Records of Mackenzie & Moncur Ltd, hothouse builders, heating engineers and iron founders, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London

Scope and Content

  • Certificates of Incorporation, Memoranda of Association 1894-1934
  • Minutes of Directors Meetings 1959-1975
  • Minutes of Annual General Meetings 1894-1958
  • Lists of attendees of Directors meetings 1953-1974
  • Lists of attendees of General meetings 1904-1974
  • Register of Directors' share holdings and interests 1944
  • Share registers & transfer books 1895-1934
  • Stock transfer form 1972
  • Company accounts 1894-1898
  • Letters of consent to purchase Mackenzie Brothers 1904
  • Copy of Edinburgh Gazette newspaper 1972
  • Works cost books 1895-1904
  • Royal trading warrants 1892-1911
  • Staff salary books 1906-1965
  • Illustrated catalogues of company products 1900-1950s
  • Lists of the company's patrons 1909-1920s
  • General publications relating to Mackenzie and Moncur Ltd 1900-1979
  • Photograph (woodworking section) c 1970
  • Photographic plates of hothouses 1930s
  • Brass nameplate (Mackenzie & Moncur Ltd) c 1930s

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm of  Mackenzie & Moncur Ltd was founded in Edinburgh in  1869  by  Alexander Donald Mackenzie and  George Greig Moncur . Alexander Mackenzie was born in  1836  , and at the age of 15 he left his home town of Appin, Argyll on a steamer bound for Glasgow. Once in Glasgow he trained as a joiner and carpenter. At the age of 20 he moved to Edinburgh. George Moncur was born in  1839  in Arbuthnott, Kincardineshire. He was the son of a joiner and having learnt something of the joinery trade he moved to Glasgow, where he became friends with Alexander Mackenzie. They set up a partnership in 1869 with premises at 12 Morrison Street. They moved to new premises in Upper Grove Place in March or April 1870, and moved to larger works in Balcarres Street in early  1899  . The company of Mackenzie & Moncur was incorporated in  1894  .The firm became experts in the construction of hothouses, heating appliances and iron founding. Its clients included members of the Royal family and they had many other large contracts all over Great Britain, Ireland and even overseas. Other prominent clients included members of the nobility and aristocracy, as well as public bodies such as hospitals, asylums, churches, universities and schools.

The firm, which was originally set out to build conservatories and greenhouses, then was extended to include the installation of heating and electricity in houses. At the end of the nineteenth century the sons of Mackenzie and Moncur, Alexander and James, joined the business. An ironfoundry was also opened by Cossar Mackenzie, another of Alexander Mackenzie's sons. Its purpose was to produce construction and horticultural components, for radiators, for example. When Cossar Mackenzie died, this offshoot of the business was combined with the rest of Mackenzie & Moncur in about  1904  . The firm also had branches in Glasgow and London.

During the First World War many employees at the firm were killed while on active service, including younger members of both the founding families. As so many members of the landed gentry and their gardening staff had been killed in the war, the demand for greenhouses and conservatories declined dramatically. During the Second World War it was left to the elder members of the firm to bolster the war effort by installing ventilation for ships, constructing ammunition boxes and supplying castings for all three Services. Fortunately, all the members of the families who went out to fight returned. The immediate period after the war was a time of social upheaval and the company was forced to adapt to this change. During the 1960s the company expanded and six subsidiary companies were formed to separate the different trading activites, Mackenzie & Moncur Ltd remaining as a holding company.

The older company directors retired in  1972  and D A H Mackenzie, the then Managing Director and great grandson of the founders, bought up all the shares of all the Mackenzie & Moncur Companies he did not already possess. Over the next few years the trading activites of the Company were severely cut back. The Foundry business was sold and merged with that of a large Edinburgh Engineering Company. It was run by R S Mackenzie, a former Managing Director of Mackenzie & Moncur (Foundry) Ltd. The Slateford road Foundry site was demolished and replaced with new modern factories. At about the same time the Heating Companies at Balcarres Street were also undergoing major change, as substantial parts of Mackenzie & Moncur (Heating) Ltd, Mackenzie & Moncur (Fabrication) Ltd and Mackenzie & Moncur (Boiler Efficiency) were sold off to an international electrical company. Over the next few years Mackenzie & Moncur reduced the number of contracting with five of the seven companies being dissolved, leaving only Mackenzie & Moncur (Heating and Ventilating Engineers) Ltd and Mackenzie & Moncur (Advisory) Ltd, still in existence. It was in 1963 that Mackenzie & Moncur (Advisory) Ltd was established, primarily to complete design work as consulting engineers in electrical, air conditioning, heating and ventilating. This contractual side of the company was curtailed by the mid-1970s, and a new partnership, Mackenzie & Moncur & Associates was formed to carry on this aspect of the firm's business. Mackenzie & Moncur (Advisory) Ltd was dissolved in 1986, whilst Mackenzie & Moncur (Consultants) Ltd was dissolved in  1998  .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Mrs Mackenzie, Okehampton, Devon : 2005: (Accn 2744)

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)) and London (NRA 10787)

Alternative Form Available

Not known

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Formerly held by the company Mackenzie & Moncur


None expected

Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), 09 May 2005.