The Blackfriar business has its origins in the Ostrich Paint and Varnish works, established in Bristol in 1894, where founder Ernest Parsons spent eight successful years before forming his own business.
In 1902 the Blackfriar name was born and the new business, E. Parsons and Co., quickly earned an excellent reputation for its wood stains and varnishes.
The business grew rapidly and expanded its product range to the extent that in the 1920s it became famed for the black paints it supplied to the motor industry for use in brake shoes for cars and heavy goods vehicles.
Family-owned for over 100 years, Blackfriar was built on a tradition of supplying high-quality paints and woodcare products to independent merchants, craftsmen and DIY enthusiasts.
In 2004 Blackfriar became part of the Tor Coatings Group, cementing its position at the premium end of the paint and varnishes industry.