Scaffolding for Swansea

Who invented scaffolding?

The use of scaffolding in the construction, restoration, and repair of buildings has been throughout ancient history. These same structures are used in maintenance and improvements in our scaffolding company in Swansea. Therefore, scaffolding has a large part to play and has been used in all corners of the world. Here in this article, you will learn who invented scaffolding and how it evolved into today’s industry.

Scaffolding through the ages

Cave art

Archaeologists discovered scaffolding adjacent to the 17,000-year-old Palaeolithic cave paintings at Lascaux in France’s Dordogne region. It is believed that scaffolding was first used to aid in creating cave paintings. The simple structures were not constructed to support construction or support anything other than the painter and his painting. They were the first step toward equipping the world with the resources necessary to create some of its marvels. These structures are thought to have been in use for more than 17,000 years.


The Egyptians also used scaffolding to construct the numerous great pyramids. These were designed to aid in transferring stones from one platform to the next via a series of lifts. These structures, which were hoisted from one level to the next, enabled the Egyptians to accomplish what would have been impossible otherwise.

Roman ingenuity and Greek influence

The Romans made extensive use of scaffolding in the construction of many of the structures that remain in use today. Scaffolding was used in the construction of the Pont du Gard. This magnificent aqueduct is three levels high and spans over 300 meters in length. Built entirely of limestone, scaffolding was required to transport materials and support the workers needed to construct such massive structures. Timber scaffolding was combined with mortar to improve the Greek’s construction techniques.

An image of the potential different people or nations mentioned on this page who could have invented scaffolding

Monastic builders

Later on, monks during Medieval times were specially trained to construct abbeys and churches using scaffolding. Furthermore, the “scaffolder monk” movement persisted well into the twentieth century. Monks used scaffolding to help build, repair, and restore their places of worship.


Despite many improvements, bamboo scaffolding has always played an essential role in constructing many of the structures that we see today throughout Asia. Scaffolding was extensively used in the construction of the Great Wall of China. The wall itself was constructed throughout several dynasties, so each section is distinct.

Daniel Palmer-Jones

It’s hard to exactly say who invented scaffolding. But before the invention of standalone scaffolding systems, many buildings were designed with scaffolding. This was referred to as the “putlog” system, and it involved the integration of recesses for wooden logs into bricks. In the 1900s, a gentleman by the name of Daniel Palmer-Jones (often affectionately known as the ‘Grandfather of Scaffolding‘) introduced metal scaffolding tubes as we know them today. He and his brother eventually came up with “Rapid Scaffixers,” which formed the basis of their Patent Rapid Scaffold Tie company. In 1913, they were awarded a contract to renovate Buckingham Palace using their new scaffolding system, which they used successfully. You can see the photo on our other FAQ page here. Six years after the prototype, Palmer-Jones’ fixings evolved into the ‘Improved Universal Coupler,’ which has since become the industry standard pattern for scaffolding up to this day.

Evolution of the scaffolding industry and its inventor

It’s fascinating to see how the scaffolding industry has evolved over the years in this short history. From Daniel Palmer-Jones “Inventing It” to it being seen on every street in the UK. We sincerely hope you enjoyed it as much as we did while researching this article. Don’t hesitate to contact our scaffolding company in Swansea through our website if you have any questions or would like to get a free quote on any of your scaffolding requirements.