Industry Construction
Business services
Fate Acquired
Successor Carillion
Founded 1822
Defunct 2006
Headquarters London, UK
Key people Joe Darby, (Chairman)
Sir John Gains, (CEO)
Employees 25,600

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



Founded by John Mowlem in 1822, the company was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1902 and went public on the London Stock Exchange in 1924. It acquired SGB Group in 1986. [1]

Major projects undertaken by Mowlem in the 19th century included Billingsgate Fish Market completed in 1874, Smithfield Fruit Market completed in 1882, the Imperial Institute completed in 1887 and Liverpool Street Station and the Great Eastern Hotel completed in 1891.

The company undertook some of the UK's most sensitive reconstruction works including Buckingham Palace in 1943 following bomb damage, the House of Commons in 1947 also following bomb damage, 10 Downing Street in 1963 and a new nave and altar for Westminster Abbey in 1966.

Tower 42 Built by Mowlem

Major projects undertaken by or involving Mowlem in the 20th century included Admiralty Arch completed in 1912, the Port of London Authority Building completed in 1919, Bush House completed in 1923, the London Post Office Railway completed in 1927, the William Girling Reservoir completed in 1951, Millbank Tower completed in 1963, London Bridge completed in 1972, the Natwest Tower completed in 1979, Thames House completed in 1994 and the Spinnaker Tower completed in 2005.

By 2005 the company had expanded such that it employed more than 25,000 people and had an annual turnover of nearly £2 billion.


It was bought by Carillion in February 2006.[2]


Mowlem took over many companies over the years. In the south west region they traded under the E. Thomas Construction name, who had been locally based.[3]

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


Other sources

  • Mowlem 1822 - 1972 - company brochure

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