The story of our Kings Cross Jarrah

Jarrah is a slow growing Australian hardwood known for its durability and strength. It’s also one of the most exclusive and rare timbers that our planet has to offer, with its journey to Woodworks by Ted Todd covering land and sea.

Found on the iron and aluminum rich plains Western Australia, Jarrah is only known to grow in this part of the world, with Jarrah’s beautiful deep hues being a reflection of the unique landscape in which it grows.

Jarrah started to be imported into the United Kingdom in 1887 when a shipment of Jarrah arrived to be used as street pavement blocks, in place of cobblestones. The reason behind using Jarrah for streets was due to the timber being highly durable and water resistant, making it an ideal choice for flooring, bridges, wharves, railway sleepers and roads.

Many well-known streets in wealthier areas were soon covered in creosote blocks of Jarrah including Baker Street, Oxford Road, Drury Street and the Strand.

At the same time, the area around Kings Cross was developing rapidly from its humble beginnings.

In 1850, the Great Northern Railway had reached London. Keen to take advantage of traffic to and from The Great Exhibition of 1851, a temporary station was built on what is now York Way which survived long enough to be later used as a potato warehouse.

Kings Cross had a large goods yard and towards the end of the 19th century was handling approximately a million tons of goods. A significant potato market grew up on the eastern margin of the goods station. At the peak of the season there could be a thousand loaded potato carts in the Kings Cross area waiting to be unloaded into one of the many warehouses.

While the area continued to thrive in the early 20th century, after the havoc of wartime and the nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the transport of freight by rails suffered a speedy decline.

The area went from being a busy industrial and distribution district to an under-used site with many buildings becoming derelict but the arrival of the 21st century has seen some significant changes to the Kings Cross area.

As part of this regeneration we were thrilled, and extremely fortunate, to acquire a large quantity of Jarrah wood from one of the old potato warehouses.

Kings cross jarrah

The wood that came out of the Kings Cross warehouse was in lengths of up 2000mm and 200mm wide – which for Jarrah is very impressive. We meticulously worked this amazingly dense hardwood to manufacture wide and long engineered planks, whilst retaining their original surface patina and undulations which make this reclaimed wood flooring so special. Even the marks made by the clout nails used to fix the boards down we’re allowed to shine by our expert artisans.

The knowledge we have about the importance of conservation and protecting our natural resources makes it more important than ever that reclaimed wood such as Jarrah is valued.

Given that this wood has already been around for hundreds of years, we feel privileged to be able to extend its life and provide a hardwood floor of such quality.

The next experience in its distinctive lifecycle, is entirely up to you.