Thomas Kenward (Hartley Wintney)

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Courtesy Geoff Dye

Thomas Kenward, Hartley Row Brewery, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

Listed as William Cave from 1842.

Bought by Thomas Kenward 1876. Acquired by Friary, Holroyd & Healy's Breweries Ltd. 1921 with 41 houses. 20 were simultaneously auctioned & sold to Dymore Brown & Sons Ltd, Crowley & Co, etc.

Some of the buildings are still standing.

List of Thomas Kenward Pubs

An assortment of images of the brewery

History of the Hartley Row Brewery at Hartley Wintney in Hampshire by Geoff Dye

Hartley Wintney is a small village straddling the main Southampton road mid way between Camberley and Basingstoke in the north east corner of Hampshire. The village lies north west of the military town of Aldershot and was until the early 1900s adjoining an area of hop growing based around Odiham and Crondall.

In 1822 land was conveyed to Jonathan Mackenzie by Dame Jane St John Mildmay of Dogmersfield (a nearby village). She was the lady of the manor and he was described as a brewer. By July 1829 he had acquired the land so 1830 may well have been the start of brewing. The Pigot directory of that year refers to Mackenzie as a wholesale and retail brewer.

Ordinance Survey maps of the brewery location and layout
Ordinance Survey maps of the brewery location and layout

In 1836 the premises were conveyed to William Cave of Elvetham, a village to the east. He purchased it for £1,600 and as well as the brewery there was already an estate of 34 public houses. Mr Cave had his own farms of some 240 acres and grew his own barley for the use in the brewery.

Over the next 40 years W Cave & Sons built up the trade and increased the licensed houses to some 60 outlets in an area bounded by Chertsey, Tongham, Winchester and Warfield, but mostly within six miles of the brewery. Expansion at this time was assisted by the new town of Aldershot which was now a large military base and the Company ran a licensed canteen at the camp until 1860.

In July 1867 William Cave purchased some more land this time from Thomas Kenward for £160 enabling him to double the size of his malthouse. By the 1871 census William Cave was 62 years old, a farmer, brewer, maltster and spirit merchant owning some 50 acres and farming some 240 acres. He employed 10 men, 3 women and 1 boy together with his son (same name) and his younger brother. He was partnered by Thomas Sturmy Cave making 17 in total.

After William Cave’s death in 1876, the brewery and 60 public houses were auctioned in London. The valuation of the fixed plant was £1600 and consisted of a brewhouse with three slate tuns with copper cupola skimmers and attemperators, cement yeast stillion and a 35 barrel wooden underback. The engine room had a 4 HP high pressure vertical engine and a 2 HP. engine and pulleys. There was a 100 foot well rope and a 20 barrel iron hot liquor back over the engine room. The grinding room consisted of a malt mill quantity unspecified. Next the hop room, which had a 36 barrel tun and a 40 barrel cupola skimmer and sack carrier. The copper and cooling rooms consisted of a 40 barrel copper with steam coil and a 60 barrel iron liquor back, a 10 Qtr mash tun, a 40 barrel iron boiling back, a 25 barrel hop back and 3 coolers nearly new with 545 superficial feet. Also contained in the room was a square 40 barrel wooden tun and a 35 barrel slate square. Next the boiler room had a 12HP Cornish boiler, while a second boiler room had another 10HP Cornish boiler. Nearby was a well and spring. The maltings which were newly built consisted of a 50 qtr steeping. On the main road was a large dwelling house with 20 rooms (later known as Kenward House). In the yard was stabling for 10 horses and a coach house. Trade was described as 2268 Qtrs malt, 8336 barrels of beer and 2610 gallons of spirits a year,

At the auction the whole lot including the public house were sold for £50,225 to Thomas Kenward the same man who had originally sold land to the Caves for expansion of the malthouse. It was stated that Mr Kenward had recently retired from his grocers and drapers business. The water supply was also acquired, this being piped from a spring via a reservoir from the north of the town at Hazeley Heath. By 1900 six types of draught beer were produced, HH, K, FPA, IPA, Porter and Stout. Bottled beer at this time was becoming popular and the brewery was erecting a new bottling plant. As it neared completion, during the evening of 20th October 1905 a fire swept through the brewery causing damage valued at £3,000. The fire destroyed one house, the malthouse and part of the new bottling stores. The fire had started in the coopers shop. It spread, despite efforts of several brigades to control it to the fermenting room, sugar store and hop store. 500 cases of new bottles were destroyed only days from the start of bottling. Not only that, the new bottling stores was not insured!

Most owners would have thought twice and maybe sold out to a larger company but Mr Kenward rebuilt the brewery and bottling commenced. The brewery was re equipped partly with new plant. There were at the time, three cast iron liquor storage tanks, a 10 Qtr mash tun, a cast iron hop back with gun metal false bottom, a 40 barrel open brewing copper with dome and coil. Two open coolers, a horizontal Morton refrigerator, five wooden fermenting vessels with a total capacity of 240 barrels fitted with parachute and attemperators and a wood fermenting square capacity of 30 barrels. Also a slate fermenting square capacity of 35 barrels. These last two items of plant probably dated back to the time of the Caves ownership. The brewery also contained a set of malt rolls by Adlams of Bristol. A horizontal steam engine by Wallis and Stevens of Basingstoke, oak vat by Adlams capacity of 70 barrels. The boiler was a Cornish steam boiler by Wallis and Stevens (which was refitted in 1920). There was also a Lancashire steam boiler from Adlams with a forced draught, a McCardle steam cask washer and a wooden liquor filtering tank. In the bottling stores the plant consisted of carbonator, filling machine, freezing machine, vertical steam engine, pulp washer, beer filter washing tank and a 3HP stand by gas engine. In the mineral plant a bottle washer was provided , two fillers and another steam engine. The maltings were rebuilt as a 15 quarter capacity.

A plan of the brewery at this time showed to the left of the main entrance in the High Street a brick and slate building containing office and stores. Adjoining it a hop store, this was on the top floor the copper stage with mash tun and cooler stage below, with paved cellar on the ground level. Next in an extension fermenting vessels, mill room, brewers office, with the engine room on the upper floor and paved racking cellar on the ground level. Next adjoining more fermenting vessels and hop store on the upper floor with the racking cellar on ground level. At right angles part of the hop store and sugar store with a large cellar on the ground floor. The next building contained the bottling stores with a loft above. In the rear of the above was stabling and garage enclosing a spacious yard and the cart shed, dung pit and urinal.

Over the road but connected by a footbridge was the 15 quarter maltings, part of which was used as the mineral water store. The whole site was a compact area typical of many small village breweries of that time and even included a lawn area behind the main Georgian house.

Thomas Kenward remained in control until a few days before his death in November 1916 aged 93 years old. Bottling had to cease again in 1917 when wartime shortages of glass forced a cut back. This resulted in a very short period that bottling actually took place so known labels are very rare. From there onwards the brewery took bottled beers from other breweries. The brewery was then ran by Harry Chapman the head brewer who had previously owned The Tower Brewery in Worthing. With the loss of the bottling and competition from bigger local breweries the brewery had no obvious leader and had lost direction.

Brewing appears to have ceased in 1921 and the brewery and 41 licensed houses were offered for sale at an auction to be purchased by Friary, Holroyd & Healy's Breweries Ltd of Guildford. The best of the houses were retained whilst the remainder were re-auctioned where 20 of the houses, the brewery buildings and plant were sold. Trade for these houses were shown as an average of 1,757 barrels for the three years 1912 to 1914. The Gardeners Arms at Mattingley had a trade of only 50 barrels per year. At this auction Crowley & Co of Alton purchased The New Inn at Herriard (now The Fur And Feathers) for £1,850 and the Chequers in Eversley for £1,600. Later the brewery had various uses and during World War II it was used by Huntley and Palmers biscuits. Later it was occupied by Davidson Dyespring Switch Co. from 1984 later called First Inertia Switch Company. Some of the brewery buildings remain as do the main house, while a few of the public houses still trade.

Geoff acknowledges the assistance of the Hampshire County Record Office.