A HORTON builders are celebrating 120 years in the county.

J. Layzell and Sons was founded in 1895 by Jeremiah Layzell and are still based at the same yard in Horton, near Ilminster, over a century later.

Harvey Layzell, managing director of the company, said: "At one time there was a huge saw pit as well as a lime pit, a smithy and joinery. We made wheels, carts and even coffins. The business peaked just before the great depression when there were 70 men working for us."

The skills have been handed down through the generations, and Harvey grew up with the yard as his playground.

Surrounding him were houses his ancestors built and up the road is the church his great grandfather built in 1897.

"It’s wonderful that the church still plays such an important part in our lives. Our children were christened there and our oldest daughter is buried there."

Surviving daughter Amelia 15, is now 5th generation but shows no sign of joining her father.

Harvey's great grandfather had six sons, two of whom set up building businesses in Devon, with Harvey’s grandfather Wesley taking over from Jeremiah.

After Wesley retired, Peter carried on the business in the early 1980’s continuing in house building and the refurbishment and repair of historic buildings.

Harvey has forged an enviable reputation winning numerous awards starting with the prestigious SPAB Fellowship in 1994.

"The beauty of old buildings is that they were here before us and will be here long after we are gone," Harvey added.

"Working on Broadway Methodist Chapel reinforces this, as my grandfather added the Sunday school extension and we are now updating and revamping the interior to suit modern requirements. It’s exciting when things go full circle like this."

To find out more about J Layzell and Sons, visit jlayzellandsons.co.uk.