© 2018 by R E Butler Construction & Development Ltd



The Butler Construction Legacy begins in the 1920s when brothers Edward and Stanley became self employed painters and decorators in Holloway, North London taking the name E&S Butler.


In 1938 they ventured into construction with the contract to build a new home for their parents on a piece of land purchased in Leaden Roding near Great Dunmow in Essex.

However the brothers development of a construction business was soon interrupted by the outbreak of war when their efforts were concentrated on wartime industry.


The end of the World War II then presented the brothers with re-construction opportunities and by this time the sons of Edward Butler Snr, Royston and Eric were old enough to become involved in the industry, Roy concentrating on bricklaying whilst his younger brother Eric, took an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery with a well known contractor in London.


Following the war the local authorities in Essex recognised the urgent need for housing and E&S Butler were offered the contract to build a new estate of c. 20 council houses in Leaden Roding called Holloway Crescent.


This was the opportunity they had been waiting for and the business grew rapidly and continued to grow over the following years, developing a work force covering all the traditional trades.  This also created the opportunity to bring the two sons into the business formally.

In hand the E&S Butler premises in Leaden Roding began to grow with the construction of their own workshops, offices and stores.


The Council House contracts extended into the outlying villages and the business continued to grow and prosper into the 1950s.


In 1956 Edward the elder brother died suddenly and his sons took his position in the company. Local contracts continued to be the mainstay of the business although the farming industry was growing steadily with the need for Agricultural workers houses starting to appear.


In 1963 Stanley, the remaining brother also died suddenly and the company was passed to the two sons, Roy and Eric. Business continued to grow into the sixties with an opportunity to build a new Bank Premises for Lloyds in Great Dunmow was a great boost for the reputation of the company.


A higher standard of construction then followed with contracts for individual and bespoke houses and quality renovation works to listed buildings. In 1967 Roy's eldest son, Edward, joined the company and took an apprenticeship with his uncle Eric as a carpenter and joiner.


1972 was a landmark with the re-structuring of the company. Roy and his son Edward formed a new company, R E Butler & Son with Eric continuing as E&S Butler.

Edward continued the building tradition into a third generation and became technically more qualified to meet the challenges of the future. During his apprenticeship he won many awards and finally ended his apprenticeship representing England at an International apprentice competition in Holland where he won first prize collecting a gold medal and diploma for his efforts.


R E Butler moved forward with renewed energy continuing as general contractors. Sadly in 1976 Roy became ill and died prematurely in 1977 and Edward continued the business as a sole trader.

The landmark years for Edward began with the opportunity to build a prestigious new house in Finchingfield, Essex for Bath based architects William, Bertram and Fell. The project challenged R E Butler & Son and put to use many skills and techniques and elevated the business to a medium sized contractor.


In 1983 an opportunity to break into the speculative housing market arose and for R E Butler to become Private Developers. Ironically the site was for 12 detached houses in Leaden Roding where E&S Butler began house building 30 years earlier.


This site was completed in 1985 and more individual sites were developed in the following years as the momentum in this direction grew for the business.

1989 saw the end of a prosperous period of house building with the beginning of a recession lasting into the nineties.

R E Butler & Son where able to make the quick transition back to mainline contracting and were awarded the contract to build two new doctors surgeries at a time when the Government were encouraging these developments and offering favourable funding.

The surgeries were a break away from the traditional house building with more skills and management expertise needed.


1991 saw another major milestone for R E Butler & Son with the opportunity to purchase an Essex Barn and associated land in White Roding.  The barn was consented to be converted into a residential dwelling, and the land to the rear provides space for the company to develop a new base of offices and workshops, which remains to be the head office for the company to the present time.

The challenge now was the complexities of converting a Timber Framed Essex barn into a dwelling. The problems were solved and offers to convert more Barns under contract began to increase.


The early nineties were a difficult time for the construction industry but the company realised that it had found a niche market with Barn conversions and actually developed bespoke methods and expertise in the conversion process. The contracting continued to grow in reputation and more prestigious and technical projects were awarded as the country grew out of recession.


In 1994 a contract to build a new wing on the Foakes Memorial Hall, Dunmow was awarded to

R E Butler & Son and completed successful once again raising the company's profile.


In 1997 the company exhibited at the Listed Buildings Exhibition held at Cressing Temple Barns near Braintree in Essex. This proved highly successful and enable the company to increase it's customer base as well as becoming recognised by Essex County Council as one of their recommended contractors for the repair and reconstruction of Listed Buildings.

1999 saw a renewed interest in the speculative housing market and a steady flow of projects were completed in both new houses and barn conversions into the 2000’s. 

2000 Onwards

In 2004 the company moved into a new office premises at Kingstons Farm in White Roding.


This lead to the companies most ambitious project to date when in 2007 a site to convert 5 barns into a courtyard development at Clapton Hall, Great Dunmow, was purchased. This development tested the companies ability to deal with issues other then construction, working with planning officials and Archaeological agencies and Natural England including the protection of endangered species, in this case, bats.

2007 saw the global economy spiral into the worst recession for many years, which saw a general change in the funding and finance area of the business and lead to a renewed focus on the general contracting side of the business.


This was particularly badly timed for the company after taking on such a significant and large development. With all funding withdrawn R E Butler & Son self-funded and completed the site, selling all units and maintaining a profit.


2010 after talking and active role in the business Edward Butler’s son Thomas became chartered as a Quantity Surveyor with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), whilst broadening his knowledge and experience whilst working for a global property consultant.


2011 saw a significant milestone for the company when R E Butler & Son was significantly restructured to into two companies

R E Butler Construction & Developments Ltd and R E Butler Developments Ltd.


Edward Butler taking a chairman and senior director role and the introduction of the 4th generation with Thomas Butler and Sofie West (nee Butler) taking roles as directors in the business. In addition James Francis was introduced as a director after being recognised as a significant member of the ever growing team.


Under a new banner fresh developments were purchased including the conversion of two very dilapidated barns in Ford End, Essex in 2012/2013, where on completion R E Butler were nominated for the Local Authority Building Control excellence awards and were finalists representing East Anglia in the best conversion section.

2014 saw the R E Butler Group develop further with

Thomas Butler starting a new venture of

R E Butler Consulting Ltd, a specialist cost consultancy

business focusing on prime and super prime residential

developments in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The R E Butler Group of companies continues to develop and prosper taking on new and diverse challenges.