Hello, my name is Darren Taylor and I am the Marketing and Communications Manager at BALI.
Haddonstone has been a BALI Registered Affiliate member since 2017 and I recently visited their beautiful, inspiring Show Gardens and fascinating production facilities in Northamptonshire. Here are some of my first impressions.
Haddonstone designs, engineers, crafts and casts incredibly detailed and exquisite cast stone landscaping and garden ornaments, building materials, memorials and fireplaces. With a diverse range of bespoke, manufactured products, designed exclusively in-house and made in the UK, Haddonstone has carved out a real niche in both the construction and landscape industries, offering decorative, detailed products that inspire and enthral.
Their experienced team works with landscapers, building developers, contractors and private clients around the world, supplying the very best stonework to meet a broad range of design requirements.
It was only when I drove into the beautiful village of East Haddon in rural Northamptonshire to visit Haddonstone’s grand head office that it dawned on me where the company’s name originated. Quite simply, cast stone meets historic Haddon, making Haddonstone, a company established by Robert Barrow in 1971. The business is still based at the family home and Robert’s son, David, is now the Managing Director.
Driving into the car park, I was greeted by two proud (and very large) cast stone lions guarding the entrance to the beautifully renovated historic building providing Haddonstone’s modern office facilities. The car park also showcases a few of the company’s designs, including several water features inside a quaint grotto.
Beautiful and inspiring Show Gardens
Will Haxby, Haddonstone’s Marketing and Ornamental Sales Director provided me with a guided tour of the stunning Show Gardens, an area located to the rear of the family home. The Show Gardens feature the majority of Haddonstone’s high quality garden landscape ornaments and architectural stonework. Their varied garden landscape range includes fountains, statuary, sundials and plaques, as well as beautiful and practical planters, garden furniture, bird baths and balustrading, in traditional, contemporary and classical styles. There is even an outdoor swimming pool!
What was notable was the impressive colouring and weathering of the cast stone, which makes it look incredibly natural and well-suited to its surroundings. The elegance and sophistication of the stunning designs explains why cast stone is used increasingly in historic buildings, National Trust properties, international hotels and state buildings around the world. This perception is not, however, reflected in Haddonstone’s pricing – their products offer exceptional value for money.
Impressive factory tour
I then drove a short distance to the Haddonstone manufactory at nearby Brixworth. Tony Mason, Production Director, has been with Haddonstone for over thirty years. Responsible for over seventy workers, he explained the manufacturing process to me in superb detail, from taking a customer order through to final delivery, and took me on a fascinating, in-depth tour of Haddonstone’s factory, reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, only this time replacing chocolate with cast stone! From the highly-skilled carpenters, mould makers and product engineers, to operators of complex machinery that creates the cast stone, everyone ensures the production process runs like clockwork, with certain mixes of cast stone, including the TecLite and TecStone ranges, requiring different amounts of drying time, finishing and finessing.
When the company was first established nearly 50 years ago, there were only seven products available, with six of these inaugural designs still on sale today. Haddonstone’s manufacturing process allows, within a reasonable scope and scale, bespoke design and this has resulted in an extensive library of thousands of cast stone moulds and models at the factory, stretching out across the Haddonstone yard as far as the eye can see and even piled up in locked-away storage facilities in crates and boxes of varying sizes, like something out of an Indiana Jones classic.
If you are looking for inspiration for your garden or landscape project, I would highly recommend a trip to the Haddonstone Show Gardens.
Whether you’re working on a private residential or large commercial project, or if you are interested in home and garden products, our friendly and expert team are happy to discuss your requirements.