At Risk - Ashbourne Malthouse

Located to the rear of a property on Church Street Ashbourne Derbyshire the property has been neglected by the current owner for over 30 years and now with a large part of the roof covering missing it is danger of being lost forever.

By the end of the twelve century Ashbourne was established as a successful town with burgage plots along Church Street and it is within one of these plots that the malthouse stands. Being a three storey building it is a floor malting of a recognised type known as the “Newark pattern malthouse”. This type uses the middle floor for storing kilned malt and barley and the top and bottom floors for growing. (Source: Maltings in England)

Though it is possible that an early malthouse existed on the site records show that this building was built for the malting family of Hemsworth in the late eighteenth century (source: Ashbourne Listed Buildings). The Hemsworths were advocates of vertical integration, being involved with all aspects of brewing starting from the growing of the barley and owed many properties in Ashbourne. However it appears that their circumstances changed or the building was surplus to requirements and it was advertised in 1808 for let as one of a pair (source: unknown newspaper) and again in 1811. (Source: Derby Mercury). Later articles in the Derby Mercury show that the Hemsworth’s retained the buildings and in 1845 they were offered for sale being described to now include “two extensive malt offices, stable, warehouse, yard, garden” and again advertised in 1852 as part of the late Mr Hemsworth estate with the malthouse being described as occupied by Mr Hartshorne. He is named along with William Wilder has Maltsters in Church Street in Pigots directory of 1835 and Kelly’s trade directory of 1855. Kellys then includes J Fearn at the address in the 1876 edition, but it appears that malting ceased in the building after this date. The second and larger malthouse was demolished by the then owner Mr Gadsby prior to the sale of the Church Street property in the early 1980s to the current owner. Despite best intentions they were unable to undertake any work to the building and it was offered for auction by Scargill & Mann on the 18th of June 2014 when it didn’t sell after failing to meet the reserve.


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