Wilsons Yard Blog

  • Irish Bog Oak

    Wilsons Yard - Irish Bog Oak

    While Steve, our Timber Yard manager, was out and about to price a job he happened to spot some interestingly shaped timber sitting in the corner of a field. Naturally curiosity got the better of him and he just had to know more about it. With a keen eye for an interesting product, Steve began to chat to the farmer who had procured this bogwood. 

    After a short discussion Steve decided that this was a perfect fit at Wilsons Yard and the deal was struck. Time to get that timber back to the yard!

    This ancient Irish Oak (abonos morta) has been immersed in a bog in the grounds of Gosford Castle for centuries. After approximately 6,000 years of isolation this bogwood is ready to begin a new journey above ground.

    Sitting in a peat bogland for thousands of years has allowed this Irish bog oak to mature and develop a beautiful, rich, dark tone which is unmatched in current timber.

    Irish Bog Oak - Unloaded

    On arrival at our yard we were left wondering what to do with it! Luckily we have some very talented woodworkers at our disposal who suggested that we turn the bogwood into decorative pieces of art; even coffee tables and garden seats!

    Irish Bog Oak - Drying

    We researched how to dry the bogwood before it could be sculpted or worked on. We were advised to put it in a bed of dry straw and let it dry for 6 months to a year. 

    We now have the unique opportunity to create small & large sculptures/furniture from this wonderful timber, allowing you to have a piece of art in your home which is as old as the pyramids!

    The photographs below show how the timber has been transformed from a wet, peaty bogwood into a very distinctive and stylish decorative feature. We will keep adding the images of the pieces as we make more.

    To get us started we have worked on a small piece (which you can see below), we are very happy with the results and now feel confident to start working on large pieces of functional furniture and decorative art.

    Irish Bog Oak Sculpture

    Feel free to come in and select your own unique piece of bog oak for us to finish to your requirements - leaving you with an ancient piece of stylish art that no one else will ever have...

    Here are some different ideas for using Irish bog oak: 

    Mossvale Timber Yard

  • Advice on buying reclaimed cast iron radiators.


    Antique reclaimed cast iron radiators are quality pieces of engineering which exude style and character. Not just a heat source, but a piece of decor to add that special touch to your home or business.

    You should feel confident in buying these old traditional radiators, but as with any purchase there is some common sense required; as well as things you should and should not do.

    Here are some suggestions and simple steps to follow to ensure that you avoid problems and disappointments.

    Where to purchase old antique radiators

    You can occasionally find these old cast iron radiators for sale via online selling sites and classified ads, however this may not be a wise way to go. You could be taking on someone else’s problem. The radiator could be clogged up, have damaged fittings, be leaking, or on the verge of leaking. This is obviously not always the case but from our experience, it is quite common.


    When buying your reclaimed cast iron radiators, always make sure the supplying company have thoroughly pressure tested them. This should be via a hydraulic pressure tester, which will test to at least mains water pressure of 4 to 5 bar. It would be a total waste of time and money employing a plumber to install your Victorian cast iron radiators only to find that it leaks when connected to your system.

    Fittings and connections

    We would also recommend that you insist on your old cast iron radiator being fitted with new pipe fittings - cores. This will ensure that your antique radiators can connect to 21st century pipes and fittings.

    Cost comparison

    When considering the cost of radiators it is also wise to consider the cost of painting or finishing. Suppliers can provide radiators in all different states; such as raw original condition, primed, painted or burnished. Therefore some suppliers initially appear to be cheap but by the time you add on finishes their price will increase substantially.

    Our services

    At Wilson's Yard all of that worry and stress is taken care of by our team of restoration experts. We will also fully restore old reclaimed radiators that you may have. In addition, we can re paint, burnish and and freshen up your existing radiators if brought into our premises.

    So with the above common sense approach you will be able to site back, enjoy the heat and admire your stylish old radiators, knowing they will last another lifetime.

  • Reclaimed Cast Iron Street Lights

    Reclaimed cast iron street lights is a fantastic way to inject instant charm and character to your property.

    The original ladder arms for the gas men are now commonly used for hanging baskets to allow flowers in bloom enhance an already beautiful look.

    Sourcing period style street lighting is becoming a much harder task, we have been extremely lucky to come across two styles of these beautiful posts from two English Villages.

    Throughout History cast iron lanterns were produced for their durability and appearance and located throughout English villages & towns.

    It is not uncommon to see the same cast iron street lantern in different locations.

    Once arriving with our selves we carefully remove each lantern and inspect them for damages and ensure all parts are present.

    The difficult part is removing the concrete around the base that had held this post in place for 100 years or more.


    After a good bit of elbow grease and sweat!! The base is now free and work now focuses on the main body of the lantern.

    All flaky paint is removed and then painting is done by hand to ensure all areas are covered offering good protection in this old lanterns new lease of life.

    All work so far has been tough and involved serious grit and determination to bring this original street light back to life. Although a fresh coat of paint has transformed the appearance something is missing?? Of course the lantern top.

    A sad part to these old posts story is that the lantern top rarely survives, numerous times we find old cast iron street lanterns with the tops damaged or incomplete.

    Luckily we have a beautiful period style copper lantern top with new modern electric fitting making this transformation complete.

    So there you have it if you are after a beautiful street light that will add instant appeal to your home and are fed up with the modern day equivalents' flimsy look and feel!! Try one of our reclaimed street lights  their cast iron body is solid to the touch, beautiful old charming appearance, old copper style lantern top and ladder arms for blooming hanging baskets... whats not to like.

  • Commercial Bar Design Ideas


    Being Ireland's and one of the UK's largest supplier of reclaimed and salvaged building materials to the bar and restaurant industry, Wilson's Yard are constantly being asked how to create a funky commercial retro bar / restaurant look on a budget.

    With a stunning range of Antique, Vintage, retro and  industrial products, we are constantly being approached by commercial interior designers looking to source an array of products to fuel their commercial bar designs.

    Belfast ,Dublin and London shops, bars & restaurants are currently leading the field with its range of urban cool shabby chic shops ,pubs & restaurants.

    Originating from  London & New York these cool interior designs are now filtering through all major citys such as Liverpool, Dublin ,Belfast, Manchester, Newcastle, Cork and Edinburgh.

    Recently we helped newly opened Mckenna's Bar Belfast transform its dated interior into a modern cool urban hangout,

    Reclaimed Belfast brick, reclaimed industrial lighting, stunning old wooden flooring and industrial wall boards  helped make this once dark and dated public house, a popular haunt for the coolest Urbinite customers.

    Trending right now is the edgy urban industrial look.  This look is very achievable within a budget but its essential that you use the correct CORE materials.  Core materials for achieving an urban look are

    • Salvaged reclaimed brick
    • Original salvaged industrial lights
    • Rustic interesting wall paneling made from reclaimed wood
    • Reclaimed timber flooring
    • Rustic tables

    In this project we supplied Salvaged wooden wall board recently purchased from a cheese producing family farm in Holland. These boards originally acted as shelves on which the cheeses were stored and continually turned as they matured. This is a very unique reclaimed wide board wall cladding.

    We also provided funky table tops made from vintage metal banded hard wood shelving panels salvaged from shipyards to make the fantastic industrial looking table.

    We supplied superb vintage restored cast iron radiators salvaged from the National Gallery in Dublin, which are used as wall feature, as well as warming the premises..

    In short,  you need to add a proportion of your budget to a small number of core products eg: reclaimed flooring, reclaimed or salvaged wall cladding, old cast iron radiators to name a few. Then build around these character rich products with less expensive items.

    Wilson's Yard established 1960 have been trading and supplying reclaimed and salvaged products to the commercial and trade sector for many years. Our experience and knowledge gathered over time working with all types of visionary designers, means we can help transform your dreams into a reality.

  • Kitchen Out Of Reclaimed Materials

    Kitchen ideas - Make a kitchen out of reclaimed materials

    Reclaimed kitchen materials ideas

    Looking for low cost kitchen ideas, well, with a little imagination, some DIY skills and good quality reclaimed materials you can pull together a wonderful interesting kitchen.

    For example, recently a chap popped in who was restoring a little seaside cottage on the edge of Carlingford Lough. He wanted to create an interesting living space with a look that complimented his lovely countryside retreat.

    View of the lough CottageWe had a chat and looked at different reclaimed materials. As he was a builder by trade, it was clear that he would be more than capable of carrying out most of the work himself, therefore keeping costs down.

    To make the structure of the kitchen he decided to use old reclaimed Belfast brick, that would also support a traditional old salvaged Belfast sink. Old antique timber beams were selected to make the work surfaces. These were joined together on site to give flexibility when actually building the kitchen.

    We had some amazing old reclaimed boards that had originally been used to set large cheeses on to mature. The maturing cheese lightly bleached the surfaces to give a white almost limed appearance. We had used this in a number of Bar and restaurant projects as interesting reclaimed wall paneling. The chap really liked this idea for making his reclaimed kitchen doors.

    The client sent in some pictures and we all thought he made a great job of restoring his cottage and making a kitchen out of reclaimed materials.  More importantly, the client was really please with how it all turned out.

    So if you would like to create a low cost interesting kitchen and have DIY skills then why not visit wilsonsyard.com and see what great, interesting reclaimed material you can find to make your reclaimed kitchen.

    Here are a few inks to products used to make this reclaimed kitchen.

    Reclaimed Brick

    Reclaimed paneling


    Flagstone floor


  • Reclaimed Bangor Blue Slates

    Reclaimed Bangor Blue Slates From Wilsons Yard

    The main concern for customers considering the purchase of Reclaimed Bangor Blue roof slates is the consistency worry.

    Will my slates be the same colour?

    I don't want my roof to look like a patch work quilt?

    With this in mind a purchaser should be aware that when originally created in the Welsh Slate quarry's  there were 3 distinct colours.

    Heather purple... Penryn Blue... Ffestiniog grey. See thumbnails below for reference.

    If colour consistency is a major concern then it is probably best not to mix these.

    It is best to source salvaged Bangor Blue slates that have been reclaimed from 1 roof

    Salvaging reclaimed slates from 1 roof ensures the slates will have weathered with an attractive even consistency. see image below

    Reclaimed Bangor Blue slates on period style property Reclaimed Bangor Blue slates on period style property

    Our Buyers are constantly searching  out and procuring key consistent batches of Bangor Blue slates such as these below... approx 2000 sq meters of beautiful weathered top quality capital (Town) grade reclaimed Blue Bangor  slates. Recently salvaged from an old hospital building.Hand sorted re boxed and ready for a new home.

    Reclaimed 2000sq meters of Bangor Blue Slates Reclaimed 2000sq meters of Bangor Blue Slates

    Please visit our website below for more details







  • Thinking outside the box...

    Table and Bench Project

    Reclaimed Oak Parquet Table and Bench Set

    Here at Wilsons Yard we are always looking for new ways to create interesting and unique products for our customers. This project was no different! Just before Christmas we were contacted by a young couple who wanted a table and bench set with a twist.

    We create each piece of furniture with the client in mind; in this case it was for a young, trendy couple and we wanted to make sure that the table and bench reflected their own unique style. We looked at our range of timber that we have specially set aside for creating these tables/benches and chose a number of suitable options; however we felt that this didn't capture the feel that the customers were after so we went back to the drawing board.

    They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and this certainly proved to be the case as we decided to "think outside the box". Reclaimed flooring is one of our largest selling items and in order to display the products to customers we will create a sample board showing the flooring in its final state.

    This is a sample board created from oak woodblock/parquet This is a sample board created from oak woodblock/parquet

    This sample board was created to show our Oak woodblock/parquet flooring, and it certainly helped us move the product! So much so that we completely sold out of the flooring, however this still left us with the original sample board. Old sample board doing nothing?? Young, trendy couple looking for a unique, distinctive table?? A eureka moment was reached... Time to make a reclaimed table!

    Our talented workshop staff were able to re-purpose (an already reclaimed) material into something completely different. This is a table with a difference, and will definitely stand out in this couples home creating a talking point for many dinner parties to come!

    Nearly there...

    As you can see the reclaimed oak parquet table and bench set is simply stunning; and absolutely a one-of-a-kind. We were as happy as couple who purchased the item, it's always great to reach the end of a project and know that you have not only met, but surpassed, all the clients expectations. Now onto the next...

  • Panelled Room (AKA Giant Jigsaw Puzzle)

    In Early December on my way back from a buying trip in Europe  i called with a colleague in London who persuaded me to buy a period paneled room complete with carved fireplace  AKA Giant jigsaw puzzle of random sticks, timber etc from a period property in Oxford street.

    I couldn't work this one out at all and having never seen it in any other form other than a crate of miscellaneous pieces of wood and sticks i was very apprehensive.

    However with the help of master joiner Paul Moorhead  and Peter Booth... 10 days later we think it turned out pretty well. A beautiful restored 19th Century panelled room complete with carved fireplace.

    What do you think

    Geoff Wilson

  • Creating the Industrial Look - Part 2

     The Industrial Look at Wilsons Yard

    Industrial Look

    The industrial look is a very popular style among interior designers at the moment, this style makes use of basic shapes and materials such as reclaimed wood, chrome and glass. Companies are striving to create an aged and distressed look within their premises. Here at Wilsons Yard we specialize in helping companies/designers achieve that look through a number of different means. We can help you create the industrial look within your home; you don't have to live in a converted loft or disused factory to achieve this style!

    We carry a range of products that can be combined together to help create an industrial aesthetic. These include reclaimed wall boards, reclaimed flooring, industrial lights, beams/trusses and assorted curio to name but a few...

    Wilsons are proud to count clients such as Urban Outfitters, Nandos, The Botanist, Jack Wolfskin and TV's Game of Thrones in our portfolio of industrial projects. Companies know that when they contact us we are able to provide them with interesting ideas, eclectic products and detailed descriptions to help them complete their current venture.

    With over 40 years of experience and having supplied to private and trade clients throughout Ireland and the UK we have established ourselves as a major supplier of industrial fittings for the commercial trade.

    We are fast becoming a one-stop shop for shopfitters and bespoke joinery companies looking to procure an easily-achieved industrial look.

    We have created an industrial look page on our website which can be viewed here - http://www.wilsonsyard.com/products/industrial-look.html

    You can also check out our Google+ page for a more in-depth pictures and ideas

    Keep checking out our website for new and exciting products in Wilsons Industrial Range.

  • Restoring Vintage 1950's Theatre Lights

     Restored Vintage Theatre Spotlight

    Restoring Vintage 1950's Theatre Lights

    We recently bought and subsequently commissioned the restoration of a number of original old vintage theatre lights.

    These are truly beautiful lights that have been painstakingly and lovingly restored. We thought that you may find it interesting to understand just how much work Wilsons put into our products to that you can fully enjoy them in your own property.

    The lights are Strand Electric vintage 1950's theatre lights. These lights would have been widely used in theatres across Britain and Ireland, including The West End in London and all the big threatres in Dublin and Belfast.

    The spotlights are wonderfully engineered, have been tested and re-wired to accommodate a normal low-energy bulb, allow full 360° rotation and come complete with a bright mirror finish. They have been expertly restored to their original glory, and we want to share that process with you.

    The Restoration Process

    1. Stripping

    Restoring Vintage Theatre Lights - 1. Stripping

    The lights are painstakingly stripped down to their base components. Each section is delicately removed, including the lenses and internal reflectors. Every part of the spotlight is used again; apart from the cable and original lamp holder, which are replaced due to modern wiring regulations.

    2. Cleaning the body

    Restoring Vintage Theatre Lights - 2.. Blast Cleaning

    The body of each spotlight is blast-cleaned using a high pressure nozzle system combined with glass beads and baking soda. This non-destructive process will bring up the natural look of the aluminum body underneath.

    3. Cleaning the Internals

    Restoring Vintage Theatre Lights - 3.. Cleaning the internals

    After sitting in a disused environment for a long period of time, the interior of the lights become thick with dust. An alcohol solution is applied and the surfaces are returned to their original state. Every other internal component is sanded, cleaned and re-coated.

    4. Mirror Polishing

    Restoring Vintage Theatre Lights - 4. Mirror Polishing

    Once the body of each spotlight has been blast-cleaned it is then rubbed down with silicon carbide paper, this removes any rough finishes on the lamp. Each light is then polished and buffed until a mirror finish is achieved. Small signs of wear are visible on each light adding to the character and authenticity.

    5. Rebuilding

    Restoring Vintage Theatre Lights - 5. Rebuilding

    Once every component has been cleaned/tested then the lamp can be re-assembled. There are over 50 different components that go into creating these lights!

    6. Re-wiring

    6. Re-wiring


    A new plug is attached to the lamp, along with a 3m core flex and  an inline switch. A new ceramic lamp holder is installed and and a 1600lm energy saving bulb is inserted. The light is then PAT tested to ensure that it meets modern electrical safety standards.

    7. Mounting

    The finished lights are then mounted onto a wooden/brass tripod, which are then ready to be displayed in our showroom. 

    Wilsons Conservation Building Products (www.wilsonsyard.com) yard are a family run business involved in reclamation and salvage for 4 decades. If you would like to look at other vintage lights, industrial style lights or antique chandelier then check out the lighting section of our website

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