Joiners Company


Newcastle Upon Tyne

The work of a joiner

A joiner differs from a carpenter in that he or she cuts and fits joints in wood that do not use nails, usually in a workshop environment since the formation of the various joints generally requires non-portable machinery. A carpenter would normally work on site. Cabinet makers who specialise in manufacturing furniture are regarded as producing fine joinery.

In the UK a wood occupations apprentice could choose to study Bench Joinery or Site Carpentry and Joinery. Bench Joinery being the preparation, setting out and manufacture of joinery components. Site Carpentry and Joinery focuses on the setting out and fabrication of timber elements of construction and installation of the joinery components. On site the carpentry can be roughly designated to the timber work installed before the plaster does his work and joinery can be seen as that timber work installed or fitted after.

Joiners in Newcastle

The ordinary of this society, dated March 28, 1589, separated them from the House-Carpenters, and constituted them a fellowship of themselves, with perpetual succession. It enjoined them also to elect two wardens, who might sue and be sued, & c. in the courts of Newcastle, make laws, & c. and that whenever the mayor, aldermen, and sheriff of Newcastle, commanded any general play to be set forth, or martial exercise to be performed, they should appear, and perform such parts in them as should be respectively assigned them, on pain of forfeiting 2s. 6d. for every time they were absent; that apprentices should serve seven years, five of which to elapse before a second could be taken; that no Scot should be taken apprentice, or ever admitted into the fellowship. It enjoined also the appointment of two triers of work, as expressly and particularly named in the joint ordinary of the House-Carpenters and Joiners.

This fraternity formerly had their meeting-house over Pilgrim Street Gate, in which there was an escutcheon with this inscription: “Mrs. Margaret Stephenson, relict of Mr. John Stephenson, merchant of Newcastle, departed this life August 23, 1729, and, by her last will and testament, gave to the company of Joiners of Newcastle aforesaid, twenty pounds, to be lent to two such brethren of the said fellowship, as shall want stock to set up with, for four years without interest, and so to be transferred to other two such brethren of the said Joiners at the end of every four years for ever.”

On another ibid. “Barbara Farbridge, relict of Charles Farbridge, a brother of the company, died April 13, 1743, aged 60, bequeathed to the poor widows of deceased brethren twenty pounds, the use of which to be paid by the stewards on St. Peter’s day, yearly, for ever.”

The present hall of the society, built at their charge, was situated in High Friar Street. It is a handsome and commodious structure of brick. On the front of the building is this inscription, “Joiners Hall, erected 1802”

Their meeting house is in the Black Friars. 
Most probable date of Incorporation: 1589


Senior Steward

Kathryn Shaw 
6 West Mount 
High Barnes