Brewery and Maltings Heritage

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Harry Owen's New Maltings, Wellington
H A & D Taylor's Pneumatic Maltings, Sawbridgeworth
Seck malt mill 1911.jpg

Brewery and Maltings Heritage

Recent years have seen an acceleration in the rate of change affecting the brewing industry which has seen mergers, acquisitions and associated closures that pose urgent questions for all with an interest in the archives, artefacts and architecture of the industry.

The ongoing threat to the historic fabric of the English brewing industry was discussed at the conference From Grain to Glass, organised jointly by English Heritage (EH), the BHS and the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA), which took place at Swindon on 13 June 2003; the joint BHS and Victorian Society study day From Hop to Hostelry: the brewing and licensed trades 1837-1914 at Young's Ram Brewery, Wandsworth, 25 February 2006; and during the AIA Ironbridge Working Weekend at Coalbrookdale, 29 April 2006. Following this English Heritage agreed to support a project on 'The Brewing Industry', which was carried out between July 2007 and September 2009. Its aims were to provide up to date information on all pre-1940 operating breweries, to compile a comprehensive list of historic brewery buildings (the computerised BHS Breweries Database), to consider the future of the industry's archives, and to undertake a national assessment on the industry, in the form of a Strategy for the Historic Industrial Environment report (SHIER).

In 2011, the BHS and English Heritage jointly held a conference to launch the reports and to consider ways forward for the conservation of historic breweries and maltings. See page: The Last Drop: Conference at Burton-upon-Trent, March 2011

The following reports have been published as part of 'The Brewing Industry' project. The publications are now hosted by Historic England.

Gazetteer of operating pre-1940 breweries in England

Text by Lynn Pearson and Ray Anderson. This describes the breweries, buildings and plant of all operating pre-1940 breweries; and also lists major operating post-1940 breweries, and operating microbreweries occupying pre-1940 brewery premises. You can download this report from the Historic England web site:

The Brewing Industry: Archive Report

Text by Lynn Pearson. This report attempts to summarise the changes relating to the archives of the brewing industry since the publication of Richmond and Turton's comprehensive 'The brewing industry: A guide to historical records in 1990'. The two most notable events have been the dispersal of records: the Whitbread Archive in 2001 and the Allied Breweries Archive in 2002-3, but there have of course been many other depositions which are listed in the Appendix. An important source book for tracing brewery archives. You can download this report from the Historic England web site:

The Brewing Industry

Text by Lynn Pearson. This report presents the main findings of this project. It includes three sections: The English brewing industry and its buildings; a Gazetteer of extant historic brewery buildings; and Managing the Resource. The BHS and English Heritage held a joint conference in Burton-upon-Trent in March 2011 to launch the brewing industry report. You can download this report from the Historic England web site:

Maltings in England

A report by Amber Patrick, published by English Heritage. Today, few malthouses survive unaltered. The study of their buildings, often as they become subject to listed building applications or are redeveloped as part of the general planning process has enabled a detailed understanding of the buildings and their development to be obtained. This report seeks to characterise and assess the malting industry: by providing a summary of its process and historical context; by outlining the historical development and typology of its buildings and their distribution; by establishing the known stock of surviving buildings of the industry by county; and by indicating the adequacy of protective designation of these buildings. You can download this report from the Historic England web site:

Maltings Sawbridgeworth zx.jpg One of the many maltings in the Hertfordshire town of Sawbridgeworth