History

A matchless record of building excellence for almost a century

The company continues to grow. Alongside landmark projects in the science and education sectors – including, among many others, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew – Walter Lilly has built a reputation as London’s premier residential construction specialist. But for all its success, the spirit of the family business lives on. Throughout its 90 year history the company has had just eight managing directors – and this includes the original Mr Lilly and his son who succeeded him – together with a staff retention record that is the envy of competitors.

Explore our company history

Walter Lilly history

1924

Walter Gent Lilly establishes the company in Westminster, central London

1938

Timber mill and yard established in Streatham, South London

1945

The company moves all operations to Streatham

Walter Lilly history

1946

Walter Gent Lilly dies and Walter Gordon Lilly succeeds his father as owner and managing director

1952

Walter Lilly appointed to construct the West Boathouse in Hyde Park

1954

Timber yard is destroyed by fire. Construction now becomes the main focus

1955

The business is sold to the Y.J.Lovell Group but continues to trade under the Walter Lilly name

Walter Lilly history

1956

The company is appointed to carry out the remodelling of London’s famous Café Royal

Walter Lilly history

1958

Walter Lilly undertakes the conversion of London’s Hippodrome to ‘The Talk of the Town’

1965

The company continues to expand, becoming a major London contractor, with three offices

1976

Walter Lilly begins a business relationship with GSK, which has lasted almost 40 years

1979

Relocation of all operations to Thornton Heath, South London

1987

The original Westminster yard, now outgrown, is sold for redevelopment

Walter Lilly history

1997

Science and education projects become a key area of focus for the company – including extensive work at Imperial College London

Walter Lilly history

1998

Work completed on Ringo Starr’s country residence in Rydinghurst, Surrey

Walter Lilly history

2000

Appointed to carry out the renovation of Southwark Cathedral, a Millennium Project

Walter Lilly history

2001

Walter Lilly appointed to carry out an extensive project in Charles Street

Walter Lilly history

2003

The Caroline Terrace project is completed

Walter Lilly history

2004

Major conversion of Cadogan Hall, Belgravia, from a church to a concert hall

Walter Lilly history

2005

Commissioned to carry out a highly specialised project for the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Walter Lilly history

2006

Appointed to undertake extensive renovation work to Hanover Lodge, Regent’s Park

Walter Lilly history

2009

Completes renovation of Chiswick House Conservatory

Walter Lilly history

2009

Walter Lilly is trusted to create the 7 July Memorial in Hyde Park

Walter Lilly history

2010

Walter Lilly awarded contract for Roundhill, Hampstead. A 30,000 square foot new build project for a private client

Walter Lilly history

2011

Walter Lilly appointed to undertake refurbishment work at London’s Café Royal – 55 years after completing its original restoration

Walter Lilly Cornwall Terrace

2012

Completes refurbishment of Cornwall Terrace – to become the world’s most expensive terraced house

Walter Lilly history

2012

Walter Lilly completes major renovation of a Park Lane mansion

Walter Lilly history

2014

Walter Lilly celebrates it’s 90th anniversary

Walter Lilly Croydon Office

2014

Walter Lilly moves offices to central Croydon

2015

Walter Lilly launches new brand which was designed to demonstrate the core attributes of the company; longevity, luxury, confidence and service

2016

Walter Lilly named Building Awards 'Contractor of the Year' (up to £300m).

2016

Newport Street Gallery wins 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize

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