Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire



Kennet & Avon Canal, maltings and Barge Inn, Bradford on Avon

The former malthouse (left) on the Kennet & Avon Canal, now the site of houses called The Maltings, Frome Road. A painting by W.H. Allen ©Hampshire County Council, provided by Hampshire Cultural Trust.


Maltings, or malthouses are the premises in which malting is carried out.

Malting is the process in which the starch in grain, usually barley, is converted into the sugar maltose. This occurs when the grain seed begins to sprout or germinate, so maltsters manage the germination by controlling the temperature and humidity. The grain is spread across large floors and needs to be turned frequently. At the right moment, when the maltose has been created, germination is stopped and the sprouted grains are dried out in a building heated by a furnace. These ‘stove’ buildings are usually recognisable by their pyramid-shaped roof with a vent at the apex.

Most of the malted grain was sent to breweries, where the maltose was extracted and fermented to make beer.