G. Baldwin and Co. History

G. Baldwin & Co. on Walworth Road, is one of London’s oldest and most established herbalists, a specialist in the natural remedies field with expertise and experience spanning two families and over 160 years.

The company was founded by George Baldwin in 1844 and was originally based at 77 Walworth Road, South East London. G. Baldwin thrived over the next 50 years, with 12 shops around the London area at its peak.

When George Baldwin died at the turn of the century, his son (also named George) took over the business. Young George was an engineer and had no great interest in the business. As managers left or died the shops closed down.

At the end of the First World War, Henry Dagnell joined Baldwins. His role was to restore the failing G. Baldwin & Co. business. One of his tasks was to collect all unsold stock from the various G. Baldwin & Co. shops aroung London as they closed. Using a hand-barrow he would deliver the stock back to the shop at 77 Walworth Road.

By 1925, only the original shop remained and this was now owned by Mr Parkin, with Mr Dagnell installed as Manager. It wasn’t until Mr Parkin’s death in 1951 that Henry Dagnell purchased the company for which he had now worked for over 30 years. He was joined by his son, Henry Dagnell Junior.

In 1969, Baldwins was forced by development work to relocate to 173 Walworth Road where they are still based today. Over twenty years on, this shop still has a nostalgic atmosphere – wooden floors, high old-fashioned counters and shelves stacked with herbs, oils and ointments.

In 1978, the company bought 171 Walworth Road with the intention of developing into the Health Food Market. It was at this time that G. Baldwin & Co. started branching out into areas outside the core business of Herbs and Herbal medicines. Essential and carrier oils were sourced and sold together with other natural remedies.

In 1981 Mr Dagnell was joined by his son, Stephen and the company continued to thrive, as the Natural and Alternative Health Industry began to boom. In 1993 Henry Dagnell retired, leaving Stephen to carry on the business.

Today the company has a thriving mail order business as well as a solid core of customers who visit the shop.