Page Updated:- Tuesday, 04 October, 2022.


Earliest 1837

Gardner's Brewery

Latest 1968

Sandwich Road


Ash map 1896

Above map 1896.

Gardner's Brewery 1910

Above postcard, circa 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Ash brewery

Above postcard kindly sent to me by Peter Beer who says it was franked 27 May 1909.

Gardners Brewery

Above photo taken from, date unknown.

Gardner's Brewery

Information taken from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne.

Gardner's Brewery, on the Sandwich Road, was undoubtedly the most prominent feature of the small village of Ash. While fairly large in appearance, the brewery only supplied 46 tied outlets; it had expanded only in a very small way, having acquired Tritton's Staple Brewery in 1912, and Edgar Austen's Regent Brewery at Ramsgate in 1927, bringing with their purchase a total of three public houses. The brewhouse in the foreground has completely disappeared, though the outbuildings, on the extreme right of the photograph, remain.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 22 October, 1864.


George marsh, a driver in the employ of Messrs. Gardner and Godden, brewers, Ash-next-Sandwich, was charged with leaving his horse and cart unattended on the 5th inst. Mr. E. Knocker appeared in support of the information.

Police-constable Vaul having stated the nature of the offence, the Magistrates, considered that defendant had not seriously offended, declined to go into the case, and thought the offence would be met by defendant paying the costs, 4s. 6d.

Defendant paid the money.



Founded in 1837 by John Bushell who converted the parish workhouse into the brewery. William Gardner acquired it three years after in 1840 along with 49 tied houses. 1855 saw Godden added to the title and Gardner and Godden registered in 1898 and continued till 1951 when they were amalgamated with Tomson and Wotton Ltd. of Ramsgate to form Combined Breweries (Holdings) Ltd. Brewing of beer stopped in Ash in 1954 but their ginger beer production continued till 1962. Again the brewery was taken over by Whitbread in June 1968 and the brewhouse was demolished.


From a book titled "WHERE TO BUY AT DOVER" circa 1900.

Kindly sent to me by Lorraine Sencicle, 8 October 2009.


Messrs. Gardner and Co., Ash Brewery, near Sandwich; Dover Stores and Offices, near Priory Station.

Nearing the Priory Station we come upon the stores and offices of Messrs. Gardner and Co., the well-known brewers of Ash, near Sandwich, which firm claims to have been the originators of pale ale brewing in East Kent more than half a century ago. The brewery, situated some 12 miles from Dover, which we visited a short time since, is of considerable extent with a plant on the most approved principle. The whole is a model of perfect cleanliness and system, and we found that Messrs. Gardner and Co. were their own engineers, smiths, wagon builders, coopers, carpenters, and painters, for each of which departments there are well-fitted shops. The special quality of the ales for which the Ash Brewery is so deservedly celebrated we think, must be attributed to the perfect nature of the water, which is obtained from an artesian well 220ft. deep, containing all the necessary properties for brewing as well as the necessary properties for brewing as well as to the advantage of being situated in the centre of the East Kent hop district, enabling the firm to take the earliest opportunity of purchasing hops from the choicest growths in the neighbourhood, direct from the grower, East Kent hops being well-known and much sought after, all the heat in England. Probably the natural position of the brewery has had no little to do with the success the proprietors have attained, placed as it is in the midst of a pure and invigorating atmosphere. Standing in the moat elevated part of the premises, where the natural aeration of the beers goes on, there is a splendid view of the country for miles around, and the Isles of Thanet and coast can be distinctly seen. The business of Messrs. Gardner and Co. forms a very unique instance of the progress of the times in bringing science to bear on commercial transactions, for by the aid of the telephone and the use of traction engines they, with their brewery situated in a village remote from a railway station are brought into direct touch with the consumers in the whole of East Kent, and a portion of Sussex. At Canterbury, Dover, Ashford, Sittingbourne, Ramsgate, and Hastings they have stores and offices, and are on the telephone circuit; it is from these depots that their wagons a make an early start each morning, and find their way into the smallest villages and hamlets, covering, in the aggregate, an area of nearly 40 miles square.

Gardner's brewery stores circa 1900

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 February, 1881. 1d.

Messrs. Gardner, brewers, of Ash, have secured the square plot of land adjoining the “Priory Hotel” on which they propose to erect an ale and beer store.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 July, 1931. Price 1d.

Gardner's Advert 1931

The subject of our view is Messrs. Gardner and Co.'s Dover stores and offices; the cellarage extends over a considerable area in which there is always a large stock in small and large casks, ready to serve the needs of their many customers. We noticed, just as we were leaving the premises, the arrival of a train of loaded trucks drawn by a powerful traction engine on springs - quite a novelty on the road; we understand that two, and sometimes three, journeys are made weekly from Ash to Dover, and that the engine is capable of drawing 20 tons with the greatest ease. Messrs. Gardner and Co., claim to have originated the brewing of pale ale in East Kent, and therefore, taking this fact into account, we must look to the firm as public benefactors, inasmuch as this particular beverage has gained a strong hold on the popular taste in those localities in which Ash Brewery Ales are known. Other parts of the country may have their own particular brewings, but we very much doubt if, in the long run, they can compare with those obtainable in East Kent. The names of Gardner and Co. and Ash Brewery will, doubtless, come familiarly to our readers, as the ales are very generally to be found in private houses, as well as in most of the hotels and public houses in the locality, where the proprietors are free to make a choice; we, therefore, think this slight review of the business will not be uninteresting, and afford some idea of the industries carried on in Kent.

Former Gardner's stores Gardner's logo

Above two photographs 2009, taken by Alan Sencicle and kindly sent by Lorraine. Top one shows the buildings today, bottom one shows the logo still above the doorway.


Gardeners brass nut

Above photo showing brass nut. Kindly sent by Roger Corbett. He says this is probably off a vehicle or brewing kit and weighs 1Kg so isn't the bung ring off a barrel.


Kentish Gazette, 22 March, 1870.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, THAT THE PARTNERSHIP which has for some time past been carried on by us, the undersigned, under the firm of "GARDNER, GODDEN, & COMPANY, at the Ash Brewery, at Ash-next-Sandwich, in the county of Kent, in the Trades or Business of Brewers and Maltsters, was DISSOLVED by mutual consent as from the thirtieth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and sixty nine, so far as concerns the undersigned Frederick Marcs Godden. And that all debts owing to and by the late firm are to be paid to and will be discharged by the present Firm of “Gardner and Company,” by whom the said trades or businesses will in future be carried on at the place aforesaid.

Dated this 26th day of February, one thousand eight hundred and seventy.




Witness to the signing by Harriett Gardner and William Gardener,




Witness to the signing by Frederick Mares Godden.





From the Whitstable Times, 19 July, 1902.


At the County Police-Station, on Friday, before Mr. I. F. Godfrey, Herbert Henry Blackman, of Ash, was charged with attempting to commit suicide on the railway, near the Ash crossing, the previous day.

From the evidence it appeared that Blackman, who is an engine-driver in the employ of Messrs. Gardner and Co., Ash Brewery, brought a traction load of beer from the brewery to the Ash siding, between 9.30 and 10 o’clock on Thursday morning, and leaving his engine he walked to the Railway Station to make some enquiries regarding his wife's movements, the latter having left the home. He ascertained that his wife had left by train the previous day, and he seems to have gone back to his companions in a somewhat dejected condition. After conversing on the matter he walked along the six-foot way for some distance in the direction of the Richborough-crossing. He then had his hands in his pockets, and was looking on the ground, and appeared to be much troubled. The 11.42 train was then coming in from Minster, and his companions having their suspicions as to Blackman’s intentions John Croud, labourer to Messrs. Belton and Sons, who was working at the siding, went towards him. As the train approached he got on to the four foot way, but Croud put his arms up to warn the driver to stop, and at the same time, Edward Terry, who had noticed what was transpiring, put the signal up again against the train, with the result that the driver was able to slow down, and Croud managed to induce Blackman to moves from the spot, and the train proceeded without coming to a standstill. Percy Blunt, labourer, also gave evidence, and Police-Sergeant Palmer spoke as to the arrest. The defendant was remanded in custody until the County Petty Sessions at Dover on the 17th inst.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 June, 1932. Price 1d.


The temporary transfer was granted for "The Brewery," Ash (off-licence), from Asherton Tillbrook (deceased) to Ernest W. Clinch.


Gardner bar sign

Above free standing bar sign kindly sent by Chris Excell.


Information taken from the census's available.

This was the first period of families upward mobility.

Interestingly, Guilton seems to have been very important at some earlier period for it is sometimes referred to as Guild Town and had a Rectory as opposed to Vicarage.


John Gardner dd 1860 (Registry Eastry 2a 0389)

Austen Born 1846

Census 1851 not available

1861 Guilton; Harriett Gardner, 46 years widow, Occupation Partner in Brewery Co (born Mersham)

She has 5 daughters and 1 son, Austen

1861 Austen Gardner 16 years, Clerk in brewery

1871 Austen Gardner 26 years, of New Street, Ash. Brewer to Messrs Gardner & Co. Employing 24 labourers, 4 clerks & 1 traveller

1881 Austen Gardner 36 years Street End House, Ash, Brewer

1891 Unavailable

1901 Austen Gardner 56 years ditto Managing Director Brewery Co

1911 Austen Gardner 66 years, The Rectory, Guilton, ditto ditto

No further census records available

1927 Austen Gardner died aged 82 Registry ref Eastry 2a 1223


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-