In 1660 William Groves (Stone Mason) set up in business in Milton-Under-Wychwood due to the proximity of stone quarries at Upton, Taynton and Burford.
William Groves, master mason, was invited by Christopher Kempster, assistant to Sir Christopher Wren’s master mason Thomas Strong, to join Wren’s team of masons on the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Several generations later the first Alfred Groves was born in 1826. He developed the firm from a local builder to one of national repute amongst Architects. In 1904 he formed the present day business of Alfred Groves and Sons. The sons were Thomas Alfred and Samuel Edwin Groves and, by the time of Alfred’s death (1914), his eldest son Thomas had taken over the management of the business, to be followed at his death (1929) by his younger brother Samuel. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the brothers added to the significant reputation of the firm for high-class traditional building.
In 1914 Samuel founded the timber department and Groves became the country’s leading supplier of English timber to the trade. Unfortunately Dutch Elm disease decimated their main supply of English timber and this side of the business closed in 1983.
After Samuel’s death (1952) there was no male member of the Groves family to take over the management of the business. Ownership passed to Samuel’s daughters, Muriel Parsons and Winifred Ruth Parsons.
The company had a succession of Managers until 1970, when Mr Roger Rawlins was appointed. He remained as sole manager until 2001. Throughout his tenure the company continued to carryout prestigious projects throughout the Cotswolds.
Russell Hawtin is the current Managing Director having started employment with the Company in the late 1980′s.
The majority holding of the company remains in the ownership of the Parsons family who reside locally and are direct descendents of the founder