Yeovil old brewery

Yeovil old brewery



Although it is not known when the Yeovil Old Brewery was founded, it is likely that it was first the property of Samuel Kitson (1). Among the bonds and associated papers involving Hugh Donn of Yeovil, mercer, and his wife, Mary, held at the Taunton Heritage Centre are "loose accounts for disbursements on houses (including the malt house) by Samuel Kitson" dating to 1735-6, denoting that Samuel (1) was a maltster, and probably also a brewer.

It is thought that Samuel's premises were the Yeovil Old Brewery in Hendford (the site is now the Masonic Hall) opposite Hendford House (today's Manor Hotel). The Old Brewery was later described as "... most desirably situate in Hendford, in the town of Yeovil, together with the commodious dwelling-house and extensive garden adjoining... The Trade Premises comprise a good 10-quarter Malthouse and Brewery, well supplied with water, extensive Cellarage, Stable, Loft, Waggon-house, Counting-house and Outbuildings." The house was described as "consisting of 3 good sitting rooms on the ground floor, 5 bedrooms, and roomy attic over, kitchen, scullery, larder and underground cellar."

Samuel Kitson (1) died in 1744, and a deed dated 1770 records Samuel (1)'s son, Samuel (2), as a maltster like his father and it is assumed that he took over the Yeovil Old Brewery from his father.

Samuel Kitson (2) died in 1782. His wife Betty clearly took on the business, since the Universal British Directory of 1790 noted 'Mrs Kitson' as a maltster and her son Samuel Kitson (3) as a brewer. Betty died in Yeovil in 1816, aged 71.

Samuel Kitson (3) was a brewer and maltster of the Yeovil Old Brewery in Hendford. In February 1810, at Yeovil, Samuel married Susanna Chubb Bellamy, daughter of Edward Bellamy of Cheddington, Dorset. They had a son, Samuel Kitson (4), who was baptised at St John's church on 24 February 1813, followed by a daughter Mary, baptised on 1 August 1817, and a daughter Caroline baptised on 10 August 1819, both at St John's.

Thomas Cave (1781-1863)  was living in Yeovil by 1818 and Samuel (3) and Thomas Cave entered a partnership - Kitson & Cave - which was listed in Pigot's Directory of 1824. However, Samuel (3) died in 1823, and his share of the partnership was carried on by his wife Susannah.

The Kitson & Cave partnership was dissolved on 10 October 1830 and after Cave's departure from Kitson & Cave, Susanna Kitson entered into a partnership with Edmund Henning. Edmund moved his family to Yeovil, probably as a result of the advertisement seeking a partner (see Gallery) placed in the 5 April 1830 edition of the Western Flying Post. Henning went into partnership with Susanna as 'maltsters and brewers' at the Yeovil Old Brewery.

 Susannah Kitson died in Yeovil, after a short illness, on 9 July 1832, aged 46. The partnership between Susanna Kitson and Edmund Henning was not officially dissolved until August 1835. Edmund Henning carried on the Old Brewery in his own right - presumably having purchased the brewery from Susanna Kitson's estate. Edmund Henning died in Yeovil in 1861. His son John inherited the Old Brewery, which he sold off piecemeal within two months of his father's death.



Edward Bullock Watts' map of 1806 showing the Kitson's Old Brewery / malthouse at centre. The road running along the top is West Hendford (labelled Salthouse Lane) and Hendford runs diagonally from the top right quadrant to the bottom left corner.


This is a portion of the 1842 Tithe Map showing West Hendford running along the top and joining Hendford which comes up from bottom left. Hendford House is today's Manor Hotel and the Kitson's 'Yeovil Old Brewery' is shown at centre and marked as Parcel 369.



A notice placed in the 5 April 1830 edition of the Western Flying Post noting the 'retirement' of Thomas Cave from the partnership.


The Old Brewery was offered to let in this advertisement from the 2 March 1861 edition of the Salisbury & Winchester Journal.


The Old Brewery clearly wasn't let following the previous advertisement above, so this notice of sale of the Yeovil Old Brewery by John Henning (following the death of his father Edmund Henning) is from the 20 June 1861 edition of the Dorset County Chronicle.