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HER Number:MDV812
Name:Barnstaple Brewery


Site of Barnstaple Brewery which was established in 1851. The buildings were demolished to make way for residential development in 1975.


Grid Reference:SS 560 327
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/97

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BREWERY (XIX - 1851 AD to 1899 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, Towns 1855-95 1:500 (Cartographic). SDV348147.

Barnstaple Brewery marked on the 1855-1895 1:500 Town Map.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Brewery marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map between Taw Vale and Litchdon Street.

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 26 (Monograph). SDV78228.

Barnstaple Brewery was established by John Kay in 1851. It was owned by J. E. Barlow in 1857 and by 1870 had passed into the hands of W. Wivell. At this time it was advertised as the only brewery in Barnstaple or environs. Reference in White's 1890 directory but it appears to have ceased brewing soon afterwards. Subsequently owned by Starkey, Knight & Ford Ltd. of Tiverton and is currently used by Whitbread.

Thompson, E. M., 1975, Taw Vale Brewery Site, Barnstaple (Report - Watching Brief). SDV344469.

Taw Vale Brewery site running east to west from Litchdon Street to Taw Vale in Barnstaple. Buildings demolished in 1975 included a 19th century house facing onto Litchdon Street, buildings associated with the brewery and Taw Vale Tavern. The brewery originally belonged to Starkey, Knight and Fore who also had breweries at Bideford and Tiverton. The brewery in Barnstaple gradually went out of use and the area was acquired for residential development in 1975.
A watching brief was carried out on site during groundworks following demolition of the brewery buildings. In the southern section of the site a slate floor was exposed below the uppermost concrete floor and this was bedded into a considerable layer of broken pottery which overlay a garden soil. Immediately below were lenses of burnt material. The bottom third of the section comprised dumps of 17th and 18th century pottery waste. In one of the lower layers was a token of 1656. Light yellow clay with pebbles undlay the dumped pottery layers. Sand appeared as the JCB dug back towards the Strand within which was an area of well-laid cobbles which was bounded on the west side by a pebble and slate wall which ran across the site. A low arch in this wall allowed a water course to run along a slate lined drain towards the river. The northern half of the site was not excavated to the same degree as the southern half. An arched ceilinged cellar was exposed, which although flooded seemed to be full of 19th century bottles from the old Starkey brewery. A well or privy was also exposed in the area of the cellar.

ASI Heritage Consultants, 2000, Leaderflush and Shapland Site, Barnstaple: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV70999.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV344469Report - Watching Brief: Thompson, E. M.. 1975. Taw Vale Brewery Site, Barnstaple. Barnstaple Excavation Committee. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV348147Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Digital. [Mapped feature: #107951 ]
SDV70999Report - Assessment: ASI Heritage Consultants. 2000. Leaderflush and Shapland Site, Barnstaple: Archaeological Assessment. ASI Heritage Consultants Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 26.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds

  • FDV1483 - POT (XVI to XIX - 1600 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FDV1485 - WASTER (XVI to XIX - 1600 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FDV1484 - TOKEN (XVII - 1656 AD to 1656 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4625 - Watching Brief at Taw Vale Brewery Site, Barnstaple

Date Last Edited:Nov 7 2014 3:24PM