Scope and Content

The records comprise principally volumes of Dunns publication 1903-1962 [TR DUN P1/A1-15 and 140 loose publication [TR DUN P2/A]. Also technical papers [TR DUN ET3] associated with Prof. R.G. Stapleton and Prof T Wibberley; a volume of reports on overseas visits 1940's [TR DUN AD7/1] the certificate of incorporation of Dunns Farm Seeds Ltd 1920 [TR DUN CO2/1]; and a sales ledger of S and J H Dunn, Gillingham 1858-1863 [TR DUN AC1/1]

Administrative / Biographical History

The firms origins go back to 1832 when S Dunn opened a seed and corn store in Gillingham, Dorset, subsequently being joined by his son James H Dunn. In 1871 the latter assumed sole control and was later joined by his son Hammond Dunn. The business still specilising in agricultural seeds moved to Bournemouth in 1890 and changed location again in 1918 with a move to Castle Street, Salisbury. Shortly afterwards in 1920 the limited company of Dunns Farm Seeds Ltd came into being. Business thereafter grew steadily until by 1934 Dunns farm seeds were available throughout southern England, the Midlands and Wales. In addition to the development of a large grain business. Garden seeds were not neglected (though they were never of such importance to Dunns as they were to firms like Suttons and Carters), and their marketing commenced in 1929 using mainly small retail outlets. In 1937 a seed cleaning warehouse was opened in Scamells Road, Salisbury, extended in 1948 and in 1950 the firm's office was moved there from cramped quarters in Castle Street. A single storey extension was added to the warehouse in 1959. The firm also began to acquire other companies and expand its outlets. In 1949 the firm of J.J. Inglis of Ayr was bought out in 1948 Dardis and Dunns Seeds Ltd, Dublin came into being via the purchase of an interest in the firm of Dardis (wholly owned by Dunns by 1961) in 1957 a regional office and warehouse were opened in Shropshire and in the same year Dunns Farm Seeds (Canada) Ltd was formed at Guelph Ontario, in association with two Canadian seed companies. Early 1960's developments included the purchase of Cundy & Son Ltd of Sudbury in 1962 and the opening of a regional office in Northamptonshire. In 1966 Dunns Farm Seeds Ltd, was taken over by Bath & Portland Group Ltd, and joined with Soil Fertility Ltd., of Corsham, Wiltshire to form Soil Fertility Dunns Ltd.


AC Accounts

AC1 Ledgers

AD Administrative and Commercial Records

AD7 Commercial Records

CO Legal Records of Companies and Businesses

CO2 Limited Company Records

ET Technical Records Experimental and General Reference

ET3 General Technical Reference

P Publications, promotions and Advertising Records

P1 General Compilations

P2 Individual Advertising and Servicing Publications

PH Internal Photographic Records

PH3 Individual Prints

SP Social and Personal Records

SP1 General Reference Records

Access Information

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

Material deposited in April and May 1969


Compiled by Caroline Gould, 22 November 2002

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at the Museum of English Rural Life

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Archivist

Geographical Names