Early photo of the Roses Brewery, Mill Street, Redhill c1888.

Early photo of the Roses Brewery, Mill Street, Redhill c1888.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Chapter 9, part 2


The history of the Warwick Brewery seems surprisingly lacking, and our knowledge of its ownership and position can only be gleaned from a few directory references, advertisements, and brief mentions in the BTR of the time. It appears to have stood down the covered alley that used to lead into the side entrance of Messrs Woolworth’s, and the author suspects that the adjoining public house, the Warwick Tap was just that - the tap or home premises of the brewery.

Directory references for the year 1895 give the brewery in the hands of a partnership, Alliston & Clifton. Mr Alliston, however, appears to have broken his association with Mr Chifton sometime before 1860, for both the directory reference for that year and an advertisement in Palgrave's History of Reigate simply give Thomas Clifton as proprietor. The advertisement gives the full range of products obtainable at the brewery, which address is given as Warwick Brewery, Station Road, Red Hill.

A local directory for 1859 slightly complicates matters as it gives Stephen Clifton as proprietor, and describes him as Common brewer, Station Rd, Redhill. Stephen was the son of Thomas, and he retained possession until at least 1867. He is listed in Eve's 1861 Census, wherein the premises is given as Hereditament 290, being described as "House, brewery and yard covering an area of 36 perches."

Stephen Clifton died in 1867, and his executors sold the business two years later to William Alfred Towns, who had been in occupation since Stephen Clifton’s death. William Towns formed a partnership with a Mr J. Prockter in 1872. At the time of the sale in 1869, the premises was described as “A comfortable house with excellent cellars and storage presenting considerable frontage to the Station Road and complete brewery premises in rear, comprising brick-built brew-house, malt store, vat store, and four-stalled stable with a good yard”.

In 1874, the brewery was acquired by Henry Ludwell Dampier, and according to the BJ for 15th October 1872, he came from Messrs Bass & Co of Burton upon Trent. It is believed that Dampier formed a partnership with a Mr Strachy in 1876, but within a year had dissolved his association with that gentleman and had purchased the Frindisbury Brewery, Strood, Kent, near the Medway Towns. He amalgamated with Woodhams & Co. Ltd. of the Rochester Steam Brewery in August 1906 and which was eventually taken over by Messrs Style & Winch of Maidstone in 1918. The August 1906 edition of BJ referred to the merger with Style & Winch, and relates that the business had been carried on at Strood for 30 years. This period of time referred to would place the foundation of the concern in about 1876, the year in which Dampier left Redhill.

It is interesting to note that a charming advertisement appeared in the 53rd edition of the Reigate & Redhill Express, dated Saturday 3rd January 1874. It ran:

"H.L.Dampier, from Burton on Trent, Warwick Brewery, Red Hill
XX Mild Ale - 1/- per gallon.
XXX Mild Ale - 1/2 per gallon.
XXXX Stock Ale - 1/6 per gallon
P Porter - 1/- per gallon
K Bitter Ale - 1/- per gallon
AK Bitter Ale - 1/- per gallon
PA Bitter Ale - 1/2 per gallon
PS Stout - 1/6 per gallon
Available in casks of 4 and a half, 9, 18, and 36 gallons.
All ales are brewed from the choicest malt and hops and with water supplied from the Caterham spring. Owing to this great advantage the ales will be found to be of superior character. Orders by post punctually attended to.
Ten per cent off the above prices to members of any Co-operative Society, on producing tickets, for cash."

Dampier sold the Warwick Brewery to Thomas Gundry in 1876, who continued the business until 1887 when he sold it to Messrs Westrupp & Co. The brewery continued in keen competition with the Redhill Brewery until the latter bought them out in 1902.


Little or no information exists of the Roses Brewery, Redhill, before 1882. The brewery was situated on the north side of Mill Street, not far from the original "Redhill & Reigate Road Station" at Hooley - the southern end of the Parish. An early photograph exists dating from about 1880 which shows the brewhouse as viewed from Redhill Common.

There is a conveyance document dated 24th June 1882 relating to the sale of the brewery for £1,500 by a Major W. H. T. Smee and another to John Butcher who was formerly a schoolmaster at Redhill's Philanthropic Farm School. Evidence from the document indicates that he was not a brewer but simply the owner, and that the property was already leased by Smee to Henry Mitchell in succession to Thomas Marchant, brewer.

The next piece of evidence we have is a lease dated 9th November 1888 between John Butcher, and Horatio White of the Eagle Brewery, Reigate. Reference is made in memorandum, that the lease had passed in 1885 to William Frederick Towell, and then in 1887 to Richard William Cooper. It would be interesting if future evidence were to link this Mr Cooper to Cidemon Cooper of Glovers Road mentioned in an earlier chapter. Could it be that Cooper's business moved from Reigate to Redhill as did that of Horatio White?

Horatio White, in this lease, took occupation of "All that Brewery, messuage, beershop, and premises situate in Mill Street and known as the Roses Brewery lately occupied by Charles Dagnall." The lease was for a term of 21 years at £45 per annum. Again, John Butcher was the owner, and the occupier, as stated in the deed, was Charles Dagnall, brewer, who the reader will remember, had the Redhill Brewery before Messrs Cutforth Brothers.

On 9th May 1891, Horatio White assigned the lease to a Francis C Warter for £150, who continued at the brewery until January 1894, when Warter signed the lease over for £150 to Joseph James Stansfeld of the Swan Brewery, Fulham, trading as Stansfeld & Company. The freehold of the property was acquired in June 1899, giving Stansfelds full control. They continued trading here as a local branch of their Fulham Brewery until 1920, when they sold the premises to Raymond Homewood, who had been their local manager for some years previously. By this time the brewing had ceased and the premises was used as a depot and beershop. Homewood carried on the business as an off-licence until he retired in 1927, when he leased it to Arthur Russell King. A further lease, to William James Gunner, took place in 1947.

In 1954 the property was sold to Truman, Hanbury Buxton & Co. Ltd who continued the off-licence trade until 1977 when they sold it to Keymex Ltd as a repository.

One interesting item which has come to light is a reference in the December 1883 BJ to a W. H. Butler, carrying on the business at the Roses Brewery, Redhill. He was adjucated bankrupt in August 1882 in the Croydon County Courts and returned his debts at £745. 18s. 11d., and assets at £18. 13s. 0d. There is no mention of this gentleman in the deeds to which the author has had access.

In the Conveyance document connected with the transfer to Stansfelds, is a plan showing the extent and range of buildings on the property. Unfortunately, the plan fails to indicate the use to which each building was put. The plan is illustrated here.

Plan of Roses Brewery from 1899 conveyance

Plan of Roses Brewery from 1899 conveyance

The old sign of Raymond Homewood's which was discovered during the 1975 renovations.

The old sign of Raymond Homewood's which was discovered during the 1975 renovations.