Leamington Spa Ale & Porter Brewery
[AKA: Public Brewery, Regent Brewery, Leamington Brewery]
Wise Street


This is a summary of a Research Paper which may be viewed by Clicking Here

Wise Street circa 1820

Wise Street circa 1820

Researching and piecing together this brewery’s history was particularly interesting because so little is known about it and even less has been written – just a few sentences acknowledging its existence. Furthermore, due to the period in which it operated there are no photographs, no sketches or illustrations and I’ve not yet sighted a map showing the brewery or its location.

Leamington’s first brewery was built in 1812 and located at the top of Wise Street, close to the Warwick & Napton canal [now part of the Grand Union canal]. It is also evident that the site extended through to Clemens Street, a fact borne out in a few early directories that actually list it as “Public Brewery – Clemens Street”.

On the adjacent map of Wise Street [circa 1820] I  have extended – and shaded – an existing building to show the likely positioning of the brewery’s site; unfortunately the map is both skeletal and ‘not to scale’.

The first proprietor was William Fowler but the business venture proved unsuccessful, and when the brewery was auctioned in August 1814 ownership passed to Thomas Paris – until Edward Woodfield acquired possession in 1829. Woodfield retired from the business in late 1835 and “disposed of the concern” to Messrs. Thomas and John Norris, while retaining ownership of the premises. Meanwhile the new partnership renamed the business ‘Leamington Brewery’ – not to be confused with the Leamington Brewery [Lillington Avenue] that would be founded in 1839. However, barely 12 months had elapsed since Thomas and John Norris took over the brewery when, in October 1836, it was advertised, “To Be Let – the brewing utensils, stock and other effects, to be taken at a fair valuation”.

Following two postponed auctions, a third was scheduled for April, 1837 – for the benefit of the creditors of Messrs. Thomas and John Norris – to sell-off the brewery’s stock-in-trade, other effects and a variety of brewing utensils. But just two days before the auction its cancellation was announced in the local press, due to “an arrangement having been entered into by the proprietor [Edward Woodward] to take the casks, brewing utensils and other effects at a valuation, for the purposes of converting the concern into a company to be called the Leamington Priors Brewery Company”.

However, the ‘arrangement’ did not materialise and twelve months later Edward Woodfield announced that he had re-opened the ‘Regent Brewery’! The next chapter in the brewery’s history would be its last, when – in October 1839 and assumedly already closed – the ‘Courier’ advertised that the forthcoming auction of the, “Freehold property called the Leamington Brewery, Wise Street, Royal Leamington Spa, is to be held on Thursday 7th November, 1839”.

Later that month an auction was held to sell-off “all the stock-in-trade and other effects” and then, belatedly in April 1843, a ‘final’ auction took place [at the brewery] to clear the ‘leftovers’ from the November 1839 auction; the brewery was demolished during the period 1843-49.

This is a summary of a Research Paper which may be viewed by Clicking Here

Martin Ellis – September, 2016

Please refer to the complete history of the ‘Wise Street Brewery’ for a listing of acknowledgements and research sources.