Anstey Horne has a long and rich history, dating back nearly 230 years to 1795
Our long history makes us one of the oldest surveying firms in the UK.
Anstey Horne's beginnings can be traced back to 1795 when a Mr Pullen formed a firm of auctioneers at No. 34 Little Moorfields. The street is now Moorfields, and runs along the back of Moorgate station.
Mr Pullen would certainly have known the Swan & Hoop, a large inn and livery stables at the London Wall end of Moorfields. Now known as the Globe pub, with a Keats at the Globe bar and Blue Plaque marking the birthplace of poet John Keats, born in 1795, the year Mr Pullen set up in business.
Anstey Horne in the 19th Century
Mr Pullen was later joined by Mr Eversfield who in turn was joined by Mr Edgar Horne.
By 1860 the firm was known as Messrs. Pullen, Horne and Eversfield, undertaking an auction that year for the late Duke of Wellington’s effects. By this date the firm had moved just around the corner from Moorfields, to Fore Street.
In 1868 at a meeting of 49 surveyors in the Westminster Palace Hotel, the Institution of Surveyors was formed. Edgar Horne’s son, Sir William Edgar Horne later became the president of what is now the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1911.
By 1884 Mr Pullen’s name had disappeared. The firm, known at that point as Horne, Son and Eversfield changed its name to Horne & Co in 1899.
During its long history the firm conducted many high-profile auctions, including those of the Royal Mint, Newgate Prison and Crystal Palace.
As a result of these renowned auctions, Anstey Horne holds in its possession numerous interesting artefacts, including the original catalogue of the sale of the old Crystal Palace. The firm’s final auction was that of the Great Western Railway and its successor, British Rail.
The Anstey Horne Era
Soon after the First World War, Bryan Anstey, a senior partner at Johnston Evans and Company, entered into association with Horne & Company. His name was added to the firm in 1964, at this time trading from Ironmonger Lane.
Anstey Horne quickly cemented its position as a leading specialist consultancy.
When Bryan Anstey retired, his son John Anstey became the sole principal of the firm in 1973.
John moved the business to 31 Newbury Street in 1977, converting a rundown cafe into offices, which received the first City Heritage Award in 1978, recognising the preservation and refurbishment of historical buildings in the City.
John Anstey had the ambition to have the party wall provisions of the London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939 passed as a national piece of legislation.
He was instrumental in setting up The Pyramus & Thisbe Club in 1974 – an association of Party Wall surveyors. It was through his work as Chairman of the Club that he assisted with drafting the Party Wall bill and supported Lord Lytton in introducing it to parliament.
John's contribution was acknowledged by the Earl of Kinnoull during the second reading of the bill, when he said :
I know that that club of professionals has done tremendous work. I pay a particular tribute to its chairman, John Anstey, who, like other colleagues, has been active in helping to draft the Bill.
Hansard, Party Wall Bill 31 January 1996
John Anstey was joined in partnership by Lance Harris and Graham North in the early 1990s.
In 2017, a little over 210 years after it was first formed, the history of Anstey Horne came full circle when the business moved to its current premises in Chiswell Street.
Through the reign of 10 monarch's, from George III to King Charles III, the business was back a stone’s throw from its origins in Moorfields, re-establishing the link to the same pub (probably) frequented by Mr Pullen 230 years earlier.