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Sheep Street (north): Garne's Brewery and Malthouse (now Tourist Information)

Two cottages here in the 1650s were replaced in the early 18th century by a single farmstead, where malting was carried out long before the establishment of a brewery in the mid 19th century. An early 18th-century kiln and malthouse survive at the rear near Priory Lane, and in 1774 the site contained 'houses, malthouses, granaries, and gardens'. In 1802 the hop merchant Richard Tuckwell bought the premises, and was succeeded by his brother John, a maltster, and before 1840 by Humphrey Tuckwell of Signet, farmer. By then the site was let to Thomas Streat, a maltster and brewer who probably set up the brewing business.

The central archway (now with a plank door of c.1946) was inserted in the 1840s, though the façade itself may be an 18th-century refronting of an earlier house. This is suggested by the asymmetry of the upper windows, while the left-hand casement has a sill re-used from a 16th-century mullion window. The upper right-hand window is identical to those of Baracca next door, rebuilt as a house for the brewery c.1858; possibly the house originally extended over part of the brewery, forming yet another of Burford's 'flying freeholds'.

Streat was succeeded in 1858 by Thomas H. Reynolds and from 1880 by the Garnes, who ran the brewery until Nelson Garne's death in 1958. A malt store, granary, and wine-and-spirit store were added in 1895. On-site malting ended in 1936, and ten years later part of the adjoining malthouse (along the street on the left) was converted into a flat for William Garne, then well in his 80s. A datestone over the first-floor oriel window (with the initials NG for Nelson Garne) commemorates the rebuilding. The Wadsworth sign dates from 1969, when Wadsworth's (of Devizes, Wiltshire) acquired the firm of Garne and Sons. In the mid 1990s the site was redeveloped as small business units, and the front became a tourist information office and house.

See: Listed Buildings Description; M Laithwaite, 'The Buildings of Burford', in A Everitt, (ed), Perspectives in English Urban History (1973) 62, 64; RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920),  449, 459, 479; R Moody, The Inns of Burford (2007),  91–8

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Burford: Buildings and People in a Cotswold Town' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774881) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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