James Kettlety grew up in the ancient Roman city of Bath where his family have lived for generations and his father was involved in property development. He grew up with strong ties to the architecture that has stood in the city in the form of the Bath Abbey which has stood for over 1000 years & the Roman Baths which have stood for 2000 years, both carved from the limestone mined in the surrounding hills of Combe Down.
James left school at the age of 16 to begin his training as an apprentice stone mason at G. V. Williams where over the next 5 years he was involved with the restoration of such establishments as Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Barclay Square, the British Library, Austin Friars & Bath’s own Prior Park College. Once James completed his advanced craft he was promoted from the banker’s shop, where he began to train as a template maker, along with draftsmanship & estimating. During this time he later worked alongside Christopher Tottle (MD) in the importing department for Parent Company Roche-Regaun where he worked on sourcing & supplying materials for the Euro Tunnel & the French limestone on the platforms in Paddington Station.
With his incredible skills & experience James was employed for the next 5 years in Sydney, Australia by the Traditional Stone Company where he worked on large scale conservation & restoration projects in excess of AUS$600 million. This focused on reviving Sydney’s oldest & most iconic buildings including, Customs House, St. Martins Place, The Rocks, Sydney University, Pit Street Radisson Plaza, St. Marys Cathedral & Elizabeth Street Synagogue.
After making his mark in Sydney, James returned home to the UK where he turned his hand to site management and has spent the last 15 years involved in residential development projects, supervising over 400 individual residential new builds across the country in excess of £135 million. Along the way he has won the NHBC Pride in the Job Award 4 times, 2 of which were as a site manager at The Brambles in Bristol & The Meadows in Peasedown St. John & then twice more as assistant site manager for projects in Timsbury & Minchin Hampton.
In 2014 James founded Rathbourne & consolidated his 25 years of experience into the bespoke building company. His vision was to bring a high end service to private clients, both commercial and residential, offering a full package from the conceptual stage, through to furniture being delivered & final cleans before moving in. James with his team of collaborating interior designers, architects & specialised tradesmen are on hand to deliver a finished result that surpasses expectations & completely tailored to individual budgets or needs.