The firm William Wood and Son can be traced back to 1850, when William Wood (1818-1869) founded a coal merchants business in north London at the North British Wharf in Wood Green. This was located adjacent to Wood Green Railway Station. William Wood was later joined by his son James London Wood, who took over the running of the firm after his father's death in 1869. It was not until the early-1890s, under James L Wood, that the company started to sell `horticultural sundries' as well as coal and lime.By 1914, however, the firm was operating on a far grander scale as horticulturalists. They are described as `horticultural specialists, estate and garden contractors, specialists in rock and water gardens, stone temples, sellers of mowing machines and horticultural implements'. By this time, the firm was becoming quite large and employed 30 men.In 1924, the Great Northern railway line was extended and William Wood & Son had to move. An advertisement in the Gardener's Chronicle of 1924 announced that `William Wood & Son are leaving their premises at North British Wharf, Wood Green, London to the Beechwood Works in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.' A Kelly's Directory for 1924 describes the firm as `Royal Horticulturists and Garden Designers and contractors, Beechwood Works, Telephone 79, Burnham; Telegrams `Gardening Taplow'.Woods remained a family firm until the 1960s. In 1929, Denis Wood (the grandson of James London Wood) left Magdalen College, Oxford, where he had been studying, to join the family firm. He had been a pupil of the author and lecturer C S Lewis (of `Chronicles of Narnia' fame), who had taught at the College from 1925-1954.By 1935, William Wood and Son are described as `garden contractors and horticultural builders to HM King George VI. They were famous for their landscape designs and were often referred to as `the Harrods of landscape designers', a reputation which was to last until the 1990s.Contributor: Elias Kupfermann
Beechwood Nurseries. Later The Bishop Centre Taplow Bucks.