Made in Britain: Beardmore

Beardmore specialises in architectural ironmongery.


J. D. Beardmore & Company Ltd was established in 1860 as a general ironmongery store based in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, which was then home to a large number of craftsmen making furniture. After its heyday at the turn of the century, when everything was cast in England, the company began to lose its identity and, by the 1990s, it had gone into administration.

Enter Danny Vara and his family. ‘My father already owned a standard hardware shop on Fulham road, SW10 [Farmer Brothers], and I heard that Beardmore was in trouble. I took a chance and went to see what was for sale—I’d hoped to pick up the display cabinets, but, in the end, we got the business.’

After discovering the original moulds and catalogues dating from the late 1890s and 1900s, which he’d inherited along with the business, Danny was inspired to bring them back into the collection.

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‘We went ahead and bought a foundry in Hastings—the south coast has a long history with ferroners—because I wanted to have the flexibility of being able to reproduce all the old patterns and designs as well as producing new ones for our own collection.’

Today, Beardmore designs feature on the doors and windows of many high-end London homes, including the penthouses of One Hyde park and Witanhurst House in Hampstead. the company is currently in discussion with the design team for the £3 billion Chelsea Barracks redevelopment.

For Danny, door furniture can have as much impact on a room as a fireplace or a chandelier. ‘Doing up a house or starting one from scratch means spending so much money on elements that you never see, but door handles you see and feel every day.’

For more information telephone 020–7351 5444 or visit