Alton & Co. Ltd
Alton & Co. Ltd, Wardwick Brewery, 15 Wardwick, Derby, Derbyshire
Founded by Thomas Lowe in 1788. Registered in 1888 and a new company was registered in July 1899 with 91 public houses.
Acquired by Stretton's Derby Brewery Ltd in January 1903 with 154 tied houses. The brewery was run as a separate concern until its closure in 1922.
(Many thanks to John Arguile for further information.)
Local press reported that the Wardwick Brewery was built on the old portion of the brewery premises of Messrs John and Samuel Crompton in 1788. It came into the Alton family in 1869, the last (brewery) member of which, Mr Hepworth T Alton, by then Managing Director, died in November 1903. At the time he was staying at the Langham Hotel in London where he suffered from a seizure. He had been a director of the firm since 1888 and was just 45 years of age.
Stretton's Derby Brewery Ltd purchased the company later that same month. Brewing had ceased by 1922 when the brewery, which was set back behind the offices, but not the offices, were purchased by the Post Office to make way for a new telephone exchange. Allied retained the offices as a local base for Ind Coope (East Midlands) until turning the offices into the Wardwick Tavern. It is thought that some of the buildings at Wardwick survived until the 1960s.
As well as the brewery behind the offices at 15 Wardwick - amply described in Barnard, they had premises on Colyer Street and extensive maltings both in Derby and at Castle Donington (Leics). An architectural drawing (see opposite) suggests that it was an extensive brewery.
A further plant existed on Ashbourne Road, this being the brewery formerly owned by Messrs Weall Brothers and purchased in 1895 along with 7 public houses. At this point Alton & Co were growing rapidly, it purchased a further 6 pubs that year.
The brewery features in The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland by Alfred Barnard published 1890.