Spotlight on . . .


Below: The former
Rose Brewery, photographed in 1978

At 240 Picton Road - between the C.A.B. and the Wellington pub - is an old three-storey brick building, its top floor featuring a series of bricked-up windows and the remains of two imposing pediments. This was once the Rose Brewery, and it is a Grade II listed building - nowadays occupied by the Homerange Fireplaces showroom. Some will remember it as the Britvic bottling plant, and before that (in the 1970s) as 'Minster Minerals'.

Baines's Lancashire Directory of 1825 lists one brewer in Wavertree - Thomas Fleetwood - and Leather's map of Wavertree (1836) confirms that his premises were on this site. Leather's map also indicates two other breweries elsewhere in the village: one behind the Rose Vaults pub which belonged to John Anderton, and one on the site of the present-day Tesco Express which was the property of Henry Pye.

By the time the Wavertree Tithe Map was produced (1846) John Anderton had taken over the former Fleetwood's premises - described on the Tithe Award schedule as 'Brewery & Malt House, Outbuildings & Garden'. The first Ordnance Survey map of the area - the six inches to the mile sheet published in 1851 - names the building as 'Rose Brewery', so perhaps Anderton had given it that name following his move from the much smaller Rose Vaults brewhouse on the other side of the High Street.

The Fleetwood family had other breweries/maltings in Tarbock and Gateacre, and are known to have inter-married with the Andertons, but the exact relationship between the various members of the two families has not yet been fully established. The 1851 Census indicates that John Anderton was a 39-year-old Master Brewer employing 11 men. He was born in Rainhill, while his wife Ann was born in Tarbock. Their 7 children (age 6-20) had all been born in Wavertree.

Sadler's map of 1854 indicates a 'Brewery' in Cow Lane (nowadays Prince Alfred Road) halfway between the High Street and Pye Street. The 1861 Census lists Richard Edwards, a 43-year-old Master Brewer, living here with his wife and 4 children. All the members of this household had been born in Flintshire, except for the 2-year-old daughter who had been born in Ormskirk. The name Pye Street survives today; it runs round the back of the Tesco Express building. It would seem that Henry had died around 1840, because the Tithe Award schedule refers to the 'Trustees of the late Henry Pye'.

Wavertree's other brewery, in the 19th century, was the Crown Brewery. This was situated behind the Coffee House pub in Church Road. The 1871 Census lists Thomas Wright, aged 52, as 'Hotel Proprietor & Brewer employing 6 men', while the 1881 Census gives his age as 64, his birthplace as West Derby, and his occupation as 'Brewer employing 7 men'. Wright had died by 1894, when Kelly's Liverpool Directory lists the owner of the Crown Brewery as 'exors of Thomas Wright'.

By the 1890s the Rose Brewery was in the hands of Charles Bell. The 1891 Census describes him as 'Brewer, Maltster, Wine & Spirit Merchant', age 36 and born in Bickerstaffe, Lancashire. The Bell family - including 4 children and 3 servants - lived at 242 Picton Road (the present-day C.A.B. building) while in the 'Brewery Yard' next door lived a carter, presumably an employee of the firm. Charles Bell had already taken the business over by 1881, for the Census of that year lists him as 'Brewer & Wine Merchant' in Wavertree Road (the original name of Picton Road) and records the Andertons living elsewhere in the village: William Anderton, 'Retired Brewer' (though only 38 years old) at 3 Orford Street, and John Anderton, 'Former Brewer' (age 47) in Stevenson Street.

Gore's Liverpool Directory for 1900 lists the owners of the Rose Brewery as Burton Bell & Co. By 1908 this company had been taken over by the Liverpool-based company Peter Walker & Son, which had large breweries in Warrington and Burton-on-Trent. Brewing in Wavertree ceased, and the premises became a bottling plant operated by Heeley & Co., who moved there from Birmingham in about 1912.

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