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Open 7.30am 7 days a week

carved wood figure of a green man stood on a highly figured piece of beech wood
Grant Withington Senior Craftsmanfor 701 Originals at Warehouse701 Hereford

one man's vision

In 2016 Grant Withington joined Warehouse701 where his ingenuity, creativity and skill has captured the hearts of customers with a range of compelling, sculptured furniture and homewares that are just one of the reasons why Warehouse701 is unique amongst reclamation centres. A visit to Warehouse701 is exciting, educational and inspiring with a main sales hall, originally a WWI ammunition factory, so huge that it could accommodate 40 more double-decker buses! Architectural and decorative salvage, reclaim, vintage and antique treasures fill this amazing space that includes 14 individually themed showrooms, static displays and new interiors - where virtually everything is available to buy!

As you enter the hall you're met with a tantalising glimpse of Grant's current selection of handmade pieces that form a permanent display entitled '701Originals' in one of the main shopping avenues. These hauntingly beautiful creations feature authentic period artefacts and character aged wood. Brought together by the hands of a master craftsmen, they offer a range of stunning heritage-style pieces that define the genre. It will come as no surprise that Grant's entire life has been dedicated to the design and creation of exceptional furniture and hand-sculpted wood.

He was born in South Africa, spending his childhood in Uganda. It was here he became spellbound by the indigenous people hand-carving tribal art and utensils from local ‘black wood’. He would sit with them for hours, watching intently as their skilled hands brought shapes and figures to life from pieces of seemingly lifeless timber. In 1976 Grant, now a young man, came with his family to Britain. Arriving in Liverpool, they moved to Wales where, longing to pursue his love of wood as a vocation, he successfully applied to become an apprentice joiner and wood machinist. He spent four years learning the nature and characteristics of timber from humble pine to the regal oak and exotic tropical teak and mahogany. Thousands of hours of jointing, shaping and finishing wood with traditional hand tools and machinery would see him become a man of knowledge and skills.

beautiful handmade table with a period industrial cast iron base and a highly figured wood top and recess under
beautiful handmade table with a period industrial cast iron base and a highly figured wood top and recess under

folklore & fame

Having achieved recognition as a skilled joiner, Grant yearned to see more of the world. In his early twenties he travelled to Australia. Once there, he purchased a vintage Land-Rover and for the next 18 months travelled the outback and every state of that fascinating continent. He used his joinery skills to pay-his-way whilst enjoying and learning about antipodean design and culture. more Returning to a cooler British climate, Grant worked once more within the furniture industry in Wales. Before long, the lure of a carpentry tutoring position in Egypt proved too great a temptation. Combining his love of travel with that of woodworking, Grant relocated to an American air force base on the Sinai peninsula where he taught nationals the fine art of woodworking for the next year-and-a-half. Rather than return directly to the UK, he took the opportunity to spend six months in Tanzania on what he calls a ‘true adventure!’ In 1998, Grant returned once more to Britain, settling in Llandrindod Wells in Wales. He married and raised a family while spending the next 17 years employed as a maker of highly specialised furniture for disabled children and adults. During this time Grant honed his own skill as a wood carver, developing a distinctive style creating wonderful pieces that echo Welsh folklore and medieval stone carvings. His popularity grew rapidly with a new audience online. Photographs and filmography perfectly captured his seemingly effortless dexterity in producing exquisite carvings. These drew huge numbers of followers and celebrity clients as with one video that was watched by over 500,000 people in just 24 hours followed by Actress Jenny Agutter (of 'The Railway Children' and 'Call the Midwife' fame) commissioning an exclusive nautical-themed elm table.

Grant Withington Senior Craftsmanfor 701 Originals at Warehouse701 Hereford

all features great & small

With Grant joining Warehouse701, he was finally able to use his skills and imagination freely to follow his life-long dream of designing and creating unique items of furniture and interior features from reclaimed materials. His pallet of materials suddenly exploded to include cast-iron and steel, glass, copper, silver and gold. more Pieces saw the repurposing of historic artefacts such as the beautiful bed made entirely from age-old weathered English Oak farm gates. Industrial themed pieces like the vintage riveted pressure-vessel transformed into the renown 'Tank Table' complete with drawers and a 'brutal' timber-frame base. Even domestic items have dazzled customers such as the antique Ewbank cast-iron mangle that magically became an enchanting wine station. These captivating 701Originals combine traditional skills with a modern aesthetic that are equally at home in period properties, contemporary homes and retail or entertainment venues. They’re available to buy as finished pieces or you can visit us and discuss your requirements with Grant who, due to his travels, will be happy to converse in Swahili, Arabic or English!

During the winter of 2022 and summer of 2023, Grant amazed everyone. Seemingly from nowhere he proffered his skills to entirely rebuild a derelict antique 'road-menders' type van that had criss-crossed the county in the early 1900s pulled behind a local steam traction-engine. His timber coach-building skills and refurbishment of the van were a joy to watch, expertly splicing in new wood to preserve the original fabric of the van wherever possible. The cabin's frame, floor, cladding and interior were all restored including a new handmade door, casement windows, bunk bed and detachable access ladder. The chassis was completely replaced with new oak to the exact pattern of the original, each piece jointed and worked by hand and re-using every old nut and bolt. The curved roof was lovingly repaired, not just the wood but spars, fascias and multiple layers of covering including a sail-cloth linen affixed with special putty and a traditional fire-proof coating to protect against any sparks from the old cast-iron pot-belly stove that warms the interior.

beautiful handmade table with a period industrial cast iron base and a highly figured wood top and recess under
beautiful handmade table with a period industrial cast iron base and a highly figured wood top and recess under

a brighter future from the past

For 2024, Grant has promised to enthral us all with a leap into the, as yet, 'undiscovered country' of custom furniture and homeware. Experimenting with ancient items of architectural, aviation and nautical salvage more - industrial and agricultural curiosities and domestic bygones to create the next generation of bespoke interior features and furniture. The scope for such work is bounded only by the imagination and judging by what Grant had brought us to date, it promises to be an amazing journey.

701 Originals are made exclusively from our extensive stock of authentic period materials resulting in an extremely low carbon footprint. We’re proud of the green credentials of our reclaimed and salvaged products that are made in an historic building powered by a huge solar-array. In 2021, the manufacture of furniture in the UK alone produced almost 1,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, so it’s satisfying to know that your purchase of reclaimed furniture and homewares from Warehouse701 is helping us all achieve net zero.

stylish ragged elm wood triple coat rack with an integral corbelled shelf


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