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Rise and Fall of
Whittle Springs Brewery
The story of Whittle Springs, for it was at Whittle that the spring was discovered, has its own fascination and begins in the year 1836
The Rise of The Brewery.
Kilns existed on the opposite side of Moss Lane bridge long before the discovery
of spring water in this part of whittle. They were probably erected when the
canal was built in 1795 for they were conveniently situated along its bank. A
further kiln was to be found 200yds along Lower Lane, beside Tan House Brook.
Worked by Edward Craven, these kilns are thought to mark the site of the oldest
breweries in Lancashire. Previously it had been the custom for brewing to be
carried out at farms and inns, not at sites deliberately chosen for the purpose.
Drinks available at the " Heyes Arms " therefore included not only the
spring water itself, but also ale, porter, ginger beer, soda water, lemonade and
exhibition waters. These were almost certainly prepared by Edward Craven and Co,
who became known as the Whittle springs Brewery Co. Indeed it seems likely that
Edward Craven had some deeper involvement with the Spa because following the
death of John Heyes, he was allowed the use of the land on which the brewery
stood, rent free.
well as within the grounds of the "Heyes Arms", drinks of all kinds
were available at the porters's lodge for those passing by. A brisk trade grew
with the bargees on the canal. Steam boats pulled six barges at a time
containing 40 tons of coal or grain, through an impressive flight of seven
locks. These started only slightly upstream from the "Heyes Arms", and
finished at the Top Lock just above Copthurst. The bargees became accustomed to
buying a drink at the Porters lodge whilst waiting for their boats to clear the
locks, "I'll just wap up for a drink" they would say, and eventually
the Porter's Lodge became known as "the Wap", to all who used the
canal or who lived locally
1874, following the death of Henry Heyes, the land belonging to the spa together
with the "Heyes Arms" and the malt houses and brewery were sold to
three men, James Cardwell, James Thomson and Thomas Gardner
three, owners of the Crown Brewery, began building a new brewery in the Gothic
style to match the "Heyes Arms" or the "Howard Arms" as it
was now to be known. A "rearing dinner" was held at the hotel when the
roof timbers of the new buildings were finally in place. - To celebrate the
arrival of the most extensive brewery in the whole district. It was not long
before agents for the firm were found in Liverpool, Southport, Barrow - in -
Furness and Lancaster.
Local public houses like the "Sea View" at Whittle and the "Bay
Horse" in Leyland, amongst others proudly carried a header board
proclaiming they sold "Whittle Springs Noted Ales and stout." There
again, houses in the Whittle Springs area that had previously been connected
with the Spa, were gradually acquired for various members of the brewery
work-force. Horse Trough House for instance, was acquired by the brewery in
1883, divided into three dwellings and renamed Spring Terrace. New houses also
were built specifically for key workers at the brewery.
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