James Batchelor

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The Dagnall Brewery and Cross Keys in 1897
On the left is the Golden Rule pub, and beyond that, the Cross Keys. The Dagnall Brewery is on the right. The chimneys were demolished in 1928.
The former Golden Rule public house and shop in Dagnall, following the takeover by Fullers. The shop ceased trading in early 1970. The pub closed in about 2008.

James Batchelor, Dagnall Brewery, Hemel Hempstead Road, Dagnall, Buckinghamshire.

Acquired by Fuller, Smith & Turner Ltd of London 1897 with 24 public houses which they then let to Locke & Smith Ltd of Berkhamsted c.1905. In 1913, ABC bought most of the pubs.

George Crutcher provided the following notes:

Established before 1850 (date unknown), probably by Thomas Batchelar, farmer, of Edlesborough (Dagnall is part of Edlesborough Parish). The business was run by the Batchelar family until 1897. The licensing justices records for Bucks for 1872 show that the Batchelars owned five pubs in Bucks at that time. In 1876 they were also supplying beer to seven pubs in Bedfordshire.

The business expanded and from 1854 is listed as “brewers and maltsters” in contemporary directories. The surviving part of the large malting remains at the rear of what was the site of the brewhouse.

In 1897 the brewery and malting business was up for auction and, although withdrawn, was sold to Fuller Smith and Turner (FST) in November of that year. Mike Brown’s “A Brewers Compendium – A Directory of Buckinghamshire Brewers” (ABC) says that the sale included 24 pubs.

Brewing at the Dagnall site may have continued for a year or two after the sale. I have a note of a Directory listing for FST as brewers in Dagnall until 1903. However malting continued, first by FST and, from 1899, by Walter Mott of the Three Counties Brewery in Dagnall. From about 1905-1906, Locke & Smith Ltd of Berkhamsted were operating the maltings and ABC says that they also leased some of the ex Dagnall Brewery pubs in the area from FST.

My notes include a reference to Roberts & Wilson Ltd of Ivinghoe as maltsters in Dagnall after 1913.

Most of the brewery buildings were demolished in 1928 but the malthouse remains.

List of James Batchelor pubs

The brewery in 1977: