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Published by Colin Savage, 2018-08-12 18:25:33

Beer Memorabilia - Supplement

The Lost Breweries of Taunton

THE LOST BREWERIES OF TAUNTON
Rowbarton Brewery, Kingston Road, Rowbarton (1)
This was the last of Taunton’s old breweries to cease. The brewery - north of the town centre
- was founded by Stephen William Arnold of Wickwar in 1876 on the site of a bone manure
factory. Initially, he was a free trade brewer. The style was changed to S. W. Arnold & Sons
in 1889 and the concern became a private limited company in 1898.

Site of Rowbarton Brewery from the 1904 Ordnance Survey map
The Commercial Inn, Bishops Lydeard had been bought in 1889. In addition the following pubs
were owned by the new company: -
In Taunton: The Green Dragon, Taunton Arms (formerly Wagon and Horses), The Alma, The
Crown, The Bristol Arms, Four Alls, Devonshire Arms, Royal Marine, Golden Lion, Telegraph,
Turks Head, Rose and Crown, Prince of Wales.
Other places: Lamb and Flag, Blagdon Hill, Cherry Grove, Stoke St Mary, White Hart,
Milverton, The Cottage, Horse and Jockey, Blake Arms, Bridgwater, White Horse, Bradford,
Victory, Allerford, The Crown, West Buckland, The Crown, Bell Inn, Creech St Michael, White
Horse, Half Moon, Wellington, Holywell Lake, Blue Ball, near Wellington, Pipers Inn, Ashcott,
Refreshment Rooms, Norton Fitzwarren, The Britannia, Alcombe and public houses in
Barnstaple, Tiverton, Braunton, Bishops Taunton, Beer, Great Torrington, Newton Abbot,
Ilfracombe, Croyde, Georgeham, Bradiford, Devonport, Hemyock, Plymouth and Clayhidon,
Devon, and Lyme Regis, Dorset.
In 1927, Arnold’s merged with William Hancock & Sons Ltd., of the Golden Hill Brewery,
Wiveliscombe to form Arnold & Hancock Ltd. which traded to 1955, when it was acquired by
Ushers Wiltshire Brewery of Trowbridge, and brewing ceased at both Taunton and
Wiveliscombe. In 1959, the former Rowbarton Brewery became Ushers regional office.
Ushers, in turn, was bought by Watneys.

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Rowbarton Brewery, Taunton
Other Taunton breweries had been absorbed by Arnolds: -
1897: West Somerset Brewery, St. James’ Street/Coal Orchard (2)

William Harry Stone was trading from the brewery in 1842 and 1852/3. William John
Sully was listed as a brewer and coal merchant in St. James’ Street in 1859.

1889 OS Map showing location of West Somerset Brewery
John Sloman of the Stogumber Brewery (who also controlled the Tangier Brewery)
was using the premises between 1883-1889, briefly trading as Sloman & Brander,
having rebuilt the premises and fitted them with new plant. Advertisements around
1883 (which do not mention the brewer) boast about the brewery having its own
artesian well and aerated water factory. Sloman sold the premises to Frank Howard
Hatch in 1889 and the brewery was trading as Hatch Brothers by 1892.
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Sidney Herbert Hatch and Frank Howard Hatch sold the business to Arnolds for £27,000. They also
conveyed the Prince of Wales, The Rose and Crown and The Turks Head, Taunton; the Crown Inn and
the Cups Hotel, Lyme Regis, Dorset; the Pipers Inn, Ashcott; the White Horse Inn, Bradford on Tone;
the Blake Arms, Bridgwater; and the Victory Inn, Allerford, Oake for £500.
Frank Hatch moved to Halifax and bought the Brackenbed Brewery and Labourer’s Arms, later
Brighton Hotel, Gaol Lane, Halifax, The Delver’s Arms, Hipperholme and the Half Way House, New
Pellon, Halifax in November 1898.

The Brewers House survives as part of the Brewhouse Theatre
1899: Norton Brewery, Norton Fitzwarren (3)
The brewery was being run by William Hewett in 1842 and 1852/3. By 1889, it was trading as W.
Hewett & Co. Arnolds bought it for £52,000. The premises were later used as a cider factory.

The Norton Brewery was near All Saints Church
3|Page

Hewett trade mark showing elephant standing on a barrel

Norton Brewery
Taunton Brewery, Mill Lane, North Street (4)
Joseph Davey was brewing in Mill Lane by the Tone Bridge in 1842 and John W. Davey from 1851 to
at least 1876. As well as brewers, the family were also millers and maltsters. A receipt from John W.
4|Page

Davey dated 1865 survives in the Somerset Record Office, showing him as a beer and pale ale brewer,
maltster and hop factor.
The brewery was trading as Davey & Tebbitt in 1877, when it was acquired by Thomas Starkey of
North Petherton. In November 1887, when an estate of 30 pubs was controlled, he merged with
Henry & George Knight of Northgate Brewery, Bridgwater to form Starkey Knight & Co., which became
Starkey, Knight & Ford Ltd. in 1895, then Thomas Ford’s Brewery at Tiverton was taken over. Brewing
ceased at Taunton in 1906 and in 1910, Thomas Starkey retired from the business, aged 70. He was
blind and in poor health.

In 1960, Starkey Knight & Ford entered into an agreement with London brewers Whitbread & Co. Ltd.
and complete acquisition came in 1962. The Taunton Brewery buildings were demolished in 1968.

The Taunton Brewery by the River Tone, from the OS map 1889
Starkeys had acquired the following brewery: -
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1923: Canon Street Brewery, Canon Street (5)
The brewery was founded before 1876 and was run by William Trotman & Co. and from 1877 by
Hanbury & Co. to 1894. The partners were, in 1882, Arthur A. H. Inglefield of Taunton,
brewer, Walter W. Haywood of Taunton, Theodore d'Escury Hanbury of Redhill, Surrey,
and Albert George Hanbury of Redhill. In that year, a new 15 quarter brewery was erected,
designed by Llewellins & James of Bristol.
By 1894, Theodore Hanbury and William Glenister Cotching were trading as Hanbury &
Cotching. The brewery was offered for sale at auction with 15 inns in 1895.
On 14 December, 1921, some 62 freehold and 15 leased licensed properties were offered
for sale once more, due to the retirement of W. G. Cotching, but withdrawn. The brewery
closed in 1923 and 78 pubs (some of which are listed below) were sold to Starkey Knight
& Ford Ltd on 23 February.

Beer label, c1908, showing the brewery’s trade mark
Cottage, Cherry Grove, Plough, Myrtle Tree, Compass, Prince Albert, Boot, Crown and Tower,
Full Moon, Queen's Arms, Seven Stars, Foresters' Arms, Victoria, Oxford, Dolphin, Saracen's
Head, Princess Royal, Winchester Arms, Rose, Half Moon, Old Angel, in Taunton;
Swan, Kingston St Mary; Bathpool, New Inn and White Horse, Creech; Rose Cottage and
Gardeners, Bishops Lydeard; Rising Sun, West Bagborough; Stag's Head, Seven Ash; New Inn,
Bicknoller; Roadwater, Old Cleeve; White Hart, Huntspill; White Hart, Corfe; Queen's Arms,
Pitminster; White Lion, Blagdon Hill; King's Arms, Churchstanton; York, Churchinford; Merry
Harrier, Clayhidon, Devon; New In, Bishops Wood, Otterford; Globe, Colyton, Devon; New Inn,
Bishops Hull; Crow, Rumwell; Anchor, Hillfarrance; Victoria, Wellington; White Ball, Sampford
Arundell; Country House, Tiverton, Devon; Anchor, South Molton, Devon; Swan and Union,
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Bideford, Devon; Ship, Globe and Prince of Wales, Appledore, Devon; Great Western, White
Horse, Poltimore, New Inn and Green Dragon, Barnstaple, Devon

O S Map. 1889, showing location of the Canon Street Brewery
Tangier Family Brewery, Castle Green (6)
The brewery – in an area known as Bishops Hull – was in operation before 1854 and bought by William
Ellis Oram in 1856. He had been a cooper at Bath Place, High Street in 1852/3 and an innkeeper at
the Four Alls, Tangier, and the brewery was probably at or near the inn. John Oram was also listed at
Tangier in 1859, with the firm of Oram and Hewitt trading as maltsters at Tangier Brewery in the same
year.
W. E. Oram advertised in the local paper in February 1856 “Having purchased the Tangier Brewery,
formerly occupied by Mr. Patteson and considerably enlarged it”.

Tangier Brewery advertisement 1859
By 1871 to c1876, the concern was operating as Elizabeth Oram & Company. James Liddington,
whose family brewed at Tring, was 2nd brewer at the time. The title was afterwards shortened to
Oram & Company. The following pubs were controlled: -
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The Four Alls Inn, Tangier Street, The Telegraph Inn, North Town, Taunton; The Cherry Grove
Inn, Stoke St Mary; The Bear Inn, Upper High Street, Taunton; The Crown and Sceptre Inn,
Station Road, North Town, Taunton St James; and The Masons Arms Inn, Magdalen Street,
Taunton.

In 1877, The Orams (Elizabeth, Edward Ellis and George Ellis Oram) decided to sell the brewery
to John Hoskyns, brewer following the death of William Ellis Oram but the purchase did not
go ahead until 1879, when Hoskyns took out a mortgage on the brewery and other properties
with Mrs Hester Clara Stubbs of Weston Under Penyard, Herefordshire in the sum of £3000.
The deed described the location of the brewery as –

Tangier Brewery and associated buildings, etc., located on land in Tangier bounded on the
north by the river or mill stream (sometimes known as the River Tone), on the south by Tower
Lane, on the east by a road leading to the gas works and on the west by a road leading from
Tower Lane to the footbridge over the river.

The brewery still traded as Oram & Co. however, and they were advertising their beers in the
local papers – Bitter Ale, XXX, Tonic Ale, Family Ale X, Stout and Porter. On 7 May 1881,
Hoskyns conveyed the brewery and properties to the Taunton Brewery Co. Ltd. for £9345 4s
8d (John Sloman of the Stogumber Brewery, retired Captain of the 61st Regiment and William
Maxwell Brander, retired Lieutenant Colonel) trading as Sloman and Brander shortly
afterwards.

The properties comprised the Royal Marine Inn and the Brewhouse Stables, etc., Silver Street,
Taunton; The Four Alls Inn and The Four Alls Cottages, Tangier Street, Taunton; The King's
Arms Inn, High Street, Honiton, Devon; The Bear Inn, Upper High Street, Taunton; The
Telegraph Inn, Nurton or North Town Street, Taunton; The Masons Arms Inn, Magdalen
Street, Taunton. It was also agreed that The Cherry Grove Inn, Stoke St Mary would be
surrendered to the Lord of the Manor of Taunton.

The Partnership between Sloman and Brander was dissolved in 1882 and John Sloman solely
carried on the business. He also owned the West Somerset Brewery. But he became bankrupt
and sold the business to Sidney Herbert Hatch and Frank Howard Hatch of the West Somerset
Brewery on 27 July 1889. Brewing appears to have ceased at that time and on 1 July 1890,
William Maxwell Brander and John Sloman conveyed “two residences, a cottage, malthouse,
yards, warehouses and building land, formerly known as Tangier Brewery” bounded on the
north by the River Tone, on the south and west by Tower Lane, on the east by the public road
to the gas works” to Edward Ellis Oram. It seems that the brewery had returned to the Oram
family but there is no record of brewing continuing.

East Reach Brewery, 160 East Reach (7)

The brewery was situated on the north side of East Reach and was established in 1776. It was
operated by Eales White in 1830 (when it was referred to as the “Taunton Ale Brewery”
although this had been the name of another brewery in the town (see 12) and 1837 and his
Old Strong Beer, Taunton Invalid Ales and Table Ales were being advertised by the brewery
around this time, as well as Meux’s Porter and Stout. John Eales White was listed in both

8|Page

1844 and 1852/3 and around 1855/6, A.E. and F.G. White (Alford and George) featured in
notices in the local press. A. E. White had been employed by Eliot, Watney’s Brewery in
George) featured in notices in the local press. A. E. White had been employed by Eliot,
Watney’s Brewery in Pimlico, London but was now carrying on the business conducted by his
father who died in 1855. In 1856, the firm’s Porter and Pale India Ale was advertised in the
Taunton Courier.

East Reach Brewery advertisement 1859
The brewery was offered for sale on 4 January 1865, followed by plant and casks in February. The
premises were let by Charles Kingsbury to Charles Davis in 1868. The Brewers House – a listed building
- still stands at the corner of Silver Street.
East Reach New Brewery, East Reach (8)
John Middleton was brewing in 1844 and in May 1845, the premises, comprising an 8 quarter
malthouse, cellars and brewhouse was offered to be let for 7 years as he was “about to retire”.
However, the business was retained within the family, as Daniel Middleton was recorded as
carrying on the brewery. However, he died in 1850 and the brewery was offered to let in
October of that year.
Fore Street Brewery, Old Angel Inn, Fore Street & 33 Bath Place (9)
James Payne was landlord of The Old Angel in Fore Street in 1877. He appears to have erected the
Fore Street Brewery soon after and traded there to 1884, when he became bankrupt.

9|Page

Ross & Hill trade mark
The business was sold to Ross & Hill, brewers from Burton-on-Trent around 1887. They controlled The
White Horse, Barnstaple, in 1889. In the following year, they were advertising their IPA, BA, XXX and
XX.
The brewery and 15 pubs were put up for sale in 1895 but failed to sell. The Carnegie Library was built
over the site in 1904. The Old Angel had become a Hanbury & Cotching house.

OS map 1889 showing the Fore Street Brewery and Old Angel
Mary Street Brewery, Mary Street (10)
Jacobs & Son were brewing in 1830, Bult & Palmer traded here in 1842 and 1844, and Joseph Palmer
in the 1850s to 1876, with premises also at 50 Fore Street. George Ellis Oram (whose family ran the
Tangier Brewery) was listed in 1877 to 1882. The brewery was altered in 1884 and 1885, The business
was bought by Hanbury of the Canon Street Brewery.
Middle Street Steam Brewery (11)
Thomas Durston was listed here in 1852/3, and William Trotman & Co. in 1876 and 1877 (also at
Canon Street Brewery).
10 | P a g e

Taunton Ale Brewery, George Hotel, Jarmans Court, 5 High Street (12)

This early brewery was offered for sale with other lots in both 1821 and 1822, when it was
described as “a large substantial brick building with large malthouse adjoining” and with a
brewing capacity of 50 barrels. It adjoined the George Hotel, and was in the same occupation.

Three other public houses were included in the sale particulars: --

The Hit or Miss, High Street The New Anchor, High Street and

The Spread Eagle, North Street.

The advertisements offered the premises for the reduced sum of £1600, and indicated that
they had cost £4000 to build. Although the Taunton Ale Brewery ceased to function, a smaller
model brewery was situated at The George Hotel and this was put up for sale in 1925, having
been in the same hands for fifty years. Edward John Lock was licensee in 1919.

Somerset Electric Brewery, New Inn, Halse (13)

This was the only microbrewery to have existed in
Taunton. Brewing started on 30- September 2003, by the

landlord of the New Inn, Mark Leadeham, an electrical
engineer, and his partner, Maggie Harris, with a 4 barrel

brewplant supplied by PBC Brewery Installations…

Following the sale of the pub brewing was suspended in 2005. The brewery reopened
as Taunton Brewing Co. Ltd in November 2006, with Colin Green, former director at Exmoor
Ales, and Mike Barrington as proprietors.
The brewery moved to 1f Hillview Industrial Estate, Bagborough, Taunton in 2007 but brewing
ceased in early 2011. The brewery produced draught beer and H’Ale Mary, ‘Castle’, ‘Mayor’
and Braunton in Steam in bottle.

11 | P a g e

Home Brewed pubs
The town had several pubs and inns with attached breweries: -

• Black Horse, 10 Bridge Street (Frederick Wide 1877-1884)
• County Inn, 1 Shuttern (Mrs Chalotte Summerhayes 1877; William Milton 1884-

1897)
• Crown & Sceptre, 17 Station Road (George Jarvis 1877-1887; Miss Elizabeth Mary

Jarvis 1892-97; Henry George Jarvis 1898)
• Crown & Tower, 39 Silver Street (Joseph Chick 1877)
• Fleur-de-Lis, 16 North Street (James Bolt 1877-1884)
• Full Moon, 47 High Street (James Bragg 1887-95)
• Great Western Hotel, Railway Station (H.H. Gill 1884-89)
• New Inn, Wilton Street (William John Griffin 1884-1898)
• Phoenix, 56 East Street (Thomas Webb 1877-1887; William Johns 1892-1898)
• Railway Inn, Whitehall Terrace, Station Road (Zebulum Wood 1877-1884)
• Ring of Bells, 16 St. James, Street (Wedden Popham 1877; William Johns 1884-1889)

close to West Somerset Brewery
• Royal Oak, 30a High Street (Mrs Caroline Thorne 1877; Arthur Cure 1889/1892)
• Winchester Arms, Castle Green (James Dee 1884-1897
• White Hart, 51 East Reach (William Berry 1877-1884)
• Racehorse, 157 East Reach (Samuel Wood 1877)
Other Breweries
The following additional brewer was trading in 1842: -
• Davey Joseph, jun. Upper High Street

©Keith Osborne January 2018

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