Throwback Thursday: The story of Harpenden’s breweries

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 December 2018

A picture of Harpenden's Waverley Mills in the 19th century. Picture: John Cooper

A picture of Harpenden's Waverley Mills in the 19th century. Picture: John Cooper


Independent breweries seem to be a fashionable new trend, popping up all over the country to create high quality craft drinks.

However, history tells a different tale - Harpenden could boast two breweries during the 1890s, one of which is pictured here.

This is a snap we’re highlighting as part of our weekly Throwback Thursday feature, which aims to show just how much the town has changed and evolved using historical pictures.

In the 19th century there were two breweries in Harpenden, called Mardall’s and Healey’s, which were both on Lower High Street.

After merging, the amalgamated business was bought by Richard Glover in 1897, who modernised the buildings and erected a tower.

In 1902 it expanded further and became one of the largest breweries in the country, before closing down nearly two decades later in 1920.

Now known as Waverley Mills, the buildings were taken over by George Bevins - a manufacturer of sportswear, hosiery, and knitwear.

Trading from that site for 16 years, the buildings were demolished in 1936 and replaced with a Woolworths, Boots, and Sainsbury’s.

This picture is from the collection of John Cooper, an author who pens pictorial history books about Harpenden.

He has written A postcard from Harpenden, Harpenden Through Time, Harpenden: The Postcard Collection, and most recently Harpenden: A Village in Wartime, which was published on October 15.

Do you have an old picture to share? Let us know at enjoyhapendenmore@archant.co.uk

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