The Chesterfield Brewery Company’s Brimington and Hollingwood connections

Chesterfield pub and brewery historian John Hirst’s new book on the Chesterfield Brewery Company, includes some Brimington, Tapton and Hollingwood references. 

The front cover of John Hirst’s new book.

John’s new 28-page book ‘Chesterfield Brewery – the story of Chesterfield’s second largest brewery’ – chronicles its rise and fall. Also included is information on some of the directors, including the Mills (of Tapton Grove) and Burkitt families. There’s a map showing the brewery’s tied houses, a plan of the premises and a list of the brewery’s pubs, together with over 25 illustrations. 

The brewery, which opened in 1854, occupied a site at the junction of Brimington Road, Brewery Street and Infirmary Road. So, it’s just outside our river Rother boundary between Tapton and Chesterfield. The Trebor factory occupied the site until recent years, incorporating some of the brewery buildings. It’s now part of the Waterside development, with new offices currently under construction on part of the site.

 A 1982 photograph from John’s book showing the former brewery premises – then in use by Trebor. Infirmary Road is to the bottom.  The original brewery buildings were centred around the tall chimney. (John Hirst).
The Chesterfield Brewery premises included this building used as a house for the brewery manager and for offices. They later formed offices for the Trebor sweets factory. Now demolished, a new office block is currently being built on the site. A 2004 photograph.  (Courtesy Ian Atkinson).

John charts how the brewery company acquired the wine, spirit and mineral water business of TP Wood, High Street, Chesterfield (and producer of a locally famous almanac) in 1911. But the end of the 1920s and into the early 1930s saw a decline in the company. This was despite 1920s investment in some grandiose public house schemes. These included the Hollingwood Hotel, Poolsbrook Hotel, Spital Hotel and the Gardeners Arms (all Chesterfield area) and the White Post at Farnsfield.

In 1934 the Mansfield Brewery Company took over the Chesterfield brewery and promptly closed it down in January of the following year. 

Brimington tied houses at the time of the Mansfield take-over were the Three Horse Shoes, Red Lion Inn and Miners Arms. A pub closed before the take-over was the Bugle Horn, Hall Road (which is illustrated below). This was closed in 1924 – the licence transferred to the Hollingwood Hotel (a fate shared with the former Mounders Arms at Hollingwood).

John’s book describes the brewery in detail and includes a plan of it. Here in 2004, we see a view of the basement which ‘…stretched beneath the tun room, stables and wagon shed. The tun room was set on cast iron columns and girders, with brick arches …’ The camera lens accounts for the slight curvature of the columns in this photograph! (Courtesy Ian Atkinson).
The Brimington building contractors James Fox & Son, who had premises on Chesterfield Road, undertook business for the Chesterfield Brewery Company. This advertisement is taken from TP Wood’s almanac for 1921.

The Brimington joinery, wheelwright and building company James Fox had a close relationship with the Chesterfield Brewery Company for some years Two account books of the Fox concern survive in the Derbyshire Record Office.

You can read more of the brewery company’s story in John’s book, which is available by emailing him at j-hirst@sky.com. The cost is a very reasonable £4 plus postage. The book is also available from Chesterfield tourist information centre and the Chesterfield museum. 

A September 1928 advertisement for the opening of the well-appointed Hollingwood Hotel, also featuring in John’s book. This was built, after some objections, on the estate constructed by the Industrial Housing Association (IHA) for the Staveley Coal & Iron Company. The hotel was one of a number of expensive schemes undertaken by the Chesterfield Brewery Company in the 1920s. The brewery’s estate was quite considerable. There were a hundred or so public houses spread over a large area, when they were taken over by the Mansfield concern in late 1934.

By-the-way, if you’re a bit puzzled about what was Chesterfield’s largest brewery, this was the Brampton Brewery, situated at the bottom of Chatsworth road on a site now occupied by Matalan. The third largest (of the three) was the Scarsdale Brewery Company, with premises on Spa Lane and St Mary’s Gate. 

Another photograph from John’s book. The Hollingwood Hotel pictured in 1985, some years before the exterior was painted. The IHA specified what sort of general facilities they wanted from public houses on their estates.  Duckmanton, another IHA estate, also received an extensive Chesterfield brewery pub. (John Hirst).
This undated photograph shows the Bugle Horn on Hall Road, Brimington, which was closed when the Hollingwood Hotel opened. It’s been on Facebook, but we don’t know who the owner is, so apologies, in advance, for any copyright infringement. We’d be interested in talking to the owner of the original.
Our final illustration is also from John’s book, this time reproducing an advertisement from ‘Commercial Chesterfield’ of 1931. TP Wood’s Market Place premises were sadly demolished in the mid-1960s to make way for the Littlewood’s (now Primark) store. The Chesterfield Brewery Company has taken over Wood’s long established business in 1920.

This blog was revised on 27 August 2021 to correct the date TP Wood’s business was acquired by the Chesterfield Brewery Company (in 1911 not the previously stated 1921).

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