Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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W. H. Brakspear and Sons

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Brewers of Henley on Thames

1711 W H Brakspear bought brewery in Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames

1769 Robert Brakspear became the landlord of the Cross Keys in Witney, Oxfordshire

1779 Robert joined his uncle, Richard Hayward, in running the Henley brewery.

1803 Richard Hayward died; Robert Brakspear became sole owner of the business

1812 Robert Brakspear died. The brewery moved to New Street in Henley and had 34 pub leases. Robert’s second son, William Henry, joined the business

1848 William became sole owner and began trading as W H Brakspear

1882 William Brakspear died.

1895 W H Brakspear became a public company; purchased Greys Brewery in Henley-on-Thames and its 54 pubs. Further purchases of local breweries with pubs in Wokingham, Wallingford and Goring followed over the next 45 years.

1913 Alfred Davies inherited a business of 12 pubs which he turned into a limited company, J T Davies & Sons Ltd.

1942 Tony Davies took over the pub company of 64 managed pubs in London and the south east.

1973 Tony’s son Michael joined the business.

1992: Tony Davies died, having passed the business to Michael in 1985. The company acquired 18 freehold pubs from Bass, the start of the tenanted pub business.

2000 J T Davies bought its first stake in W H Brakspear

2002 J T Davies owned 30% of the pub company.

2002 closure of the Henley brewery; much of the brewing plant was moved to the Wychwood brewery (now owned by Marstons PLC) in West Oxfordshire.

2002 Refresh UK brews the Brakspear beers at its Witney brewery

Today, Michael Davies is Chairman of Brakspear Pub Company

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Sources of Information