J. Parnell & Son Ltd

Scope and Content

The collection comprises minutes of co-ordination meetings, 1965; contracts ledgers; 1881-1961; credit books, 1940-1966; day work sales book, 1920-1942; estimates, 1923-1957; private account, 1927-1941; holiday stamps accounts, 1956-1959; invoice analysis books, 1944-1961; invoices, 1946-1959; nominal ledgers, 1915-1965; prime cost books, 1902-1964; payments cash books, 1938-1965; pay roll books, 1949-1954; receipts cash books, 1920-1962; sales ledgers, 1937-1947; wages analysis book, 1939-1959; correspondence, 1900-1969; miscellaneous publications, 1925-1973; site diaries, 1948-1950, 1959-1965; agreements, 1950-1961; Hinckley Urban District Council Offices contract, 1965-1968; roll of honour from the First World War.

Administrative / Biographical History

The business of J. Parnell & Son Ltd, builders, Rugby, was started in about 1850 by William Bishop Parnell (1791-1864) and his son, John Parnell (d. 1885). It established a reputation for workmanship which led to its employment by major architects throughout the country. The firm continued as a family business until it was taken over by Miller Buckley (now Buckley Investments Ltd) in June 1968.

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/using/

Acquisition Information

A selection of the papers of J. Parnell & Son Ltd. was deposited in the Modern Records Centre by Miller Buckley Investments Ltd. (now Buckley Investments Ltd.) in March 1974.

Miller Buckley's plans included the redevelopment of the Parnells' yard and premises, thereby placing its records at risk. A chance contact between Miller Buckley's public relations officer and a member of the Centre's Advisory Committee led to a survey of Parnells' surviving records by the Centre's staff. Approximately one-twentieth of the records surveyed were selected for preservation. These included several runs of financial accounts and samples of papers concerning particular contracts. A few files were selected from Parnells' general correspondence series. All identifiable surviving records of the building of Hinckley Urban District Council's offices were preserved as an example of one of Parnells' largest later contracts. Several files relating to their work in building and restoring churches were selected to reflect one of their specialities. Very few papers were found from their earlier years: the firm's records apparently suffered from salvage drives in the Second World War and the evidence of surviving file cases pointed to regular destruction by the firm of recent records. In 1948 the business was registered as J. Parnell Son Ltd. and began to keep board meeting minutes. The surviving minute book, covering the period from 1948, has been retained by Miller Buckley; it is available for research on request to them. A collection of photographs of work done by Parnells' was distributed among the current owners of those properties.

Building portfolio donated by Susan Keely, November 2016.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

Papers of AP Young include material on British Thomson-Houston