Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers

Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers

The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.


The organisation of Tylers (roof and floor tile layers) and Bricklayers existed in 1416; it was incorporated by a Royal Charter in 1568. Originally, the Company possessed a monopoly over bricklaying within the City of London. However, after the Great Fire of London, the King decreed that brick or stone, instead of timber, should be used in the building of homes. There was too much rebuilding to be done by only the Tylers' and Bricklayers' Company; craftsmen from across England were summoned, and the monopoly was terminated. The Company now exists, along with most Livery Companies, primarily as a charitable body. The Company also supports various building schools. The Tylers' and Bricklayers' Company ranks thirty-seventh in the order of precedence of Livery Companies. Two of its Liverymen have become Lord Mayor of the City of London



Azure a Chevron Or in chief a Fleur-de-lys Argent between two Brick-axes palewise Or in base a Brush Or


[Upon a Helm on a Wreath Or and Azure] A Dexter Arm embowed vested party per pale Or and Gules cuffed Argent holding in the hand proper a Brick-axe Or


Gules doubled Argent


'In God Is All Our Trust, Let Us Never Be Confounded'

Granted by Sir Gilbert Dethick, Garter King of Arms, Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms, and William Flower, Norroy King of Arms, 3 February 1569.

Halls and Alms Houses

The Company has owned two halls at different times. The second, in Leadenhall Street, was owned from the 16th century and was one of the few to escape the Great Fire. Not used by the Company after 1767, when it became the synagogue of Dutch Jews, it was rebuilt in the early 19th century and the site sold in 1915.Today the Company holds its meetings in various livery halls in the City. One advantage is that the members can visit halls which they might not otherwise see thereby adding interest to its events.

The Company also owned Alms Houses in Islington for the benefit of distressed liverymen and their widows. These were sold in 1937 and the proceeds invested to provide pensions and financial help to the needy instead of accommodation. The charitable work continues today.


The Company is led by its Master, assisted by the Upper Warden and Renter Warden. They are appointed annually by the Court of Assistants.

Members of the Court are Past Masters of the Company, Liverymen who will be proceeding to high office, a learned Clerk and a Treasurer. From the Court an Executive Committee is elected to run its day-to-day business.

The Company employs a part-time Beadle and has an honorary Chaplain.

The Freedom and the Livery

Admission to The Freedom of the Company is open to ladies and gentlemen by Patrimony (an applicant born when their father is already a member of the Company), Servitude (apprenticeship to a craft member of the Company), or Redemption (purchase). A Freeman enjoys the social life of the Company including such events as the carol service, summer reception and seminars.

Freemen may offer themselves as candidates for full membership of The Company as Liverymen. The Livery are expected to share the responsibilities, enjoy the fellowship and participate in its social and more formal activities. Liverymen will also be expected to support the craft and charitable work of the Company.

The Company has a Christian tradition. Any candidate for the Livery should be sympathetic to this historical position.

Craft Activities

Throughout its long history The Company has taken special interest in the training of craftsmen and encouraged the highest standards of workmanship. Today it awards prizes for bricklaying and tiling to apprentices in conjunction with

* Skillbuild and the Skill Olympics
* Better Brickwork Alliance
* Guild of Bricklayers
* Royal Engineers
* Building Crafts College
* City & Guilds

There is also a Triennial Award for excellence in design and craftsmanship of roof slating or tiling, bricklaying and ceramic tiling carried out within the M25. Awards are presented to the owner of the building, the architect, main contractor and the trade foreman.

Annual seminars are arranged on historic or other aspects of the crafts.

Charitable Activities

The Company’s Charitable Trusts enable gifts to be made to worthy causes in the City and elsewhere, including support for activities involving young people. They also provide relief for those in need and generous prizes and support to its Crafts.


A number of both formal and informal events are held annually to which the Livery and their guests are invited. A typical year comprises:

*October - Installation of Master and Wardens, Church Service and Luncheon
*December - Carol Service
*February - Court and Livery Dinner
*March - United Guilds Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral
*April - Livery Dinner with Ladies
*Summer - Evening Reception
*- Craft Seminar
*Autumn - Golf Competition

In addition, a diverse programme is organised by a Committee of Liverymen. In recent years events have included an evening boat trip on the Thames, a visit a to the British Library, to the Old Bailey and a tour of Big Ben.

Costs and Membership

The costs of running the Company are covered by an annual subscription (Quarterage) . Functions are charged to members at cost.

The Company warmly invites application for membership from those who share its objectives, which are to encourage high standards in its crafts, to support actively its charities and to enjoy the fellowship of its I members.

Enquiries should be addressed to The Clerk

The Tylers & Bricklayers Company Awards and Prizes

Our triennial awards

Awarded for our crafts of roof slating and tiling, brickwork and ceramic tiling on new and renovated buildings, which have been completed during the last 3 years within the boundary of the M25. These awards will be presented for each category in July 2002 to:-
*Building owner: The Company plaque, for affixing to the winning scheme, and scroll
*Architect: The Company silver medal and scroll
*Main contractor: The Company scroll
*Specialist contractor:The Company scroll
*Specialist foreman/craftsman:The Company silver medal and scroll

The Stokes Royal Engineers Award

to the Senior and Junior Sappers with the highest marks for the year in brickwork at the Royal Engineers School of Military Engineering, Chatham. Presented annually at our March Court lunch the following year.
*Senior Award - £250, our engraved Company silver medal and scroll.
*Junior Award - £100, our engraved Company silver medal and scroll.

As far as is known the highest marks for Bricklayer B1 was gained by Sapper Tony Newell, of Portsmouth, in 1954 when he attained a mark of 100% for a theory test in concreting, bricklaying, wall and roof tiling, slating and plastering. The practical test was composed of a one brick thick panel in Flettons, in English Bond, containing a bullseye arch in Midhurst Whites, set between 2no: 2 brick piers, all with a plinth (bricks supplied), and topped with a brick on edge capping. The whole stood 2060 long and 1770 high. It was completed and weather pointed in black within 14 hours, including cutting and rubbing the bullseye. He attained a mark of 97% for this work.Interestingly he only attended the Royal Engineers School for the examination, having trained with his father since the age of 12 years, at the Portsmouth Building School, Portsmouth Technical College and Highbury Technical College. He presumably never qualified for either award.

He subsequently instructed and tested in Brickwork in BAOR attaining the rank of Corporal. He was also elected a Master Member of the Guild of Bricklayers in that year. After 3 years Army service he spent a while in the Police and then went self employed as a Master Builder, specialising in alterations and extensions with a staff of up to 40, until retirement in 1998. He has lectured in general building, brickwork and drainage, and specialised in rising damp for a while. He has held 3 patents associated with the industry. He was elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Building in 1989. He has now retired to Cornwall.(2007)

He currently runs Tsunami Watch UK which warns of the serious risk of a catastrophic Tsunami occuring, possibly within this century, which will seriously affect all countries abutting the Atlantic Ocean. Please see www.tsunamiwatch.co.uk

The E & R Fuller Award

for the London and Southeast of England Training Colleges brickwork competition for Senior (Level 3 NVQ) and Junior (Level 2 NVQ) apprentices set and judged by the Guild of Bricklayers in February. The Awards presented annually at our June Court meeting.
*Senior Winner - £500, an engraved silver trowel and Company scroll.
*Junior Winner - £100 and our Company scroll. (NB The senior winner can qualify for an additional £300 grant towards expenses if they attend the next annual UK Skillbuild competition held in October)

The National Skillbuild Competition

awarded annually to the winner and runner-up in each of our three crafts.

The Mason-Elliott Awards for Roof Slating & Tiling and also Ceramic Tiling

*Winners of each craft - £250, our engraved Company silver medal and scroll.
*Runners-Up of each craft - £100 and our Company scroll.

The Montgomery Award for Brickwork

*Winner - £250, our engraved Company silver medal and scroll.
*Runners-Up - £100 and our Company scroll.

The Better Brickwork Alliance

Our Company's 'Best Practice Award' competition for final year apprentices representing their Training Colleges on a regional basis. The prizes sponsored by the Construction Industry and the test piece designed and judged by the Guild of Bricklayers, which must be carried out within 15 hours. This is their first year for this annual Award and is divided this year into two regions, North and South England. This will be extended next year into the nine C.I.T.B. regions for England and then the following year to the 13 regions of the UK. Each prize giving will be held in a regional Guildhall or a City Livery Hall, if near London.
*Winner of each region - £500, our engraved Company silver medal and scroll.
*Runners-Up of each region - £250 and our Company scroll.

The Ceramic Tile Industry The Tile Association

Our Company's 'Best Practice Award' is currently being developed and will be sponsored by their Industries manufacturers using the same criteria as The Better Brickwork Alliance scheme. It is due to commence next year with prizes for their four regions of the UK. Winner of each region - £500, our engraved Company silver medal and scroll. Runners-Up of each region - £250 and our Company scroll.

External links

* [http://www.tylersandbricklayers.co.uk/ The Tylers' and Bricklayers' Company]

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