Our History

Restoring buildings since 1855

Szerelmey was established in 1855 and is one of the oldest restoration and construction companies in London. The Company takes its name from Nicholas Charles Szerelmey, a Hungarian officer serving in the Austrian army. Nicholas Szerelmey was, by all accounts, quite a character and was a widely travelled man who spoke several different languages and had a passion for archaeology. He was particularly interested in ancient buildings and spent some time in Egypt where he was greatly impressed by the techniques they used to preserve their monuments. Today Nicholas Szerelmey’s love for Egypt is reflected in the Szerelmey logo which features the head of Amun Ra, one of the chief Egyptian deities.

When Nicholas returned home from his travels, he began work on his own processes for restoring and preserving buildings based on these old methods.

By 1841 he had refined his experiments and called his method the zopissa induration process. In 1855 the British government began to investigate the causes of decay to the stonework at the Houses of Parliament, and Nicholas Szerelmey put forward his process, establishing his restoration company.

In 1978, long after Nicholas’s death the Company was again approached to carry out work on the Houses of Parliament. Szerelmey undertook a feasibility study and sample cleaning on the terrace overlooking the River Thames, before being asked to completely clean and restore the entire river facing façade, 120 years after their first involvement.

By this time, Szerelmey had established its reputation for excellence in restoration based on decades of cleaning and restoring London’s buildings and historic monuments. As the Capital continued to expand, Szerelmey kept pace, branching into new build construction whilst maintaining the Restoration Division. Today the Company is recognised as foremost within both restoration and new build sectors.