Burnham’s Brewery

Burnham's Brewey was where the Lighthouse Pub now is.
Image from the early 1960s. .

The following is an extract from the Burnham Archaeological & Natural History Journal of 1989 as provided by Mary Wridgway.

In 1771 Joseph Allen bought a windmill and a considerable amount of land along Sandyway ( now Highbridge Road) for £230. He set up as a brewer and maltster and in 1813 was succeeded by his son, John. In 1856 John’s two sons John and Joseph took over the business until Joseph left and John bought him out.

Bridgwater Mercury 17/3/1858

The original brewery was erected in 1858, but John got into financial difficulties, resulting in a nervous breakdown. His father -in-law, John Thwaite, sold part of the land to Colthurst ( this was where the brickworks was and is now Apex Park) and the Brewery to the Shackle family in 1868.

A steam engine used in the Brewery from the 1870’s is now situated at the Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum.

In 1878 the Brewery was bought by the Holt Brothers, William Skinner and Charles Lisle . William lived at Somerset Court, Brent Knoll, and Charles at Croft House, Brent Knoll. William Skinner junior lived at the Brewery in Sandyway House. About 1890 William purchased The Hall ( now the Community Centre) and during the 1880’s the brothers,  with other prominent townspeople, were instrumental in bringing a water supply to Burnham from Winscombe. The Brewery was rebuilt at a cost of £54,000 and in 1904 new maltings erected costing £2,000.

Holt’s Malt House. Photo taken by Glyn Luxon in the 1980s

The brewery in the 20th century


5 thoughts on “Burnham’s Brewery”

  1. I don’t know whether this will set the cat amongst the pidgeons but my Great Grandfather owned the Brewery from 1920 until 1930ish and lived at Sandway house. My father (born in 1925) remembered playing on the beach.

    1. Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your comment. Are you able to tell us more? It would be interesting to be able to fit this in to the information we already have on the brewery pages and particularly on the page about the Holt family (‘People’ menu).

        1. Thanks Pete ,
          We look forward to you telling us more about the history of this Brewery and also anything you find about Sandway house. Any photos you are willing to let us upload would be welcome – especially any of the house.
          Thanks for your interest, time and co-operation,

  2. I have a photograph of our First Holy Communion with Basil Porter and his family and mine.
    Basil must have been the last brewer living at Sandyway House. He was a very modest, unassuming man. Walking along the Esplanade he saw a man in severe trouble and on the point of drowning. Being a strong swimmer he rescued the man before returning home without mentioning his feat of courage. His family and ours were very close and still maintain contact.

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