Ashby's Cobham Brewery Co. Ltd

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Ashby's Cobham Brewery Co. Ltd, Horns Place, Cobham, Surrey.

Registered 1887 to acquire the business of Walter Francis Finn and Richard Wallis Ashby.

Merged with Savill & Co. Ltd. of Shalford 1913 to form Cobham United Breweries Ltd. who sold off the plant.

Acquired by Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. Ltd. 1922 with 56 houses and sold 1924 having used the site as a store.

Demolished 1925.

List of Cobham United Breweries Ltd pubs


Ashby’s Cobham Brewery

Records indicate that some sort of brewing activity was carried on in Cobham as far back as the 18th century by Mr Sutton Porter, a member of a well known Chertsey family with interests in Brewing and Malting. It was not however until the site was taken over in 1806 by Joseph Stedman (b1767) that the Cobham brewery was established as a proper commercial brewery. In the subsequent 30 years Joseph and his wife Elizabeth developed the business on a firm basis. On the death of Joseph and his wife in 1838 and 1839 respectively the brewery passed to one of their three Daughter, Mary, who had married into brewing celebrity by becoming a wife in the Ashby of Staines dynasty. Mary later remarried to become Marry Harrington.

The contacts the Stedman’s built up meant not only Mary marrying into the Ashby Brewing family of Staines in Middlesex but one of their other daughters also marrying into the trade fraternity when Elizabeth married Henry Jupp a Maltster from Brentford.

When Mary Harrington died in 1884 she left the brewery to her son Richard Wallis Ashby. Richard who was born in Kingston in 1835 was already entrenched in the brewery before he became owner, as the 1861 census showed him to be already resident at the Brewery. It was under him that the business was expanded substantially and it became known as Ashby’s Cobham Brewery. How hands-on Richards involvement was from the time he became the owner is not too clear for within 4 years in 1888 he moved to Southsea until his death 1911. This said Southsea is not much further south of Cobham than London is north and he appears to have continued with his many interests with Cobham village including the village cricket team, horse and hounds and various church activities, so it is quite possible he was still very much in touch and in control at the brewery.

Two years after his death the brewery merged in 1913 with Savill & Co. Ltd of Shalford forming the Cobham United Breweries which in turn was acquired in 1922, with 33 pubs, by Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. Ltd. Almost immediately after the takeover the site, which may have extended to 9 acres, was sold to Epsom Rural District Council who used it as a recreational ground with the final remaining building finally being demolished in 1970.

The brewery buildings did not occupy the whole 9 acres and if Epsom RDC were able to use it so easily as a recreation ground it is quite possible that much of the site had been used to grow its own hops. If not it is almost certain they used hops which were grown at another local place, one of its nearby pubs The Antelope (formerly known as the George)

How or why Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. Ltd came to take over the brewery is not known but it should be noted The Cobham brewery was a company they would have been quite familiar with as the Combe family lived in Cobham for many years having owned the substantial Cobham Park from 1806 to 1930.

Source - ‘Well Furnished with Inns’ by David C. Taylor