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Breweries make Reading Rich 

The Hermit of Friar Street - © Nash Ford Publishing


  • Brewing beer was always an important industry in Reading.
    Brewing needs lots of water. The River Kennet used to split into seven streams at Reading. So there was plenty to go round.
  • The monks at the abbey would have brewed lots of beer.
  • In Tudor times, there were three brewers in the town. They were some of its richest inhabitants.
  • The Mill Lane Brewery was started in 1627, and the Castle Street Brewery before 1691. The companies there had lots of names but eventually merged as Blandy & Hawkins.
  • The Bridge Street brewery was started in 1785. It was run by H & G Simonds (later known as Courage) until 1978. It then moved to the outskirts of the town. It closed in 2010.
  • There were and are many historic pubs in Reading, like:
    • The Sun in Castle Street with its Norman undercroft
    • The Cardinalís Hat in Minster Street where Aske's Manifesto was given out & Puritan Palmer was caught
    • The George in Broad Street where soldiers lived during the Siege of Reading
    • The Broad Face in the Market Place visited by Samuel Pepys
    • The Bear in Bridge Street where Irish soldiers lived before the Battle of Broad Street.
    • The Crown in Crown Street where Huntley & Palmers first sold their biscuits
    • The Kingís Head on the Bath Road where travellers hid from highwaymen.
    • The Oxford Arms in Silver Street where condemned criminals drank their last with the hangman.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2015. All Rights Reserved.