Hadlow Village

The village of Hadlow had working breweries between the early eighteenth century and the late 1940s. The earliest reference to a brewery in Hadlow is in 1710 when John Barton, Yeoman of Hadlow is mentioned in connection with a newly erected malthouse in Hadlow Street.

In 1840 there was a complaint that the drain leading from the Close Brewery was a nuisance.

In 1851 the brewery was being run by Messrs Harrison & Taylor and in 1858 they sold the business to Edward Kenward of Marden and William Barnett of Willingdon, Sussex . Thomas Simmonds of East Peckham and Nelson Kenward were also parties, part purchasing and part leasing the brewery.

In 1859 it was agreed that a new 15 quarter malthouse would be erected. This building being the one nearly parallel to the High Street.

In 1868 Edward Kenward was bankrupt, owing £9,500. The partnership was dissolved in that year by mutual consent. Edward and Trayton Kenward then became partners, but this partnership was also dissolved and all properties assigned to Trayton Kenward.

The Converted Maltings

In October 1871, Trayton and Charles Kenward entered into partnership with John Court. The business operating under the name of Kenward & Court. Sometime after this a second maltings was added, this running alongside Carpenters Lane. In 1881 the brewery supplied 68 public houses and was listed as 637th in the list of the first thousand limited companies. Kenward & Court was taken over by Charles Hammerton & Co. Ltd. in 1945. Beer was last brewed in September 1949.

In 1952 Hammertons was bought out by Watney's, who then sold the brewery to Charringtons. Malting continued for several years and the brewery closed in the late 1960s, having been used as a distribution centre towards the end. The buildings gradually became derelict through the 1970s, and the Hadlow Society pressed for the buildings to be listed, which was done in July 1979. There was much debate within the village as to whether the buildings should be demolished or converted. The buildings were converted into flats in 1990.

In 2005, Harvey's of Lewes brewed Hadlow Ale to commemorate Kenward & Court and celebrate the reopening of the Two Brewers pub (formerly the Fiddling Monkey and before that the Albion). The buildings are Grade II listed.

Another brewery stood at Style Place, Hadlow. This brewery was started in the 1830s by William Simmons, being in partnership with Henry Simmons in 1852 with William Martin joining them by 1855. The business was sold to Messrs Style & Winch of Chatham in 1863. The brewery buildings have been converted to housing and are now known as Caxton Place. The surviving building is Grade II listed.