John Youngs

John Youngs
24 City Rd
Norwich, Norfolk

Tel: 01603 628 421

Our History

James Youngs founded the business in 1851.

James took advantage of the great age of speculative building in Norwich during the 1850's, and set up in Norwich as a carpenter and joiner in Chapelfield road.  During the first few years the company built more than 1000 city houses including many in Heigham Street, West Wymer Street and Trory Street.

James Youngs' son, John, joined the family firm in 1870, aged 15. Youngs gradually took on bigger contracts, completing its first block of factories for shoemakers Howlett and White in 1876.

The company also worked on Thorpe Station, Norwich and constructed the Royal Arcade. Norwich's Royal Hotel, in Bank Plain, was completed in 15 months. John Youngs went on to refurbish this building in the year 2000, some 103 years after they originally built it.

Many other buildings constructed by Youngs included A J Caley and Sons' chocolate factory, Higher Grade Schools in Duke Street, the Training College in College Road, the Grand Hotel at Cromer, the Hippodrome at Great Yarmouth and many other seaside hotels, country mansions and halls.

John Youngs was incorporated as a limited company in 1914 under the direction of John Youngs' son James Bernard, "JB". 

A disastrous fire at the Chapelfield works in 1927 led Youngs to move to City Road, taking over the business and premises of builders, J.S. Smith and Son. Youngs' City Road premises was heavily bombed during the Second World War but business continued from wooden sheds on the bombed site. A new building was put up on an enlarged site in 1947.

John Youngs won many of the contracts to reconstruct bomb-wrecked Norwich, including rebuilding Mackintosh's chocolate factory, Bonds Department Store in All Saints' Green, and much of St Stephens.

In 1967, John Youngs became part of the R G Carter Group.

John Youngs have continued to build and extend many other landmark buildings in East Anglia such as the Time and Tide Museum (clickable link to Great Yarmouth Museums Case Study) at Great Yarmouth which comprised the conservation, alterations and restoration of a derelict fish-curing works to create one of the biggest maritime museums of its kind in the country.

Other projects have included the building of The Narthex (Clickable link to The Narthex case study) for St Johns Roman Catholic cathedral, and The Open Youth Venue (Clickable link to the Open Youth Venue Case Study) which involved the conversion of a grade II listed banking hall, previously occupied by Barclays Bank, into the Norwich Youth Venue.

In 2005 John Youngs Ltd established its Youngs Homes division, which was developed specifically to serve the social housing sector. The two divisions worked together from City Road until 2009 when Youngs Homes moved to their own premises in Costessey.