The snooty distinction between aged treasures considered ‘antique’ and those derided and dismissed as ‘second-hand’ has, happily, long been outmoded. The birth of eBay and, latterly, Vinted; the rise of and reverence for the brocante; and that beautifully catch-all term, ‘vintage’, has seen to that snobbery – and thank goodness for that.

Whilst, of course, very fine antiques will always command high prices, we also now see the merit in re-purposing that which has been ‘pre-loved’, handing things on once we no longer have use for them and fixing or re-imagining well-crafted items so that they may have a new lease of life. Our make-do-and-mend grandparents would be proud.

It’s a good thing for the environment too. As a study conducted by Small World Consulting on behalf of ATG parent company Auction Technology Group found, buying second-hand furniture which, unlike some items such as cars, has no emissions once in use, can save up to half a tonne of carbon as opposed to buying new. Given that in the UK the average person’s annual carbon footprint is 13 tonnes, that is a sizeable saving.

With that in mind, as well as the rush of delight at finding a worn-in item so perfect it’s like it was made for your renovation, we round up the best salvage yards to discover your future pre-loved treasures.

Wells Reclamation

Wells Reclamation in Somerset is a family-run business that was founded in 1985. One of the UK’s largest reclamation yards, its eclectic collection of items to rifle through could keep the avid bargain-spotter amused for days. There is a huge stone yard, as well as architectural, garden and antiques sections. Our favourite bit, however, must be the items that come under the banner of ‘weird stuff’. On our latest peruse, these included everything from wooden military batons to a metal loo roll holder in the shape of a stag. Discover its treasures here.


If you’re serious about reclamation, then Lassco, with its three locations across Oxfordshire and London, is a must-visit. The haunt of interior designers with their eyes on the prize, it’s a serious business – you have to be quick off the mark as you’re competing against buyers who really know their onions. But if you are, there are exceptional finds, from cast iron radiators to antique plaster casts – even if they do come in at the pricier end of the salvage spectrum. Discover its treasures here.

Yew Tree Barn

Since 1986, Yew Tree Barn in the Lake District has been home to Wilson Reclamation Services, now one of the foremost architectural salvage and antique reclamation yards in the UK. If you can, do go in person. It is one of the most idyllically situated places to shop we can think of – and it even has the award-winning, and utterly beautiful, Harry’s Café on site. But if not, shopping online is pretty great too, thanks to the exceptional collection of architectural gems, from Victorian cast iron baths to cooking ranges to doorknobs. Plus, as they say, ‘The eclectic mix is not restricted to domestic antiques. Clive and his team have rescued valuable pieces of history from demolition including whole church interiors, stained glass windows and all; giant doors from stately homes, a complete Victorian conservatory; and life-size stone sculptures of gargoyles, lions and wild boar.’ Beauties and bargains abound. Discover its treasures here.


This Kensal Green treasure trove began business in 1993, the brainchild of Adam Hills and Maria Speake, two former architecture students at the Mackintosh School, Glasgow School of Art. Their big break came when they were commissioned to salvage architectural elements from Sir Basil Spence's Queen Elizabeth Square Flats before it was demolished. Within two years, Retrouvius was working with film sets, including sourcing items for the 90s cinema classic, Trainspotting. Small but perfectly formed, the outfit moved into its Kensal Rise premises in 1999, where it has stayed, adding a new warehouse along the way as it expanded. For those who want the full service, Adam and Maria also take on interior design projects. For everyone else, go and peruse the stock, which is all top-notch, from handles and hooks to lighting to furniture, with an especially strong focus on mid-century pieces onward. Discover its treasures here.

Arc Reclamation


Arc Recreation in Hampshire has been rescuing and selling beautiful architectural items for 17 years. With roughly 2,000 items in stock, there is much to choose from – although Arc’s particular strength and speciality lies in the sourcing of antique doors. It offers the full service, modifying the measurements to fit your needs, so you need not discount an item you have fallen in love with on the basis of it being a few millimetres out. Discover its treasures here.

UK Architectural Heritage

Reclamation Yards Uk Architectural Heritage

You'll find premium architectural antiques at this Herefordshire based reclamation yard. Gallery showrooms display carefully selected architectural antiques, ideal if you're working on a home project or as a professional. Founded in 2006 and a member of LAPADA, the yard has 2,000 antiques on offer at any one time, arranged around a courtyard. Browse antique fireplace surrounds, wrought iron gates, interior and garden statuary, reclaimed tiles, antique doors and lots more. Plan a visit or shop the full selection of architectural antiques online. Discover its treasures here.


Based in Norfolk, Mongers is owned by Sam Coster, who – testament to his passion – has furnished his own house largely with items he has salvaged. The yard is spread across several buildings, each groaning with architectural relics begging to be repurposed – plus, they’re all in good nick, thanks to the fact that Coster works with local craftspeople to upcycle his finds. Very good all round. Discover its treasures here.

Glasgow Architectural Salvage

Glasgow Architectural Salvage began in Edinburgh, its founder having worked for a salvage yard there before opening his own. As he writes, ‘In that 30 years we have gained a wealth of knowledge which can only be gained through years of experience, and our constantly changing stock reflects this. With over 80 different styles of church pew waiting to be made up and the contents of, over the years, over 20 hospitals, 50 schools and hundreds of houses in our yard either for sale or awaiting restoration.’ That is a lot of choice. Let the rifling commence. Discover its treasures here.