The History of Joseph Giles

We design, manufacture and supply luxury hardware for exclusive residential, hospitality and commercial construction projects across the globe. We service contractors, architects and interior designers involved in luxury and super-prime properties and developments.

We began our business in 1998, importing mostly European brands and selling them to the UK market. At the time, one particular handle was being specified on most projects – a timeless design created by a Danish architect in the 1970s. While we loved the design (and still do today), we realised that it didn’t suit every interior design scheme and there was an appetite for something different.

We began designing our own products, notably our ‘Cube’ lever handle, and while considered unconventional at the time, was an instant success and paved the way for us to design our signature collection, including the world’s first contemporary leather-wrapped door handle in the process.

For us, it’s not just about how the products look, it’s about how they work and feel. As they are used every day they need to be comfortable and deliver a quality that can be both seen and felt.

Our ethos isn’t about the bottom line, it’s about making products that we love and that our customers want to buy.

We are proud of our British heritage and work with the finest craftspeople across the country to deliver exceptional products to our customers. We don’t believe in mass manufacturing, each and every one of our products has been lovingly created and hand finished by artisans.

Today we are recognised as world leaders in our field and something we are incredibly proud of. We provide a complete service whatever your requirements, from simple orders through to extensive door schedules, and our experts are on hand to guide you through your project every step of the way.

  • 1949 - 1977

    The founder's father, Dudley Harwood joins the BBC research team, becoming one of the pioneering minds underpinning the British audio scene of that era.

  • 1977

    Cone style speakers invented by Dudley Harwood, revolutionising the music world and enhancing the way we listen to music today. Establishing the JG founding family in the world of innovation.

  • 1972 - 1978

    John Harwood joins The Phillips Group, working on lighting and machine design (including the luminaires for the National Bank of Paris in London) and developing a taste and appreciation for attention to detail.

  • 1979 - 1998

    John Harwood enters the door hardware industry - securing many significant contracts including Windsor Castle and the St Georges redevelopment in Battersea Reach.

  • 1998

    Joseph Giles is born, started by John Harwood and named after his two sons Joseph and Giles.

  • 1999

    Joseph Giles are specified for the Kensington Palace refurbishment.

  • 2000

    Joseph Giles were charged with the refurbishment and replication of period door handles and fittings for Prince Edward's Bagshot manor residence.

  • 2002

    Joseph Giles produce their first range of stainless steel lever handles wrapped in hand stitched bridle leather.

  • 2003

    Joseph Giles responds to the emerging minimalist designs trends by launching the CUBE range, a contemporary collection of square lever handles and complementary fittings.

  • 2004

    Joseph Giles creates the CUT design, a collection inspired by modern architecture.

  • 2005 - 2007

    Joseph Giles continues to grow and add collections to their own ranges. There are many notable projects, including commissions for Westminster Central Hall and Lords Cricket Ground.

  • 2007 - 2009

    The business model adapts to focus on the high end residential construction market.

  • 2009 - 2010

    A brand refresh and a new brochure helps establish Joseph Giles in the high end residential market.

  • 2010 - 2012

    Joseph Giles moves to new premises to support the fast paced growth.

  • 2012 - 2016

    These years achieve significant growth which includes new products, an in-house R&D team and a new website.

  • 2017

    Joseph Giles invests in staff and brings on board a senior management team. In addition, a number of new products are launched including collaborations with Collett Zarzycki and Gluckman Smith. Joseph Giles receive a Silver Award at the International Business Awards and a Silver Award at the National Business Awards. Joseph Giles also features in the Parliamentary Review.

  • 2018

    Global growth - Joseph Giles welcome distributors in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.