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Pub Visit - England

Brampton, Derbyshire:
Rose & Crown (and Brampton Brewery)

Rose Crown 1Thursday 13th August 2016

Bob Thompson

The Rose & Crown is one of just two tied houses of the Brampton Brewery. This is a modern brewery yet there was a historical brewery of the same name. To understand the relationship between the old and new it is worth spending a little time looking at the past.

It is not known when the original Brampton Brewery opened but it was known to be in existence by 1839 and owned by Mary Smith. Over the following decades it changed hands several times, nearly always operated by a partnership. It was trading as C H Chater & Co in 1889 and in that year Charles Chater left the company. He was the senior partner and Harold Soames was the sole owner.

Rose Crown 2Harold Soames retired in 1897 and a share issue was raised and the brewery was bought from him and turned it into a public company. During the latter decades of the 1800s the brewery had expanded considerably and owned 142 pubs, mostly in towns and pit villages, by the turn of the century.

In May 1902 a fire destroyed the brewery yet, in reality this was a blessing in disguise as it was struggling to supply the pub estate.

A new brewery was constructed on adjacent land. It was designed by Arthur Kinder & Sons and began brewing on 2nd May 1905, please see illustration, left. Historically, it was important in that was the country’s first electrically-powered brewery. The age of steam was over; at least in brewing it was! Thereafter the company spent a lot of money on improving the pubs of its estate.

Rose Crown 3Apart from the two world wars trading continued in a profitable fashion until March 1955. The chairman U H Tristram retired then. Warwick’s & Richardson’s Brewery of Newark had seats on the Brampton board and offered a take-over of them. It was accepted by the Brampton board by a large majority. The brewery made its last brew on 15th June 1955, although the company denied this to the press. Fifty employees lost their jobs. The building was put to other uses and was demolished in August and September 1984. The site is now a B&Q DIY store.

Rose Crown 5At the end of its life Brampton Brewery was brewing five or six days a week and had a capacity of up to 130 barrels (bbls) a brew. They brewed Best Bitter (1043og) and Extra Strong (1048og). However, by far and away their most popular beer was Mild (1035og).

A problem soon arose inasmuch that the new owner’s beers were not liked and they even had to brew a new one called Impy, which was a near replica of the Brampton Mild.

Warwick’s and Richardson’s were founded in 1766 as the Tower Wharf Brewery. It was taken over by Richard Warwick in 1856.

A new brewery at Northgate, Newark opened in 1871. In 1888 it merged with the Richardson, Earp and Slater brewery of the Trent Brewery in Newark.

Rose Crown 4It was purchased by John Smith’s of Tadcaster, North Yorks in 1962 and brewing at the Northgate brewery ceased in 1966. The brewery buildings still stand, converted to apartments.

John Smith’s had taken over the Barnsley Brewery in 1961 and following the closure of Warwick’s Newark brewery then supplied those beers to the former Brampton estate. Barnsley Brewery was formed in 1857 and was closed in 1976 by John Smiths.

Rose Crown 6Later, part of the site at Oakwell was used by Acorn Brewery who made a replica of the famous Barnsley Bitter. They ceased brewing in 2013 and the old brewery was demolished.

I do like a bit of brewery history, so I hope I haven’t over indulged the reader with the foregoing. I think it is important that, as well as plotting a path from the antecedents to present day breweries, it is also crucial to record what beers were brewed, details that are very often left out of historical articles.

Now I can fast forward to 2007 when Chris Radford was made redundant from the Royal Mail where he worked in IT. He went on a course at Brewlab and got the interest of some business people and cask beer aficionados to start up the new Brampton Brewery.

Rose Crown 7He located a site in Chatsworth Business Park in Brampton that was around two hundred yards away from the location of the original brewery.

The first brew emerged from the brewery on 16th October 2007 and was named Golden Bud, thus remembering a beer from the previous brewery.

Since then they have gone on to win many awards and have introduced many new beers.

A major development was the brewery’s lease of the Rose & Crown. It is part of the Project William project of Everards Brewery. This excellent scheme is where Everards offer a lease to a small company, often a brewery. The two companies share the profits and the pub stocks one Everards beer.

Rose Crown 8In this case Everards purchased the Rose & Crown from Punch Taverns. This PubCo obtained houses from many sources, mostly former tied houses of major breweries forced to sell them because of the ill thought out Beer Orders.

I have been unable to trace the original owners of this particular house. One thing that is clear is that this is not an ancient pub although there may have an earlier one on the site. It was almost certainly built for a brewery in the inter war period.

It sits on a corner a few minutes walk away from Chatsworth Road, the main thoroughfare of Brampton. There are some outside wooden benches surrounded by a wicket fence. Inside, I found a very well presented pub. It is a pub of many rooms, although it has been opened out almost completely there are several distinctively different sections.

Rose Crown 9Once through the main entrance door on the corner of the building, I came across the bar counter almost straight in front of me.

Along the side of the pub that overlooks Old Hall Street there is a small snug bar serviced through a hatch. It is separated from the rest of the pub by a door.

There is a lot of vanished wood around the main bar and I noticed the interesting tiles built into the front of the counter.

Now at the bar itself I observed a nice bit of stained glass in the form of the brewery’s logo between the entrance. This depicts a muscular arm holding a brick worker’s hammer with the words “Health” and “Strength”.

Rose Crown 10This is a nod to the Wasp’s Nest Brick Works in Brampton whose workers were very good customers of the brewery right from its beginnings.

I then walked into one of the two main rooms of the pub. It looks out on to Old Road and has a light and airy ambience. The walls have fitted red leather settles and there are loose tables and chairs elsewhere. There is a traditional fireplace with a brewery mirror above. When I visited it was decorated with balloons in anticipation of a birthday party later that afternoon.

In the room behind there is a lot of wood panelling and also two booth-type tables surrounded by wooden partitions. The furniture is quite a mixture with old church pews and loose tables. On the walls are several old signs of the original brewery along with several historic prints.

Rose Crown 11There was a good selection of cask beers on offer with four from the home side. These were: Brampton 1302 Pale Ale (4.0%); Best Bitter (4.2%); Mild Ale (4.9%) and Golden Bud (3.8%). In addition there were also five guest beers as follows: Everard’s (Glenfield, Leicester) Tiger (4.2%); Springhead (Laneham, Nottinghamshire) Blind Tiger (4.5%); Bateman’s (Wainfleet, Lincolnshire) QED (4.0%); Robinson’s (Stockport, Greater Manchester) Reservoir Hops (4.2%) and Thornbridge (Bakewell, Derbyshire) Peverel (4.5%).

They also advertise no less than eleven traditional ciders. Then there is the BBC, Brampton Brewery Club. This offers lots of good offers and reductions and seems to be well worth being a part of should you live locally. This pub does not have dining, just packaged snacks. There are many activities such as quiz nights and live bands.

Important Information:

Rose & Crown, 104 Old Road, Brampton S40 2QT. Tel: 01246 563750.

Sunday-Thursday: 12.00-23.00; Friday-Saturday: 12.00-24.00.

This pub is to be found at the junction of Old Road and Old Hall Road just outside the centre of Brampton which is around a mile and half west of Chesterfield Town centre. There is a bus service along Old Road.
This is the 170 which runs from Chesterfield to Bakewell provided by Hulleys.
It is hourly Monday to Sunday including Bank Holidays. There is no service after 18.00.
You alight at the Old Hall Junior School stop.

There is a more frequent bus service along Chatsworth Road which is only a few minutes walk to the pub. The 80 runs from Brimington through Chesterfield to Holymoorside via Brampton operated by Stagecoach. It is every half hour Monday to Saturday, hourly on Sunday with a much reduced service in the evening.

Another bus to Chatsworth Road is the 90 provided by Stagecoach. It starts in Staveley, passes through Chesterfield centre and continues to Yew Tree via Brampton. It runs half-hourly Monday to Saturday.
It reduces to hourly in the evening. On Sunday it is hourly including the evening.
On the 80 and 90 alight at the Walton Road End stop. Walk in the same direction to the roundabout.
Cross to the opposite side and turn right in Old Hall Road. The pub is on the right about 200 metres along.