Title: The Old Breweries of Weymouth - Devenish and Groves
Author: Terry Giles
RRP: £9.99
Sale Price: N/A

Publication date: 28 Jul 2018
Format: 234 x 156 mm
Number of pages: 96
Illustrations: 158
Maps: 2
ISBN: 9781906651-329

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Groves and Devenish were once two great British brewery companies, with production centred on Hope Square, Weymouth. The sights and smells emanating from the breweries, where horse-drawn drays and motor lorries clattered to and fro, were all part of the atmosphere of the area and the diverse architecture centred on this unique ‘land of the breweries’. It was a shock in 1985 when brewing ceased in Weymouth. The beers are long gone, but nearly all the brewery buildings and malt houses have been preserved, mostly converted to residential accommodation.

The author’s curiosity with the giant brew houses spans seven decades. This illustrated memoir and history evokes a time when Hope Square and this area of Weymouth was alive with the working bustle of the breweries, a fascinating place to linger. Situated a whisker away from the harbour, it still radiates charm and history.


From the Preface

A rather obsessive interest in the old Weymouth breweries for a span of seven decades might appear fairly unusual to most people, especially if the person in question was not directly connected with the two establishments of Devenish and Groves. This is a brief history about how this came about.


Aerial view, 1926
Holidays in Weymouth: The Early Years
Map of the Weymouth Breweries, 1954
Hope Square: Setting the Scene
A History of Brewing in Hope Square
Faithful Workers
Groves’ Mighty Chimney and the Malt Houses
Major J.H.C. Devenish and the Devenish Legacy
The Groves Family and Hope Brewery
Holy Trinity Church
Workings of the Brewery
Devenish Royal Warrants
Transport through the Ages
The Wonderful Weymouth Breweries
And Finally
Bibliography, Sources of Information and Websites

Extract from the book

Stable Cottage in Spring Road was where the stable manager, later to become the motor transport manager, lived. The back door of this sturdy little house took him directly into his stable and garage yard. It was said that if a driver fell asleep at the reins the brewery horses knew their way back there.

 Stable Cottage is still standing (on the left), while the stables have been converted to pleasant living accommodation.
 Shire Horse Mews today.
 The ornate entrance of the Mews.

Each Devenish dray horse was given a unique name beginning with the letter D (for example, Dauntless, Don, Duty, Drummer, Darky, Dollar and Duke, up until the last dray horse David). This naming system was passed on to the motor transport; all vehicles had a unique fleet number and name (Dexter, David, Dancer and so on). John Groves had an equal amount of horses and vehicles but was far less flamboyant with its names. They used horses to pull their drays until 1940.

On display in Weymouth Museum.

What Reviewers Have Said

In the introduction, the author admits his interest in the old breweries of Weymouth is ‘rather obsessive’ ... This is a fascinating and well-written history, with many colourful details, particularly about the war years ... The book is well illustrated in full colour, with historic photographs and a fine array of brewery advertisements and beer mats from the author’s extensive collection. A very worthwhile obsession!
Jerry Bird, Dorchester Voice

About the Author

Terry Giles was born in the City of Bath just before World War II. From the late 1940s onward, family holidays were spent at Weymouth, leading to fond memories of many pleasant times. He lives in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, but still visits Weymouth two or three times a year for holidays.


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