Bartlett & Co. Ltd
Bartlett & Co. Ltd, High Street, Warminster, Wiltshire
Registered in 1889.
Acquired by Usher's Wiltshire Brewery Ltd in 1920 with 44 houses and was closed.
Now in mixed uses.
From The Pictorial Record Volume III, No.26, September 1900.
The above title, although certainly as brief as it well could be, very aptly describes the industrial enterprise at Warminster conducted under the style of Bartlett & Co., inasmuch as it is now the only large brewery the town possesses.
Its history is an interesting one, and moreover a story of continued progress, based entirely on the excellent quality of the ales brewed. The founder, Mr James Bartlett, was some fifty years ago butler in a gentleman's family, and those being the days when home-brewed ale was in its zenith he also acted as family brewer and had a great reputation for the splendid ales he produced. Eventually he quitted private service and started as a brewer in small premises, occupying part of the site that the present extensive brewery now covers.
At the start Mr Bartlett only employed one horse and cart, and the rest of his plant, &c., was on a correspondingly small scale, but being already noted for his skill as a brewer his trade rapidly increased, and was on a fairly extensive scale when the business was sold to another firm in the town in 1887, who greatly enlarged the premises and purchased several hotels and inns in and near Warminster.
In 1898 the business was again sold, this time to Messrs. Garton, owners of the famous Anglo-Bavarian Brewery Co. Ltd at Shepton Mallet. They have not, however, incorporated it with larger concerns, but having purchased another local brewery - Messrs. Morgan & Bladworth's - they amalgamated the two and carry them under the title stated, Bartlett & Co.
Since in Messrs. Garton's hands, the brewery has been again enlarged and improved, new plant and machinery has been put in and over 60 hotels and licensed houses in the neighbourhood are owned, so that ample channels are found for the output, large as it is. Besides these there are agents in almost every town within a fifty-mile radius of Warminster, and very large contracts with the War Office are in hand for supplying Salisbury Camps. A fine suite of offices has just been built close to the brewery, which is itself one of the most imposing buildings in the town and quite an architectural achievement in that class of work.
Going through the premises, one is struck by the good order and cleanliness that prevails everywhere, every utensil and vessel is thoroughly cleansed before using a second time, and the whole place is as light and spotless as hard work and constant supervision can make it.
The firm make all their own malt and crush it the day before using in the malt mills, from which it is carried by elevators to the first bin over the mash tun. From thence the operations go forward in the usual way, mashing, boiling with the hops, cooling, fermenting, skimming, vatting and racking, until it reaches the consumer, bright, wholesome and delicious.
The fermenting room has eleven vessels capable of holding 2,500 gallons each, and in the cellars are 18 large store vats holding from 1,000 to 6,000 gallons each. Both ales and stout of the very best quality are brewed, and, in addition to supplying the firm's own houses, a very widespread family trade is cultivated, the ales, especially those of the light bitter class, being in high repute for table use.
The brewery staff numbers about 40 hands, besides seven engaged in clerical work, and about a score of carts and drays are used for the local traffic. It not infrequently happens that when a large firm buys up local concerns their value to the town as wage-payers, &c., is very largely diminished, but the reverse is the case here, as the brewing interest is more strongly represented in Warminster and employs more people since Messrs. Garton took over the Brewery than was the case before.
Bartlett's Brewery closed circa 1919 after being purchased by a competitor, Usher's Wiltshire Brewery Ltd of Trowbridge. The premises then became a factory producing Casein items. The building which had been Bartlett's Brewery at High Street was converted into a car sales showroom in 1956. The building still survives today but is now occupied by various businesses including a carpet retailer and a dance school. It is now aptly known as 'The Old Brewery'.
Images of the brewery:
The brewery in August 2017: