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Description: Ram (Youngs) Brewery Complex
Date Listed: 14 July 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 207172
OS Grid Reference: TQ2565174685
OS Grid Coordinates: 525651, 174685
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4572, -0.1929
1207/12/7B WANDSWORTH HIGH STREET SW18
Ram (Young's) Brewery Complex
(Formerly listed as:
WANDSWORTH HIGH STREET SW18
Ram (Young's) Brewery Complex)
(adjoining No 70)
Brewery complex. Late-C18, early/mid-C19 with 1882-83 rebuilding by Henry Stock; and late-C20 additions and alterations. Complex includes the 1882-83 range fronting Wandsworth High Street between the former brewer's house (q.v.) and the Brewery Tap (q.v.), the L-plan 5-storey Brewhouse and tower, then lower ranges facing Ram Street and the brewery yard including the cooperage, carpenter's shop and late-C18 timber-framed store.
1882-3 FERMENTATION RANGE: To Wandsworth High Street, 3-storeys and 3 wide window bays with weatherboarding between 1st and 2nd floors; brick segmental headed arches above 2nd floor windows springing from stone capped piers. Wood pediment above main stone cornice with weather-boarded tympanum. 3 raised north-facing dormers to roof ridge. INTERIOR: King post roof trusses with raking struts and metal shoes, below which rows of cast-iron cruciform columns. Slate fermentation squares survive, now faced in stainless steel, as do copper cylindrical fermenting vessels faced with wood.
L-PLAN C19 BREWHOUSE: yellow brick, with tall round-headed window above facing High Street, and lower windows under segmental arches at upper floor above Portland stone band; cooling tower to top floor. INTERIOR: Surviving machinery includes pair of cast-iron A-frame beam engines manufactured by Wentworth & Sons; one installed in 1835 (12-horsepower converted to 16-horsepower in 1863), the other in 1867 (20-horsepower). Some transmission shafting also survives, converted to electric power in C20. Tun room has a pair of coppers, manufactured by `Pontifex and Wood, Shoe Lane, London' 1869 and 1885; mash tuns replaced in C20. To west facing brewery yard, late-C19 office range of lesser interest and altered, with canted oriel and memorial plaque for the 3 brewery employees who fell in the 1914-18 war. Large late-C20 additions to brewery attached to C19 brewhouse are not of special interest.
RANGES TO NORTH: Facing Ram Street, 2-storey range with 4 rounded arch windows at first floor, one now blocked, and altered ground floor openings; further north, a taller range with smaller windows and brewery chimney, replaced at upper level in 1903. Attached and facing brewery yard, a 3-storey range with blind 2-storey rounded arches between blind windows with segmental arches at 1st and 2nd floors; late-C20 inserted first floor door and steps to brewery yard. INTERIOR: Cooperage ground floor has several rows of circular cast iron columns with `fish-bellied' beams and heavy joisted floor above. Carpenter's shop ground floor has cruciform columns in pairs supporting heavy beams. Late-C18 store to north has full-height interior with king post trusses with raking struts; exterior walls of brick in-filled timber framing with heavy posts, long studding and long braces. Square base of chimney with tall blind arch to each face and corbelled brick cornice, above which circular chimney shaft.
HISTORY: London architect Henry Stock's first commission was the rebuilding of Young & Co.'s Ram Brewery, Wandsworth in 1882-83. He went on to be the company architect for the brewers Charrington & Co. Brewing here goes back to the C16, but the Wandsworth Brewery as we know it today was developed from 1831, when Charles Allen Young and Anthony Fothergill Bainbridge bought the site from the Tritton family. The oldest extant building is the early-C18 brewery house on Wandsworth High Street (q.v.), although there are also the late-C18 storage buildings that form part of this complex. By the mid-C19, the brewery was an extensive conglomeration linking the High Street to a long frontage along Red Lion Street, with the Cut (a canal extending from the Thames) stretching into the brewery yard and used for delivering malt and coal. By the late-C19, the complex had expanded westwards to the River Wandle, exploiting that body of water as well. The Ram Inn on Wandsworth High Street was rebuilt in 1883 and remodelled in the 1930s and renamed the Brewery Tap (q.v.) in 1974. A major fire in 1882 damaged part of the brewhouse and malthouse, which interrupted brewing only for a short time, and the new Ram Brewery building was constructed soon afterwards. The Cut was in-filled in the 1930s, and large bottling stores built in the 1950s, but the brewery remained in much its C19 form until late-C19 construction of offices, a partial new brewhouse and the tall conical vessels.
SOURCES: Helen Osborn `Britain's Oldest Brewery: The story behind the success of Young's of Wandsworth' (1999); Lynn Pearson `British Breweries: an architectural history' (1999: The Hambledon Press); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, `Buildings of England London: South' (1983, 1994)
Listed at Grade II* primarily for its remarkable survival of C19 machinery including a pair of intact 1835 and 1869 Wentworth & Sons beam engines, but also as the main working range of an unusually complete urban brewery with C18 brewer's house (q.v.), late-C19 stables (q.v.) and early-C20 public house (q.v.) each representing architectural and industrial developments of the long-established successful brewery on this site.
Group value with the other listed components of the site: the Grade II former Brewer's house at 70 Wandsworth High Street, the Grade II stables, and the Grade II Brewery Tap.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.