The History of Wadworth
Founded in 1875, Wadworth & Co Ltd of Devizes, boasts an enviable tradition in the brewing of fine beers. The Northgate Brewery, with it's impressive Victorian facade, was designed and built by Henry Wadworth in 1885, and is still run as a family business by his business partner's. Many of the original brewing techniques and closely guarded recipes are still employed today, and to preserve the high standards laid down by the founders, great care is naturally taken to select only the finest malt, hops and yeast for the brewing process. This ensures that customers can rely on consistency and superb taste with all Wadworth products.
Wadworth & Company have a widespread and well founded reputation for brewing exceptional beers. It began in 1875 when the old Northgate Brewery was purchased by Henry Alfred Wadworth. At the age of 22 he already had six years brewing experience both as a pupil at a brewery in London and also as manager of a small brewery at No8 Long Street in Devizes.
Henry was in partnership with his life long friend and brother-in-law John Smith Bartholomew. During the next few years they perfected their particular method of brewing and soon outgrew the facilities of their first premises.
The impact of Wadworth beer had affected the local market quite dramatically and new custom built premises were necessary to increase production. Thus a new brewery was constructed over the site of a small sweet water well a hundred yards away from their first brewery and completed in 1885. The type of building was typical for the period; electricity distribution had not been developed and the only power assistance resulted in the fashion of building a tall tower type brewery using what power there was to lift the ingredients of the brew to the top of the brewery and letting gravity power apply thereafter in the various stages of brewing.
Henry designed his system of brewing into the fabric of the building and it must be said that Wadworth is still brewing beer in accordance with Henry's design and is some cases using the original equipment installed in 1885.
There was no male issue on Henry's side of the partnership but there has been for his partner John Smith Bartholomew who was Managing Director until his death in 1923. His son John Bartholomew succeeded his father as Managing Director until 1929 when he became Chairman on Henry Wadworth's death following a fall from his horse. The present John C Bartholomew, grandson of the original Bartholomew, succeeded his father in 1952; his son Charles has been Chairman and Managing Director for the past few years. So today Wadworth & Co continues to be a private company owned by the Bartholomew family.
The red brick Victorian Tower Brewery is a unique example of its type together with the original open copper dating from 1885.
The Shire Horses were re-introduced in 1974 and the two working horse-drawn dray are a popular sight in Devizes every weekday morning. The stables are open to the public from 1.30pm - 3.30pm Monday to Thursday.
The company also has a cooper - one of only 4 left in Britain and the last remaining Master Brewery Cooper working exclusively on beer barrels. Some of our beer is sent out to trade in wooden casks.
Apart from our own Nationally renowned 6X cask ale brewed in Devizes, we produce a number of excellent beers including Horizon, Henry's IPA, JCB, Malt & Hops and Old Father Timer.
April 26 - 13
Red, White & Brew now available!
Celebrate everything that makes Britain great... More
April 22 - 22
Visitor Centre Bank Holiday opening
The Brewery Visitor Centre will now be closed... More
December 31 - 13
Shire Horses Holiday 2013
The Wadworth Shire horses will be on their an... More
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