Nelson Butler & Son Ltd

Established in 1948 Nelson Butler & Son is one of the few remaining family run Saw Mills left in the U.K. Specializing and sourcing English Walnut, Rippled Sycamore, Brown Oak, Rippled Ash, Tiger Oak and Hornbeam. We pride ourselves on giving a personal service, whether you need one select piece of timber or an arctic load.

We provide timber to:

Architects, Builders, Oak Framers, Boat Builders, Furniture Makers, Shop Fitters, Landscapers, Interior Designers, Fencing CompaniesGate Makers, Cabinet Makers, Joiners, Constructional Engineers (Bridges), Railway Network

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Contact Info
  • Address: Elmhirst Road, Horncastle
    Lincolnshire, LN9 5AU.
  • Phone: +44 (0) 1507 523 451
  • Email:

A huge range of kiln dried boards and slabs READ MORE

Quality oak beams READ MORE

We are open to the public READ MORE

Fine Timber and Specialist Woods from Nelson Butler & Son, Horncastle, Lincs

Nelson Butler & Son Ltd was set up in 1948 by Nelson Butler. Who bought the company then known as Prestwood’s Timber from the Prestwood family which was, at that time, a third generation family business. It dealt mainly with the agricultural trade, supplying sheep and cattle troughs, oak thatching pegs and general timber supplies. Nelson took it on and branched out into the supply of pit props for the coalmines and timber for the steel industry. He also developed the major part of the business, exporting veneer quality logs all over the world.

We are one of the few remaining family run saw mills in the UK.

Nelson and Paul his son, ran the business this way up until the early eighties, they were then joined by Carl, Nelson's grandson. Carl installed their first log drying kiln in the 1980’s, so instead of exporting all their quality logs for vaneer slicing, they could now cut and dry them in house for the British furniture trade. Carl's son Sam joined the family buisiness in 2015. Joining Carl in Sales and general running of the family business as their fouth generation family member. Based in Lincolnshire we have continued to specialize in, and source homegrown hardwoods such as elm, oak, sycamore, walnut, and ash and it has been our business to select the best logs from the UK’s forest stocks for four generations. We have been supplying kiln dried English hardwoods to high end furniture makers throughout the UK and abroad for the last 40 years. We pride ourselves in having a wide range of kiln dried stock, suitable for all kinds of projects, from table making, cabinet making, home bannisters/stairs, flooring and many more.

Many woodworkers from all over the UK choose to come to Nelson Butler and Son due to our expertise and capability of supplying very rare and interesting specialist timbers, we specialize in burry, rippled and spalted timber along with beautiully coloured logs/boards/slabs.

We like to split the business into two different sides, one is the kiln dried/air dried side, pieces which are mostly sold for furniture and inside jobs. Then there's the fresh cut/wet timber side, which consists of green oak/fresh cut softwood for outside jobs. Before we even started selling kiln dried timber at Nelson Butler's, we had been cutting timber beams in our sawmill since the early fifties, and still do to this day. We cut mostly oak beams but also cut elm, Douglas fir, cedar and larch. We manufacture timber beams and cladding for builders, joiners, oak framers, landscapers, fencing companies, boat builders, gate makers etc.
Our vast experience and extensive knowledge on timber, gained from being in the trade for four generations makes us a top choice when it comes to buying timber, whether its fresh/green oak for framing you need, or some dried timber (kiln or air dried) for an inside job, we provide variation, quality and expert advice on each species.

Kiln Dried Timber

We at Nelson Butler Timber have been buying trees from English landowners for four generations. We source the finest U.K logs to cut in our own sawmill and to dry in our own kilns. You can purchase one small board for a DIY project or buy an artic load for large furniture manufacturers. We take pride in supplying some of the finest kiln-dried boards/whole logs in the UK. We specialise in unique, specialist timbers, having had one hundred and five years experience of selecting logs all over the UK, Europe and The States. We have supplied kiln-dried timber to all sorts of variations of woodworkers over the years, ranging from hobbyists to high-end furniture makers, specialist joiners to kitchen makers and many more. We are always joyous to send our timber off with our customers and it is always a great pleasure helping to select the perfect pieces and we can do this in a few different ways. One is to come into the yard to have a look around our three kiln-dried timber warehouses, this is possibly one of the best ways as you get to see the wood as it truly is in person and you get to see our entire stock. Another way is to purchase boards from our online shop, we have listed a wide range of kiln-dried timber so you can seamlessly scroll through pictures, prices and sizes to select the perfect piece for you. The last option is to leave it in our hands, by telling us your requirements we can then get one of our experienced kiln-dried timber selectors on the job to find the right pieces for you.

Fresh Cut Beams

Oak beams have been used for timber framing, joinery and construction for centuries, and for good reason. Other than the fact that oak provides an upscale, stylish look to any project, whether it be an oak framed manor house build or for some oak rails for a garden fence, it is also an extremely sturdy wood, mostly due to the fact that it is so dense.
Our English oak beams are truly appealing to the eye with a beautiful light colour when fresh sawn, ranging from a clean grain to sometimes containing pips that really give a classy look.
Green oak beams are just beams that have been fresh cut from a log, because of this they tend to have a higher moisture content and therefore are more prone to movement within the beam but this also means that they are softer and easier to work with when cutting joints etc. Even though green oak beams are more likely to move/shrink they have been used by builders and joiners for many years and still are used, for internal building structures. Green oak is also perfect for outdoor constructions e.g. barns, sheds, pergolas, porches, new builds etc..

If you are looking for a lighter wood to work with than oak then maybe larch will be better suited to your needs. We sell English larch, which is a softwood but this doesnt mean it is any less durable, it is a very strong wood and has been growing in popularity with joiners and construction workers over the years, to the point where it is now a very commonly used timber for these sorts of jobs.
Larch is a very resinous wood which is good news as this means that it is very immune to decay and rot. Harmful organisms are less likely to be able to penetrate larch beams/boards making it a perfect material for things like fencing, cladding and decking as well. Larch is also a very attractive wood visually, fresh cut it is a warm orangey brown colour with nice grain patterns, when dried it keeps it's grain and turns a silvery grey. Like most timbers, you have the option to apply a UV protection finish to larch if the fresh sawn look is what your heart desires.

Like larch, it's softwood brother, Douglas fir is also an ever-growing popular choice when it comes to beams. It shares a lot of similarities with larch, it's durable, resistant to rot and has an excellent strength to weight ratio. Douglas fir is commonly used in joinery and construction work, residential and commercial, due to it's excellent ability to bare a lot of stress. It is similar in appearance to larch, with a lovely straight grain and warm colour but shows more hints of pink when fresh cut.