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Harding's Wellington Brewery


London Road, Buckland

Hardings Wellington Brewery, Buckland

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 April, 1887. Price 1d.


The undertaking of the Buckland Brewery Company is advertised for sale at the London Auction Mart. The sale will take place next month.


From the Dover Mercury 26 September 2002

DATE DOUBT: Harding's Brewery, with artist James Tucker shown, right.

THIS picture of Harding's Brewery, also known as Harding's Buckland Brewery, is another of James Tucker's paintings to which he gives the date of 1862.

But I am inclined to think it was in 1912, as the building was still there in 1907 according to Mr Bavington-Jones.

The brewery was built on the site of the old paper mill and called the Wellington Brewery by its builder, Mr Peirce.

His daughter married Mr William Harding, hence the name of Harding's Brewery.

It was on the other side of the river to Kingsford's white-boarded mill which can be seen to the left of the brewery.

On the far right you will notice James included himself in the picture, and also a small waterwheel on the leat or overflow stream, and this was there in living memory.

On the brewery site there was a good supply of water in a well, which I assumed is still there, in what was known as Brox Ditch Meadow.

Joe Harman.

The End of a Brewery.

From The Brewing Trade Review January 1963

A ruthless demolition gang have been at work on the old brewery. The wooden sides have been pulled down by steel cables; the flint walls levelled, and the old flag-stoned cellar, many feet below the level of the nearby stream; has been filled with rubble. Shortly a modern factory will rise on the site.

Time was when the brewers in their red stocking caps were busy about their vats, and horse drays left the premises with full barrels for the local inns. But the last traces of an old time brewery will soon have disappeared.

Through the ancient town of Dover, nestling in a deep chalk valley between the famous white cliffs, there runs a brisk little river, which, rising about three miles inland, tumbles over a number of falls, and eventually finds its way into the docks, having run for some of its latter course under buildings and streets.

Until the coming of steam power, these various falls had considerable economic value, and, from the time of the earliest settlement of a civilised community on the stream, have been harnessed to drive water wheels to provide power for various industries. On this river Dour, there have been flour mills, timber yards, paper mills and breweries; all dependent upon the tumbling chalk stream for their power.

The very ancient building recently demolished was one of the last remaining breweries in Dover. Although it has not been used since about 1890, it has for many years been owned by the proprietors of a neighbouring flour mill, who have preserved it in the same state since the day when the last brew of ale ran out of the the vats some 70 years ago.

The origins of the building are lost in obscurity; but it is thought to have been at one time a flour mill. In the late eighteenth century it was a paper mill, and about 1846 it became a brewery; known as Harding's Wellington Brewery, possibly taking its name from the Duke, who was at that time Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

A small waterwheel drove a pump which drew the liquor from a well; and also drove a grinder for the malted barley. This wheel, 18 ft. 6 in. in diameter, was situated on the backwater stream of the flour mill, and could presumably only run when there was an excess of water, or by mutual arrangement with the miller. The wheel has been kept in good repair, and at the moment of writing, although no doubt doomed to be broken up, is still in running order. The large gear wheel on the side, drove a small pinion on a shaft which extended about 35 ft. under ground to the brewery building situated off to the left of the picture.

The writer is (perhaps unfortunately) more familiar with the end product of brewing than the process thereof; but among other equipment in the building were a number of vats on the first floor, protruding into the cellar below; and a furnace heating a large copper set in brickwork. Above this was a tank, from which the copper was filled.

Three of the vats had a diameter of 5 ft., and one, 6 ft. 9 in. The brick seating of the copper (removed some years ago) was 7 ft. 6 in. No doubt the output from this brewery was small, even for those days.

Whether the building made a satisfactory brewery is possibly open to question, since as a paper mill the top storey, of wood, was so constructed that sliding boards could be opened to admit a draught of fresh air for drying the paper. Even when closed, the building must have been a draughty one in windy weather. But ill adapted or not, it became one of Dover's thriving breweries, of which there were six in the town in the mid nineteenth century.

In 1890 brewing ceased; but my father tells me that as a boy he can recall the brewers working in their red woollen caps, and the very pleasant aroma which hung round the building! Its proximity to the flour mill was no doubt an attraction to the dusty, dry throated millers. The enormous technical strides in the industry over the past 50 years must make this old brewery appear like a museum piece; but that it should have been so long preserved, with its splashing wheel, its hooped, oaken vats, and ancient furnace, is not without interest; and who is to say that its product was not as well enjoyed by the thirsty in the mid-nineteenth century as the modern beverage is today?

Hardings Wellington Brewery

Above shows the Old Brewery which has now been completely demolished and below two of the old oaken vats.

Tw vats at Hardning's Wellington Brewery

Below Harding's Wellington Brewery circa 1980 photos by Barry Smith.

Harding's Wellington Brewery, back circa 1980

Above and below Harding's Wellington Brewery circa 1980 photos by Barry Smith.

Harding's Wellington Brewery, front circa 1980


This was situated at the rear of the flour mills.


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