‘To create something original, you must first fully understand your past’ is an appropriate maxim for a company that began more than 30 years ago when founder, Tony O’Donnell, spotted a gap in the market for restoring baths. Having purchased a house with an old cast iron roll top bath, he tried to find someone to renovate it but couldn’t. ‘The restoration of this bathtub led me on a merry journey through the salvage yards of Kent,’ recalls Tony. ‘I quickly realised there was a forgotten heritage within Britain and set about understanding the origin of these plumbing products and how they were made.’
He started Catchpole & Rye by enamelling cast iron baths, then quite quickly began visiting France to buy antique sanitary and bath ware (although many pieces, such as the impressive canopy baths from stately homes or castles, came from the UK). These antiques would otherwise have been discarded but he recognised their beauty and history and carefully restored them to their former glory.
The cast-iron bath collection is mostly produced at a foundry in Kent using the same techniques that have been employed for the past 100 years
Although Catchpole & Rye’s primary aim is to ensure that products are well designed so that they stand the test of time and won’t date, finishes on taps such as weathered copper and aged brass are proving increasingly popular (the company has its own plating facility on site to cater for this) and beautifully complement the company’s bestselling copper and brass baths. The variety of marble and stones on offer, and different types of metal finishes, also mean that products match brilliantly with nearly all types of design schemes. The company is fully equipped to offer a bespoke and customisation service for customers, from casting emblems, names or logos onto baths or cisterns to even designing and manufacturing an Art Deco-inspired bath for a specific project.
Catchpole & Rye has recently built new workshops and is in the process of hugely expanding its engineering and foundry capabilities. The company offers a full design service as well as site visits to ensure a beautifully finished bathroom, featuring a bath that’s worthy of taking the plunge.
Catchpole & Rye Saracens Dairy, Pluckley Road, Ashford, Kent, TN27 0SA +44 (0)1233 840840
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