Ware Maltings

By Rosalind White

The Maltings
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Victoria Maltings 1981
Planning Department
The Malthouse
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

In the 18th century, Ware was the premier malting town in England, specialising in brown malt for the brewing of a beer known as `porter’. Fortunes were made (and lost) in the malting industry and men were drawn to the town to work in the maltings or on the barges which took the malt to the breweries of London. Every spare piece of land was pressed into use and there were as many as 140 malthouses in the town by 1880. Maltmaking in Ware has now ended and the malthouses have been converted into housing or other uses.

This page was added on 28/11/2012.

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  • Great article!

    Does anyone know which malting company supplied the former Lea Valley Distillery that produced whisky (both grain and malt) between 1882 – 1904 in Stratford?

    There are records of processed malt being taken by barge down the Lea River Navigation from Ware – Stratford straight to the distillery.

    Any help is appreciated.

    By Nathaniel Dodd (31/07/2023)
  • RE. Mr Turners piece about the dead pheasants on the flat roof at ECF , they were more than likely shot on the Easneye estate during the shooting season, My dear old dad who worked over the road at Wickhams quite often would find injured and dying pheasants on some waste ground owned by the company,

    By Martin sharp (24/03/2021)
  • The site contact was Mr. H.S. Bennet, and by more digging in my archive, I find there were in fact two boilers. Old and new patterns of Cochran manufacture.
    I would like to know more about the ECF site, and weather they manufactured animal meal there. Not exactly an architectural jem perhaps, but another good Ware employer.

    By Malcolm Turner. (08/02/2021)
  • My last comment, had an incorrect point within the text – the dead birds on the roof were pigeons, not pheasants ( I’m making a few errors these days ). We did quite a lot of work there, and although I was on the office-side, I recall that there was a service road approaching the mill, with low buildings, possibly labs and works offices. Then a boiler house on the left, with vertical Cochran steam boiler inside. I have a site contact, which I will find. We put the flue up in 1984, which was reported as holed above the flat roof. In other words the bird shooting incident.

    By Malcolm Turner. (08/02/2021)
  • I am glad Mr. Martin Sharp added his memories about the dangerous man-lift at Eastern Counties Farmers, Star Street, Ware. I suppose that full time workers were used to it, but I found it difficult, if you delayed getting off, even for seconds at a time. We were called over there once, to see why the aluminium outer case on the flue was holed, above roof level.
    The flat roof, was covered in dead pheasants, appearing to indicate someone, shooting them from across the road.

    By Malcolm Turner. (13/12/2020)
  • I worked at ECF from 1970 until 1985 when the farmers co-op closed down the mill and yes it did have a man lift , we would turn it off when one of our large workmates was coming down and it freewheeled to the bottom. Other times would put a shovel full of meal on a step going up which showered all over the press man as it turned over at the top. Many happy memories of the mill and the lads that worked there ,sadly I believe there are only four or five of us left that worked there

    By Martin sharp (16/09/2020)
  • As boiler-types will know, this is a typing mistake; should have said ‘ Cochran ‘ boiler. We also worked at Pauls and Sanders ( Brian Smith ), Warecete ( Mr. Render ), Mill Studio ( Mr. Dixon ), Christ Church ( Mr. Ilott ), a tyre vulcaniser in Amwell ( Mr. Lawrence ), Rank Cintel ( Mr. Pinner ) and Stadium Helmets. Anyone with memories of some of these, please post them on here, to generate themes.

    By Malcolm Turner (18/03/2018)
  • The large concrete building at the far end, is I believe, Eastern Counties Farmers. We worked there servicing the vertical Cochram boiler.

    I do recall that the main building had a man-lift fitted.

    This was a somewhat worrying device. Whereby a constantly moving set of steps passed constantly through a hole in each floor.

    You simply got on and off where you needed to. I doubt if it would be acceptable today.

    Malcolm Turner.

    By Malcolm Turner (09/03/2017)