Holt Brewery

Holt, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


billhead: James Hunt, Holt Brewery

A billhead from James Hunt, Holt Brewery, 1863


The Holt Brewery was run by members of the Hunt family in connection with the New Inn (now the Old Ham Tree) for most of the 19th century. It probably developed around a malthouse, where barley was sprouted to make malt for brewing and a house that became the New Inn, now the Old Ham Tree public house. There is a deed of 1775 between Hunt and Rogers that relates to a house, a malthouse and an orchard, formerly meadow land, called Forth Hayes in Holt. Henry Hunt was landlord of the New Inn in 1797. In 1808 the New Inn was being run by John Deverell and John Hunt owned the building and several others around it, while himself occupying a malthouse he leased from someone else. Mrs Hunt, perhaps his widow, owned it in 1828, while Deverell had gone to be landlord of the Three Lions, another Holt pub, by 1822. The 1841 Tithe Apportionment map listed the pub and brewery as being owned by Henry, James and Thomas Hunt, with Thomas as the brewer/landlord. The census of the same year listed Thomas as brewer age 37, James brewer age 30 and Elizabeth 30. Thomas had died by 1851 when his will was proved and the 1871 census had John, brewer and son James as assistant brewer.  In 1877 the brewery’s chimney blew down and the brewery was valued by an auctioneer in 1894-5, probably when it closed.

After the brewery closed the buildings became the County Sanitary Laundries Ltd, under manageress Miss Amy Smith in 1911, renamed West Wilts Laundry, proprietress Miss A.C. Smith in 1915; they were demolished and the location has been developed for housing, now called Ham Close.

Today, Holt again has a brewery after the Box Steam Brewery relocated to the Midlands Light Industrial Estate from Colerne.