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More on the old Combe brewery

brewersyard.jpgTo quote former Prime Minister John Major, “It’s there! It’s still there!”

I discovered on Friday morning that the “hulking old brewery” that my Pevsner said was in Central London is, at least in part, still standing.

The area where the surviving buildings stand is now a somewhat trendy shopping district, but in the 19th century, it was filled with warehouses, most of which were there to supply the nearby fruit and vegetable market at Covent Garden.

It’s because of that that all the streets around Long Acre have such beautiful Victorian industrial designs, even though they’re now boutiques and bars.

combe2.jpgIf you want to see the remains of the Combe brewery yourself (there’s not *much* to see) head for Long Acre and walk around the block of buildings facing out on to Neal Street, Shelton Street and Langley Street. The brewery itself was in the middle of that block (where “Old Brewer’s Yard” is now, round the back of Marks and Spencer). Surviving buildings are at numbers 6, 7 and 8 Langley Street; 24-26 and 34 Shelton Street; 3-7 and 17-19 Neal Street.,+London,+Greater+London,+WC2E,+UK&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=46.226656,117.421875&ie=UTF8&z=14&iwloc=addr&om=1&ll=51.519746,-0.120163&output=embed&s=AARTsJoZzNHtatba3ebVAADNW4TRCRCFug
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4 replies on “More on the old Combe brewery”

I’m pleased to hear that some of the brewery is still there. It’s the only one of the Watney, Combe, Reid breweries to have survived. Watney’s Stag brewery in Pimlico was demolished in 1959. Reid’s Griffin Brewery on Liquorpond Street (now Clerkenwell Road) was knocked down just after 1900.

I got that from “The Red Barrel”. When I was browsing through the book just now, I noticed a picture of The Old Jerusalem Tavern, St. John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, a Reid’s pub. It looks like taken around 1860. That bit was for Stonch.

I came across your blog on Combe’s Brewery whilst doing a bit of a search on my family history. Turns out that my Great great Grandfather Frank Wilson worked at Combe, as did his father William Wilson. On the census records they are listed as “practical brewers”.

The family lived in Long Acre and then King Street just round the corner. Very convenient.

There is a bit more on the buildings on the camden website

There is an old picture of the brewery workers in Castle St at

And an interesting story about the history of Combe’s at , including a reference to very down to earth Royal Brewhouse Dinner in 1807.

If anyone has more detail on Combe’s, would appreciate. There’s not much in The Story of Watneys.

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