Old Ledbury - The Brewery Inn

The Brewery Inn

The Brewery Inn

Newspaper Cuttings have been taken from old Ledbury Reporter newspapers, adverts from Tilleys Almanac 1916 and 1958, photos are credited to the owners and comments are from members of old ledbury group on Facebook
The Brewery Inn - Bye Street
Date Unknown
[The Brewery Inn] In 1830, the Prime Minister's controversial Bill permitted a householder or ratepayer, on payment of two guineas to the Excise, to turn his private house into a public house - anywhere - without let or hinderance by local magistrates.

Within a few years numerous basic beershops had opened and closed in Bye Street - Boatmans Arms, Bridge Inn, Horse and Groom, Pointers Tavern, White Lion ( alehouse ), and the New Crown. The only one to survive was the Brewery Inn.

Common brewer John JONES chose a sign reflecting the commercial side of his expanding business. He was first recorded here in 1834, living towards the end terrace overlooking the new wharf and canal. Next door was the Boatmans Arms, the property of Francis HEATH, boat builder and publican.

Georgian and Victorian licensing hours were both long and demanding - 18 hours a day, 4 am to 10 pm, seven days a week, closed only during Divine Service, Christmas Day and Good Friday.

As an inn, the Brewery was permitted to remain open as long as a bed was empty, offering basic accommodation, simple victuals, homebrewed ale and stabling to the lawful traveller.

Brewing victuallers were usually unskilled, their ales varied considerably in quality and flavour, favouring the easy to brew malty mild. The Brewery Inn however, developed a reputation for consistent quality, brewing a popular range of ale and porter.

By 1851, Bosbury born haulier William HARRIS was the proprietor of the Brewery Inn, he was recorded in that years census aged 40, with his wife Mary, 45, and family of three - William, 12, John, 11, and Mary Ann, 6. George CLAY 10, was visiting, his father, new wharf coal dealer George CLAY, who previously held the licence 1841-1851.

Widow Ann LAWRENCE became landlady in 1855. In the 1871 census she was 77, her daughter Elizabeth, 48, her married son Thomas, 39, a pig dealer, his wife Lousia, 29, they had a son George, nine.

Benjamin JAMES arrived at the Brewery Inn in 1886, he was documented in the 1891 census aged 41, from Chipping Camden, with his wife Hannah 34, and family of seven - Blanche, 13, Frederick, 12, Frank, 10, Agnes, 8, Ellen, 6, Jack, 4, and Dora one. It must have been cramped ... they boarded eight lodgers, including one Hal STODDARD, a retired music hall comedian.

The JAMES family were consecutive licensees for 99 years - from Benjamin 1886-1912, to Francis Arthur 1912-17, Ella 1917-19, Francis Arthur 1919-51, Emily Ella BOWERS 1951-73, and finally Hilda Lee PARTRIDGE 1973-85. When she retired, she sold the Brewery Inn to Marston Thompson and Evershed, Ltd, Burton-on-Trent, who were taken over by Banks's in February, 1999.

Ledbury Magistrates granted a full alehouse licence to the old Brewery Inn, 6 September 1973, finally allowing the sale of wine and spirits in the last beerhouse in Ledburv. Something that would have been appreciated by new wharf coal dealer John JONES

Research by John RICHARDS Local Pub Historian
Photo Mike and Jayne DEAN The Brewery Inn Collection BREW10
Date Unknown
[The Brewery Inn] Licensees Common Brewer / Beerhouse

c1834 John JONES

1841 George CLAY

1851 William HARRIS


1877 Richard HICKMAN

1886 Benjamin JAMES

1912 Francis Arthur JAMES

1917 Ella JAMES

1919 Francis Arthur JAMES

1951 Emily Ella BOWERS (JAMES )

1973 Hilda Lee PARTRIDGE
Photo Chris PONTER CP84 and Mike and Jayne DEAN The Brewery Inn Collection BREW13
Date Unknown
[The Brewery Inn]
Wedding Party - Left Ernie DAVIS (Brians Grandad), Groom Albert DAVIS, Bride Agnes VAUGHAN (Dusty's Mum and Dad), Lady Right believed to be Wynnie POWELL from Belle Orchard.
Photo Brian JONES Collection Album3 BJ81
[The Brewery Inn Cricket Team]
Back Row - Mr SMITH, Eric WILLIAMS, Harold CURTIS, ...HUXLEY, George DREW, Jeff BRYON
Photo Terry ROGERS Collection TR2
[The Brewery Inn]
Back Row - Joey JONES, Harry DAVIES, Fred WINDMILL, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, John RAWLINGS, unknown
Middle Row - Mr DAVIES, Ron BUMFREY, Phil BARNES, Stuart BRACE, Richard 'Dicko' DANIELS, Mick CONSTABLE, unknown, Ray MITCHELL, Stanley BUTLER, Hilda PARTRIDGE, Lionel FLEETWOOD, unknown, George PEARSON
Front Row - unknown, unknown, Charlie JONES, unknown, Jack COLWELL, Trevor COLWELL, Ken STAINER, Roly PARKES, Joey ALLEN
Photo Brian JONES Collection Album2 BJ62
[Darts Team]
Brian being presented with a trophy
Photo Brian JONES Collection Album 1 BJ26
Date Unknown
[Brewery Skittles Team]
Back row - uknown,John PHILLIPS, Roger HILLIER, Reg SMITH, unknown, John POWELL
Front row - Bill RAVENHILL, Ron HARRIS, Hilda PARTRIDGE, Jack SMITH, Charley JONES
Photo Pauline PREEDY ( Ellis ) Collection PEP20
Date Unknown
[Brewery Skittles Team F Troop GL]
Back row - Don FLETCHER, Dean VICARAGE, Terry DOWNING ( Brizzy ), Micheal CLUET ( Kopa ), Richard HALFORD
Front row - Pat O SHEA, Ron STERRY, John PREEDY, Paul Mc TEAR
Photo Pauline PREEDY ( Ellis ) Collection PEP21
Date Unknown
[Brewery Skittles Team F Troop GL]
F Troop Skittles presentation night at The Plough
Photo Pauline PREEDY ( Ellis ) Collection PEP22

Ledbury Reporter

[Ledbury Reporter] The Reporter now has Archive photographs for the years 2005 - 2009 which you can view and order. Select a year then make sure Ledbury is the keyword entered before pressing GO. I have spent many an hour in the Ledbury Library looking through the old Reporters which are on microfiche. Support this great local paper.