Oliver Arthur Burgham, Redbrook Brewery, Redbrook, Gloucestershire.
Founded 1825 by Richard Simms. Sold to Thomas Burgham c.1871.
Acquired by Ind Coope Ltd. 1923 with 22 public houses.
Also listed under Monmouthshire.
THE REDBROOK BREWERY by Ian P Peaty
The Redbrook Brewery was established and founded in 1825 by a Mr Richard Simms. Simms sold it to Thomas Burgham who was listed as the owner in the 1871 edition of Kelly’s Directory. Thomas was one of the three sons of William Burgham who was an iron-founder with works at Upper Redbrook. William at that time was in partnership with a Mr Harris. This business was in existence as early as 1830 and made tram wheels for railway wagons which were used extensively in the neighbouring coal and ironworks of the Forest of Dean.
The iron-foundry was previously owned by Henry Davies who sold it to the partnership in 1828. William Burgham, in his Will dated 17th August, 1850, left his wife the iron-foundry business and she continued the trade until at least 1858, to be succeeded by William junior who continued production until 1890 when the works closed down.
Thomas Burgham also owned a malthouse in St Mary Street in nearby Monmouth, just across the River Severn.
An advertisement in the Monmouth Merlin dated 11th April, 1835, stated that Mr Richard Simms was retiring from the brewery business, “and begs to thank his friends and the public for the patronage he has experienced and also to inform them that he is succeeded by his brother, Edward Simms..... Edward Simms, late of the firm of John and Edward Simms of the Stroudwater Brewery, having dissolved the partnership with his brother on 25th day of March last, begs to inform the public that he has taken the Redbrook Brewery, where he hopes to supply......”. No doubt the brewery was founded to supply the many thirsty workers of the ironworks. In fact there are two large pools behind the hill on which a large house stands. This house is on the road to Newland and was the residence of a 19th century brewer named Ansley.
A local mill, with an overshot wheel from the watercourse, was known as Ansley’s Mill. It is not known as to whether the ponds created by the mill served the brewery, or if they formed storage reservoirs for the earlier copperworks and ironworks.
The Redbrook Brewery was passed into the ownership of Mrs Eliza Burgham in 1877 and by 1902 Mr Arthur Burgham, son, was in occupation. In 1923 the brewery was sold to Ind Coope Ltd, with twenty two tied houses. It was demolished three years later, disclosing the pleasant brewers house behind.