Mowlem was one of the largest construction and civil engineering companies in the United Kingdom. Carillion bought the firm in 2006.

Business services
HeadquartersLondon, UK
Key people
Joe Darby, (Chairman)
Sir John Gains, (CEO)
Number of employees


The firm was founded by John Mowlem in 1822, and was continued as a partnership by successive generations of the Mowlem and Burt families, including George Burt, and Sir John Mowlem Burt.[1]

The company was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1902 and went public on the London Stock Exchange in 1924. A long-standing national contractor, Mowlem developed a network of regional contracting businesses including Rattee and Kett of Cambridge (bought in 1926); E. Thomas of the west country (bought in 1965); Ernest Ireland of Bath; and the formation of a northern region in 1970. During the Second World War the company was one of the contractors engaged in building the Mulberry harbour units.[2]

Mowlem acquired SGB Group, a supplier of scaffolding, in 1986.[3] Mowlem also bought Unit Construction in 1986, giving the firm a substantial presence in private housebuilding - within two years, sales were up to an annual rate of 1,200. The ensuing recession led to losses of over £180m between 1991 and 1993 and banking covenants came under pressure. The housing division was sold to Beazer in 1994.[4]

Mowlem was bought by Carillion in February 2006.[5]

Major projects

Major projects undertaken by or involving Mowlem included:

Mowlem was also the owner and developer of London City Airport completed in 1986.[26]

See also

  • John Mowlem - Biography of the founder of the company
  • George Burt - Biography of his successor as manager of the company
  • Edgar Beck - Biography of chairman then president between 1961-2000
  • Frank Baines History of John Mowlem unpublished typescript history held at London Metropolitan Archives


  1. "Burt, Sir John Mowlem, Kt". National Maritime Museum Cornwall. NMMC. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  2. Hartcup, p. 94
  3. Notes on Financial Times Actuaries Index 1986 Archived 2005-01-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Wellings, Fred: Dictionary of British Housebuilders (2006) Troubador. ISBN 978-0-9552965-0-5,
  5. Construction firms agree takeover BBC News, 2006
  6. Mowlem 1822 - 1972, p.4
  7. History of the Woolwich Ferry, Royal Borough of Greenwich. Retrieved: 8 December 2015.
  8. Mowlem 1822 - 1972, p.7
  9. Mowlem 1822 - 1972, p.8
  10. Mowlem 1822 - 1972, p.6
  11. "Sign in to Photo Forums". Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  12. Smith, Denis. Civil Engineering Heritage: London and the Thames Valley, p.70. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  13. "nuclear-sc-wl". Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  14. Mowlem 1822 - 1972, p.9
  15. Mowlem dives into the red Evening Standard, 4 February 2005
  16. "About the Falklands". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  17. "Docklands Light Railway (D.L.R.)". Exploring 20th Century London. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  18. "Past, Present and Future" (PDF). Metrolink. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  19. "Thames House and Vauxhall Cross". National Audit Office. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  20. "Mowlem for Albert". Construction News. 3 November 1994. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  21. "Moving three hospitals is a truly major operation". The Journal. 9 December 2003. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  22. "AustralAsia link making rapid progress". The Railway Gazette. 1 April 2002. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  23. "Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth - Building #406". Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  24. "Steel conversion for Twickenham". New Steel Construction. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  25. "Dublin Port Tunnel settlement - TunnelTalk". Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  26. Mowlem sighs with relief on pounds 15.5m disposal The Guardian, 31 October 1995


  • Hartcup, Guy (2011). Code Name Mulberry: The Planning Building and Operation of the Normandy Harbours. Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 978-1848845589.
  • Mowlem 1822 - 1972 - company brochure
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