The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 4 (1891) by Alfred Barnard

The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland was a series of four volumes written by British brewing and distilling historian Alfred Barnard.[1]

The fourth volume contained a detailed description of the Lockwood Brewery and is reproduced below.

Copyright Status

Under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the copyright of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works in the United Kingdom expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.

The author, Alfred Barnard, died in 1918 and copyright on his works expired at the end of 1988.

The following is a transcription of a historic book and may contain occasional small errors.

Lockwood Brewery, Huddersfield

Proprietors: Messrs. BENTLEY & SHAW.

"I come, I come! ye have called me long,
I come o’er the mountains with light and song!
Ye may trace my step o’er the waking earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet’s birth,
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass."
Mrs. Hemans' Voice of Spring.

Chapter I.

The sun never shone more brilliantly on the hills and dales of Yorkshire than it did on the morning of our journey from Leeds to Huddersfield. Our way, for the most part, lay through a valley, shut in on one side by hills, on the face of which cropped out, here and there, large manufactories. On the other side of the valley stretched a wide expanse of country, rising into gentle eminences; in some places dotted with farmhouses, in others exhibiting evident signs of mining operations. During our short journey we passed through many populous towns, whose tall chimneys and numerous factories betokened that we were in the heart of the woollen district of Yorkshire. On arriving at our destination, we entered a cab and were driven through the town to Lockwood, distant about two miles from the railway station. We were much struck with the busy and thriving appearance of Huddersfield, which, although it lays no claim to antiquity (having sprung into existence during the last 150 years), is a remarkably interesting place. The town, which is said to have derived its name from Hudder, the first Saxon who settled there, is delightfully situated on the river Colne, which rises, some twelve miles distant, in the romantic and mountainous region of Saddleworth.

The Lockwood Brewery, planted in the midst of well-timbered and beautifully laid out grounds, is approached by an avenue a quarter of a mile long, once called Poplar Grove. Nothing is seen of the brewery as you approach the lodge gates, but after you have passed through them it suddenly bursts upon the view through an opening in the trees. The premises, which are unusually extensive, comprise a lofty brewhouse, built on the tower system, surrounded by a great number of subsidiary buildings, all most substantially constructed, and of an ornamental character.

A brewery in a picturesque situation, surrounded by the usual characteristics of opulence, although rare, is a pleasing feature in an English landscape, combining whatever we most admire in nature and art with commercial associations, that produce in the mind a sentiment of satisfaction. To the right of the brewery, and embosomed among copper beeches and chestnut trees, stands the old house erected by Mr. Timothy Bentley, the founder of the business. It opens out to a private coach-road, and between it and the precipitous hills opposite flows the river Holme. The estate on which these picturesque and well-arranged works are erected is all freehold, and covers seventy acres.

There is a great deal of interest connected with this brewery, as, not only was it founded by the celebrated Timothy Bentley, the inventor of the Yorkshire system of fermentation (conducted in stone squares), but it was here that he carried his experiments to a successful issue, the actual vessels being in use to this day. As a matter of fact, the Lockwood Brewery is one of the oldest and most important brewing concerns in the West Riding.

It was in the year 1795 that the foundations of this extensive business were laid, and the brewery erected by Mr. Timothy Bentley, the great-grandfather of the present managing partners. He was a clever, lively gentleman, of the old school, with a spice of good breeding, and no man was more respected in Huddersfield. At his funeral a procession of friends and townspeople, extending more than a quarter of a mile, followed his remains to the tomb, and never was known such a large concourse of persons on an occasion of this kind. In the chapel, over his tomb, is recorded on a marble tablet a list of his virtues and good deeds, which would astonish Sir Wilfred Lawson and his followers, who would never believe that there was so much good in a brewer.

After the founder’s death, which took place on March 31st, 1830, the brewery was carried on by his executors, under the management of Mr. William Shaw, and subsequently came into the hands of his grandsons, Messrs. Bentley Shaw, Robert John Bentley, and Henry Bentley. The present principals are, first, the above-mentioned Robert John Bentley, and secondly, John Lancaster Shaw, Edward Stanhope Shaw, and Harry Cumberland Bentley, great-grandsons of the founder, who carry on the business in co-partnership, under the style of Bentley & Shaw.

In the year 1868 the brewhouse was rebuilt on the tower principle, and its subsidiary buildings enlarged to meet the requirements of the business. Since that period many important additions have been made, and the plant remodelled, so that the brewery, which now contains all the best appliances and utensils in use, is considered to be one of the best appointed concerns in the district. When one speaks of the tower system, it means that the brewings find their way by gravitation through all the various stages of mashing, boiling and fermentation, until the liquor, in the form of ale, reaches the cellars.

After making a general survey of the premises from the meadows, we entered the grounds by a wicket gate, and made our way, beneath the overhanging trees, to the office.

We were received by Mr. Edward Stanhope Shaw, the resident partner, who, after giving us the desired information, handed us over to Mr. Gray, the head brewer, by whom we were piloted through the works. Making our way to the west entrance of the brewhouse, we passed up a staircase leading through several floors to the malt-receiving room. The malt is delivered to a hopper in this chamber, from the makings hereafter described, by Archimedean screws, one of which is of great length. This hopper is connected with a malt screen, through which the malt passes before it reaches the mill-rollers, placed on a lower floor. Whilst on this level we made our way to the top storey of the tower, where we were shown the cold-liquor reservoir, fixed at an elevation, which is for storing brewing water, and holds 20,000 gallons. Here, also, at a lower level, is a hot-liquor tank for supplying the cask-washing department, and other purposes, which is heated by steam-coils, and holds 200 barrels. Through a doorway we reached the hot-liquor room — a lofty chamber some 40 feet square — for heating brewing water only. It contains two handsome domed copper vessels, each holding 254 barrels, and heated by steam. They are both lagged with felt, which is encased with pitched-pine staves, and each contains a “heat register,” for the guidance of the brewer. Descending to the floor beneath, where are the main-pipes, etc., and a mess-room for the workmen, we followed the line of shafting and reached the mill-room. This is rather an important place, being 40 feet in length, and contains, besides the mill, one of Reinart’s patent bushellers, for measuring the malt before it reaches the grinding machinery. Passing through the floor and ceiling of this room arc two sets of Jacob’s ladders, also a steam-hoist, for use in case of a break down or accident to the elevators. The floor of this mill-room, like several others which we afterwards saw, is arched on to iron joists resting on iron columns, and cemented, so as to be perfectly water-tight. Beneath it is another Archimedean screw, for conveying the crushed malt to the mashing-stage; and, in close proximity, two of Holliday’s water-filters, similar to those described in an earlier volume.

Retracing our steps to the main staircase, we entered the mashing-room — a large and lofty apartment, lighted by a dozen arched windows. There is a dainty appearance about this place not often seen in a brewery, the woodwork throughout being painted a cream colour, which relieves the dazzling whiteness of the walls, and imparts a cheerful and clean aspect to the place. Standing on the paved floor are two fine, covered mash-tuns, constructed of cast-iron, with the usual draining plates therein, mashing respectively fifty and thirty quarters. These are frequently used twice daily, to meet the requirements of the brewery. Attached to them are a couple of Dearn’s patent mashers, connected with the malt hopper above, which are driven by an engine of four horse-power, placed at one corner of the floor, and screened off from the room. The wort, on leaving the tuns, runs by gravitation into a couple of intermediate receivers placed in the roof of the copper-house, whilst the grains, remaining behind, are discharged into a spout leading into a grains-house in the west yard. Progressing forward, we took a peep at the great hop-store, 100 feet long, with its arched ceiling and darkened windows, and then wended our way downwards to the copper-house, a well-planned building, with lofty walls, paved floors, and open louvred roof. Rising to a height of 30 feet are two domed coppers, with a massive gallery of brickwork and stone erected around them, on which we stepped from the brewhouse floor. These coppers will contain each 100 and 200 barrels, and both are heated by fire.

On descending to the floor, we were shown the method of stoking the furnaces, by means of automatic feeders which lift the fuel to the bed of the furnace; consequently, a great saving of manual labour is effected.

By the side of the coppers is an iron hopback, and a hop-press of most peculiar construction. It consists of a circular iron receiver, containing a revolving cylinder with perforated sides, into which the hops are thrown. The cylinder is set in motion by a small engine attached to the machine, which, revolving for about two minutes at a fearful speed, leaves the hops bereft of all moisture. When the operation is completed, the hops are turned out of the cylinder in a round mass, so solid that it can be rolled away through the trap-doors into the yard. At the back of the coppers, and extending beneath the hill, are very capacious coal stores, conveniently arranged for supplying the furnaces, etc., which arc filled by shoots from the roadway.

Leaving the copper-house, we next proceeded to the cooling-loft, which is situated over the loading stage, has a lofty open roof, lined inside with matching-board, and louvred walls. This splendid chamber, measuring nearly 50 feet square, contains two open coolers, commanded by a wort receiver, whither the worts run direct from the hopback. At one end is a smaller room containing two vertical refrigerators of the newest pattern, fixed in massive iron trays 21 feet in length, which were formerly used as open coolers, and arc well adapted for the purpose. Here, for the first time, a pump comes into operation, for the purpose of pumping the partially cooled wort into a receiver placed in the roof, from whence it flows over the refrigerators. Nothing is wasted in this brewhouse — even the steam, as well as waste water, is collected for future use; for, on one side of this building are two large tanks for collecting the waste waters from the refrigerators, which is again used for filling the boilers.

At this point of our observations we accepted an invitation to take luncheon with Mr. Edward Shaw, at his residence, Woodfield House, a ten minutes’ drive from the brewery. It is reached by a pretty road, some 400 feet above the valley, and beautifully shaded by trees, from whence we obtained some delightful views of the surrounding country and opposite hills. The house, which is built on the terrace of a steep and lofty hill, stands in the centre of a well-timbered park of upwards of twenty acres, and was erected sixty years ago by Mr. William Shaw, grandfather of the present managing partner of the brewery. On entering the park we approached the mansion by a steep circuitous road, winding up past banks of rhododendrons, and through shrubberies planted with trees and shrubs of every hue and variety. At the time of our visit spring had but recently unfolded all her attractions, hence the gardens were covered with verdure, and a wealth of blossom, whose fragrance perfumed the air. After luncheon we were shown over the house, and were much interested in examining some of the old paintings and quaint china disposed about the various rooms, and then finished our pleasant little outing by a walk through the pretty grounds.

Chapter II.

On reaching the brewery, we resumed our duties at the fermenting house, adjoining the cooling department, which contains three large fermenting rooms, all stone paved, and having open roofs.

The Timothy room, the first entered, was so named after the founder, who built it; also, because it contains the identical squares used by him when he invented the Yorkshire system of fermentation carried on in that peculiar class of vessels. The room contains eighteen of these antique stone squares, each with a capacity of twenty-three barrels, all man-holed and fitted with shell jackets. Here we saw the copper main-pipe for conveying the wort from the refrigerators, which is 140 feet in length, and kept as clean and bright as a new pin. Next to this is the No. 2 room, of more recent date, containing twenty-seven stone fermenting squares, half as large again as the old ones; and beyond, in a newly-built room called the No. 3 house, is a splendid collection of slate fermenting squares of the newest pattern, eleven of which hold fifty barrels, and the twelfth 200 barrels—all fitted with attemperators. Both of the last-mentioned rooms measure 150 by 130 feet, and are splendidly ventilated and appointed.

Proceeding down stairs, we came to the racking cellar, 180 feet in length, occupying the basement of the malthouse, where all the main-pipes connect with the squares, which are so arranged that three men can fill six barrels at a time. Parallel with this is a newly-erected beer cellar, 100 feet square, having lofty walls and covered by four roofs. This fine building is used for storing Timothy ales, and will hold 3,000 barrels. Communicating with it are two other cellars, in one of which is a Musto yeast-press, with a steam pump attached, which has a pressure of 25 lbs. per square inch, and greatly assists the yeast-pressing operations.

Being in the vicinity of the sampling cellar, we took the opportunity of tasting the firm’s brew, which has a high reputation for wholesomeness and purity. The Timothy ale was in fine condition, and we found it to be a rich, nutritious and full-flavoured beverage; but, for general family use, we preferred the Bentley ale — a light, sparkling, hop-flavoured beverage, as bright as sherry.

From this room we repaired to an adjoining chamber, where there is a small plant for the manufacture of finings, and an engine for driving the machinery therein.

We also visited the ancient beer cellars, erected by Timothy Bentley, which we reached by entering a hydraulic lift, where we took our places beside some barrels. On reaching our destination, we found ourselves in an arched chamber 30 feet wide and 200 feet in length, in which there arc no less than sixty-three arched recesses, capable of storing 5,000 casks. At the far end there is an opening in the massive walls, which gives access to a subterranean chamber 20 feet square, where is situated the celebrated Horse Bank spring, from which the Timothy ales have always been brewed. The precious fluid flows in a pure and abundant stream from the rock, and is caught in a natural hewn basin, nearly 14 feet square, from whence it is run by a pipe into a reservoir in the garden. This crystal spring, which supplies all the brewing water, is said to be of superb quality, and highly suitable for mashing purposes.

On leaving this place we passed through a doorway, when we found ourselves on the loading-out stage, situated beneath the cooling department. It is a big place, open on one side to the yard, and has a fine look out into the beautifully wooded grounds and on to the opposite hill. Proceeding along the yard, we descended by a couple of steps into the basement of the copper-house, which forms a capital cask-washing place. Here are to be seen steam-pipes, nozzles, and other apparatus for cleaning empty barrels, which are subjected to a vigorous treatment before being rolled away into the cellars for filling. The damaged casks, on their arrival from customers, after being washed, are sent to the cooperage at the top of the yard, where they are repaired, and thence brought to this department, to be finally cleansed.

Next to the coppers is a boiler-house, containing two steam boilers, which heat water for washing and other purposes; the principal boiler-house, however, stands on the steep side of the hill, at the back of the brewhouse — of which more anon. Through an archway, we stepped into the main engine-house, containing two twenty-five horse-power high pressure horizontal engines, with a fly-wheel 10 feet in diameter and weighing twelve tons; also a set of three-throw pumps, for pumping cold water from the wells; and quite an array of mains and pipes, twenty-three in number, all tabled with their names and use.

We next visited the boiler-house, a neat structure, built on a platform of the rock and enclosed by a brick wall. Attached to it is a stately chimney shaft, standing on a massive pedestal, one of the handsomest in the county, entirely constructed of stone, and built from the design of Sir Robert Rawlinson, K.C.B. Within the building are two of Galloway’s patent steel boilers, 28 feet by 7 feet, capable of evaporating 6,000 pounds of water per hour, with average coal and draught which will drive 300 indicated horse-power, with an engine consuming twenty pounds of water per horsepower per hour. They are fed by water passing through a “Green’s Economiser,” which contains ninety-six heating pipes. The water, on entering the pipes, is at a temperature of 64°; on leaving the economiser it has reached 225°; thus, an important and considerable saving of fuel is effected.

Retracing our steps to the front yard, we next commenced a circuit of the outlying buildings, commencing at the <fire station, which is fitted up with the usual appliances for extinguishing fire. Beneath the floor is a well 200 feet deep, used for refrigerating, washing, and other purposes, the liquor being delivered to the various tanks by a double-action pump, erected in a pump-room outside. A mechanics’ shop adjoins these buildings, and near it, on a large open space, are stored empty barrels in vast numbers.

Bearing round to the left, a yeast-room and a workmen’s mess-room were successively passed; also a two-storeyed bottling store, where the stout and ales of Guinness and Bass are bottled. Next, a lofty cart-shed, a steam saw-mill, an engine for grinding horse-corn, timber stores, a blacksmiths’ and a wheelwrights’ shop, and last, but not least, the gas-works. These are situated in a small enclosed yard, and arc most completely equipped, the gas-holder supplying all the gas required throughout the premises. From this point we obtained a fine view of the lofty viaduct which divides the premises, and through its magnificent arches could see a cricket match being played in one of the outlying meadows belonging to the firm. We afterwards walked down to that spot, where, standing on the bridge which spans the river, we obtained a most charming view of Wood field House and grounds, together with its picturesque surroundings.

Diverging to the right, we walked through a long range of stabling for thirty-five horses, comprised in a neat stone building, with a central archway leading to the hay and corn stores, over which is a splendid clock, surmounted by a turret bell yielding a musical note. In a building next the loading-out shed is still to be seen the great water-wheel, which, in olden times, supplied all the driving power to the brewery. It is still used for pumping water to a cistern placed at the top of the nearest building, for attemperating purposes. The covered reservoir for stocking the spring water is situated beneath the lawn in front of the counting-house, and, when required, the precious element is pumped therefrom to the tanks at the top of the brewhouse tower.

There is an engineers' shop, 60 feet in length, over the old boiler-house, all the repairs to the engines and machinery being executed by the firm’s own workmen. After seeing this busy place, and the deft way in which the fitters were manipulating iron and steel, we paid a brief visit to a smart building of three storeys, which abuts on to a corner of the brewhouse. It is used for the cellarage and storage of wines, and also contains a suite of handsome and well-appointed offices for that branch of the business. Messrs. Bentley & Shaw do a very large trade in wines and spirits, not only with their public-houses, but with the gentry and private persons in the vicinity. This important department is presided over by Mr. N. Jagger, who is assisted by a staff of twenty persons.

The makings of the firm next claimed our attention, and thither we bent our steps. The old makings, numbered respectively 1, 2 and 3, adjoin the brew-house, and stand on the slope of the hill; hence, in some places the roadway is on a level with the second floor of the buildings. Two of them were built by Timothy Bentley, the founder of the business; the third, as well as those in the meadow, are of more recent date. These makings contain two kilns, a barley store, holding 600 quarters, a screening room, and three growing floors, each measuring upwards of 100 feet in length. Also a capacious malt store, binned off, capable of holding 4,200 quarters of malt, which, when required, are delivered to the brewery by means of an Archimedean screw 346 feet in length.

Crossing the yard, we paid a hasty visit to the No. 4, or meadow making— a long stone building, three storeys high, and roofed, like the others, with slabs of grey slate. We passed through the kiln, which contains two open choffers placed in a heating chamber, over which are spark-plates, and then entered the bottom growing floor, 105 feet long and 36 feet broad. There is a second one overhead, and from both, as in the old makings, the green malt is delivered from the floors to the kiln by a Jacob’s ladder. The third storey combines a malt and barley store — the latter holds 1,000 quarters; the former, which is binned off, has a capacity of 1,500 quarters. Here, also, is an Archimedean screw, for delivering the malt direct into the hoppers in the brewery. The firm manufacture annually about 6,000 quarters of malt, and purchase the balance of their requirements from the best makers in Newark, Lincoln, and elsewhere. The brewery offices occupy the old family residence of Mr. Timothy Bentley, which bears the date of 1795, and is most substantially built with Yorkshire stone. It is a fine, roomy old house, containing many handsome and spacious apartments of no ordinary character.

On the ground floor are situated the counting-house, forwarding clerk’s office, cashier’s room, ledger clerk’s office, and a dining-hall. A large portion of the-upper storey has been set apart for the managing partners use, and contains many choice pictures and specimens of statuary. The middle room, which is a kind of ante-room over the entrance hall, is occupied by Mr. Shaw’s secretary, as also is the west room over the counting-house.

The firm own more than a hundred public-houses and hotels, and have, besides, a valuable private connection. Their business is purely of a local character, and does not extend beyond a radius of twenty miles; which speaks volumes for the brewery and its supplies, for it is no small achievement to develop so great a trade within a narrow area.

For the last fifty years the business has been conducted with conspicuous ability by the Shaw family, and, as before stated, is now under the management of Mr. Edward Stanhope Shaw, to whose intelligent energy is due the continued reputation of the ales.

We were much impressed by the orderly manner in which the operations are carried on, and were surprised to see so many middle-aged men at work in the brewery. Four of those we questioned replied that they had been at work in the brewery thirty-six years; indeed, it is almost proverbial that the more responsible positions usually prove to be life appointments.

Having spent a long but pleasant day at Lockwood, we bade adieu to our courteous guide — with whom we had exchanged many ideas on the art of brewing and malting — and then drove to the station.

“Come, gather round, I’ll tell a tale,
How once my cheeks were pinch’d and pale,
Until I took on ‘Bentley's’ Ale
Called Timothy.
“I met a friend, when low and sad,
Who said ‘By Jove, you’re looking bad;
Come on, I’ll introduce you, lad,
To Timothy.’
“Not caring where we went to, I
Consented, and was led close by
To a friendly pub, there to try
Famed Timothy.
“My friend said, ‘Timothy for two!’
With sad misgivings, just a few,
I drank, astonished was, ’tis true,
With Timothy.
“It seemed to cheer, ‘invigorate.’
Aroused from a desponding state,
I found myself articulate
‘More Timothy.’
“The likeness of my former self
Is hung up o’er the mantelshelf;
That was before this lucky elf
Knew Timothy.
“Another photo, gains great praise,
’Tis taken in my later days;
In letters bright beneath it says
‘Yours, Timothy.’”
J. H. Woodhouse

Notes and References