Company History


The firm that became Chatto & Windus originated in the 1850s from the bookselling business of John Camden Hotten. It became Chatto & Windus in 1873 (incorporated as Chatto and Windus Limited 13th April 1953) and continued publishing British and American literature until its purchase by Random House in 1987.


  • Alma Park site was originally used by the RAF Lincolnshire Regiment during the Second World War – opening in Dec 1941 and closing after War ended, in Aug 1946.


  • UK publisher Chatto & Windus merged with Jonathan Cape.


  • Whilst known as Chatto, Bodley Head & Cape Services, Grantham Book Services (GBS) started distributing from Alma Park in May 1975.
  • Site officially opened by Michael Foot MP on 23rd Sept 1975. The official spade can still be found at GBS!
  • Random House UK was founded in 1987 with the acquisition of Jonathan Cape, Chatto & Windus and Bodley Head.
  • Became known as “Grantham Book Services”.
  • GBS was the first to be awarded the prestigious British Book Awards’ “Distributor of the Year Award”.
  • Bertelsmann acquired The Random House Group.
  • Random House Distribution Division created; although each company retained its separate identity for its clients. This was originally made up from Grantham Book Services, The Book Service and Transworld (Wellingborough)
  • Manningtree established as a centralised returns facility for TBS and GBS
  • The Manningtree Returns centre commenced operating the Industry Returns Initiative
  • GBS celebrated 30 years at its Alma Park site
  • GBS consolidated its seven warehouses into one, known as “334” – creating substantially more capacity for current and future clients (334,000 sq ft).

Grantham Book Services
Part of The Random House Group Limited
Incorporated in England and Wales
Registered Office: 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London. SW1V 2SA
Tel: +44(0)1476 541000 / Fax: +44(0)1476 541060
Company No. 01177275 - VAT Number. 102838980