendly way of filling your house with unique bits of history. And beware: it's addictive.
Brondesbury Architectural NW6. 020-7328 0820. Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian doors, fireplaces, radiators and some garden pieces. Good value.
The House Hospital SW18, 020-8870 8202. If you're after ready-to-plumb reclaimed cast-iron radiators, this is the place.
Lassco EC2, SE1, N1, 020-7749 9944. London's biggest and best known dealer (five divisions; three sites). The yards are efficient and easy to use, but you pay for it. Novices should visit to get a feel of what salvage is all about.
Reclaim Enfield. 020-8367 7577. Three acres of reasonably priced cobblestones (some from the Tower of London), wood flooring, slates, tiles, radiators, fireplaces.
Renaissance London EC1, 020-7251 8844. Claims to have the UK's largest selection of old stone fireplaces (some from the 16th century). It also stocks chandeliers, shutters, urns, doors, radiators and gates. Pricey, but the stuff's good, and you just might bump into Robbie Williams.
Retrouvius Reclamation W1, 020-7724 3387. 2, 500 sq ft of stuff: light fittings, marble fireplaces, flooring, etc. Currently has lots of granite for kitchen worktops. Deals mainly with trade, so you must make an appointment; but it's worth it, as it sells at trade prices.
Ace Demolition West Parely, Dorset, 22. Fireplaces, especially Victorian, from £50-£2, 500, as well as cast column radiators, a large selection of roof tiles and lots of architectural garden pieces.
Antique Baths of Ivybridge Devon, 50. All you need for a reclaimed bathroom at out of town prices.
Antique Buildings Ltd Dunsfold, Surrey, 77. Used to dealing with the rich and famous: Paul McCartney bought an original barn frame, and Warner Bros came here for the oak beams for Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone. But those after a single beam can come, too.
Au Temps Perdu Bristol, 0117 929 9143. Popular with first-time buyers searching for well priced Victorian and Georgian fireplaces, doors and bathroom fittings.
Catchpole & Rye High Halden, Kent, 55. The most unusual range of antique baths in Britain. It's not cheap (£2, 000 to £20, 000), but stock is sold refinished, and with a five-year guarantee.
Drummond's Architectural Antiques Hindhead, Surrey, 44. 70, 000 sq ft of architectural antiques, from bathroom fittings to gates. It's full of well-ordered stock, but you'll pay for it.
Marcus Olliff Bristol, 0117 923 9232. Open weekends, or by appointment. Pricey but top-quality architectural antiques. Lots of fireplaces and door furniture plus great one-offs, such as the front of an 18th-century orangery.
Minchinhampton Architectural Salvage Chalford, Gloucestershire, 86. Good for garden statuary, but also has anything from bricks to grand fireplaces.