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The UK's Longest Surviving Brands

Some British brands have been around for centuries. How many do you recognise?

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Longevity is a very valuable attribute for a brand to have.

If you’ve been around the block a few times with your business, and lived to tell the tale, customers will come to recognise your reliability. Some brands have held up so strongly over the last couple of centuries that they are ingrained into the British national psyche.

When we examine those companies that have managed to stay with us they seem as British as any other part of our national identity. A purple bar of Cadbury’s chocolate is as British as a red telephone box. Here’s a rundown of some of the longest surviving British brands.



Founded – 1824

Known for – Chocolate

Originally founded by John Cadbury in Birmingham during the 19th century, the Cadbury chocolate company has been synonymous with decadence in the UK for hundreds of years. Over the years, they have grown to be one of Britain’s largest and most recognisable exports, selling an estimated 350 million bars of chocolate every single year! Even during the Second World War, while rationing affected the output of foods, Cadbury adjusted their recipe to include powdered milk instead of fresh.

Rolls Royce


Founded – 1904

Known for – Cars

When Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce in May 1904, neither would have realised that this would be a key day in the history of automotive engineering. Sharing a passion for motoring and innovation, Rolls and Royce founded the legendary car manufacturer and the name has been associated with quality British luxury ever since. Through the years, the Phantom, Silver Wraith and Silver Shadow models have been considered some of the most desirable cares ever made.



Founded – 1824

Known for – Industrial valves

The Victorian era and industrial revolution gave rise to many British engineering firms as the UK lead the way in building infrastructure across the world. The waning global influence has seen a number of these firms disappear altogether, one that has held its own is the Hopkinsons brand. Founded in Leeds the same year as the aforementioned Cadbury, Hopkinsons valves can be found in oil rigs, power plants and gas production facilities all over the globe.



Founded – 1706

Known for – Tea

The British love affair with tea is one that is deep running and enduring. One business that has been around as long as Brits have loved a good cuppa is the Twinings tea company. For over 310 years, this tea merchant has been bringing the finest tea from the likes of India and China into the UK. They also hold the record of having the oldest company logo in continuous use, which was first adopted in 1787, but remains on their packaging today.

Lloyd's of London


One of the longest surviving British brands, who are bigger today than they’ve ever been is the Lloyd’s insurance market. With origins dating back to the late 15th century Lloyd’s originally began life as an insurance market in the centre of London where sailors, and ship owners could find marine insurance. This was a vital practice as many merchants wanted to have a degree of safety should ships sink or go missing. The same essentially applies today, but on a much grander scale as it’s estimated that Llyod’s wrote almost £30 billion worth of gross premiums.

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