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Brewing in Chichester

by Pat Saunders

Written by Pat Saunders, Volunteer at The Novium

Towards the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries brewing became less of an activity that took place in the large houses of Chichester, like the former Fernleigh Centre in North Street. Instead it became a commercial enterprise. Amongst the commercial brewers operating at various levels in the town were;

James Atkey, had settled in East Street in about 1790 and started the East Walls Brewery.  Although originally a blacksmith, by his death in 1837 he had built up a successful brewing business. This passed to his son James Atkey Junior who continued the business until his own death in 1851. His son James William Atkey inherited the company and he and his brother continued brewing until 1880 when they sold the brewery and estate to Royds & Marsden.

Henry Knott Combs, was a brewer and hop merchant in St Martins Street. He married Theresa Davies in 1833. Henry Knott Combes died 1845, his widow inherited the estate and leased the brewery to William Wares who records show continued brewing until at least 1851.

Christopher Florence, had inherited the Lion Brewery and ran it until 1869 when they leased it to Richard Walter & Robert Canning Walter.  They were later bought out by Royds & Marsden in 1882.

Richard Deller, brewer in St Pancras, succeeded the bankrupt Thomas Churcher. This brewery started about 1795 but after 1812 was disused for a decade. It then came into the possession of the Deller family who came from Easton, Hampshire. Brothers Richard and George Deller ran the business until 1849 when their younger sibling William Henry Deller took over the business until the early 1880s. Brewing ceased upon his death.

George and Richard Gatehouse were brewers in South Street. The brewing business passed through at least three generations, likely starting in 1800 with premises in the Northgate area; possibly St Paul's Road. The business was later taken on by Henry Harmsworth. In 1817 the Gatehouse brothers were in a position to buy the South Street Brewery (with 12 pubs) from Thomas Trew and William Raper. This site is likely to date back to 1755 when it was run by Thomas Coote

John Golding& Co (1862-71) were brewers and spirit merchants who succeeded Wooldridge at The Eastgate, 4 The Hornet.

Thomas Purchase owned the brewery behind the Globe, Southgate, from the 1840s until about 1874.

Henty, originally set up by brothers George & Robert succeeded the Humphreys brewery at Westgate Brewery in 1830. Henty later merged with G S Constable & Sons Ltd of Arundel and Littlehampton to form "Henty & Constable (Brewers) Ltd". The Novium has a small display of brewing related items from the Henty and Constable Brewery. You can find out more about the Henty & Constable Brewery in our article next week.  

The smaller businesses gradually ceased trading as others were better at expanding through take-overs such as Henty at Westgate and Royds & Marsden of the Eagle Brewery, Arundel.