Some history of Charles Garton & Co. of Bristol in the county of Gloucestershire.
This brewery was located at the junction of Lawrence Hill, Easton Road and Clarence Road. The original brewery here was erected in the mid-1820s but was rebuilt and enlarged during the 19th century. As I type up this page in February 2023, I do not think a detailed history of this brewery has been published so I am just putting a few jigsaw pieces together in an attempt to tell a small part of the story.
Advertisements such as the one above appeared in Bristol newspapers in the 1830s and 1840s, though the dates slightly conflict. This advert states that Walter Williams had been in business at Lawrence Hill for 21 years, making the founding date 1824. Other advertisements state that he had started in business in the previous year. He hailed from Wales, his brother William certainly lived in Usk. Other members of his family also lived in Monmouthshire.
The enterprise was continued by his son, Samuel, though he seemingly did not wish to brew beers any longer and advertised the business in July 1848. The going concern remained on the market for some time. The brewery and malthouse were being advertised in 1850. Nine years earlier Charles Garton was recorded as a brewer at Abbotsham Place and an employer of three men. Three years after this advert, he was recorded at Lawrence Hill employing 13 men.
The son of the brightsmith William Garton and Susannah Foley, Charles Garton was born at Bath in August 1823 but baptised at St. Augustine-the-Less in Bristol. His father died at an early age and, following her marriage to the brazier Thomas Lee, his mother, Susannah, entered the licensed trade, running pubs on Dorchester Street and Clarence Road. I do not know if Charles Garton was brewing ales for his mother but it is a possibility. He was not living under the same roof as he had married Catherine Ann Corey Foley in 1845.
The early movements of Charles Garton as a brewer can be seen in this notice outlining the bankruptcy court hearing of Charles Garton. He would certainly have a rollercoaster of a ride in his early years. This was one of two or three bankruptcy hearings, suggesting that the brewer was flying by the seat of his pants. Here it can be seen that he had formerly brewed at the Bell Brewery, and at premises on Redcliff Street and Somerset Street. The notice also shows that he had gone into partnership with John Perrett. This was possibly the man involved with the Stag and Hounds at Old Market Street?
This bankruptcy was not the disaster one would think it would be for Charles Garton. The census of 1851 shows that he was still trading and employing 13 people. He either came to a repayment arrangement with his creditors or he possibly found another partner to inject some capital into the business.
Signing a 15-year lease in September 1851, Charles Garton was renting the premises at Lawrence Hill. His business occupied a brewery, malthouse and yard, along with a dwelling house for his family. He sub-let the adjoining Brewers' Arms to a tenant. I am not exactly sure what was going on in 1856 but the premises were offered for auction. In addition, the brewery plant and effects were also offered for sale. Was this the result of more financial difficulties? Soon after he was facing more hearings for bankruptcy.
I suspect that the shaky ground on which the brewery's foundations were built were fortified by financial backing. I also suspect that Charles Garton, a man later renowned for his fastidious brewing application, had product that was higly rated and deemed too good for the business to go under. Note that this advertisement is for Garton and Company rather than Charles Garton. Was this the period when he was bankrolled by William Proctor Baker, a wealthy merchant of the firm that became Spillers & Bakers Ltd? William Baker would become one of the key figures in public life and served as Mayor of Bristol. Indeed, Charles Garton would later become a town councillor.
In the early-mid 1860s the buildings fronting Easton Road were enlarged and improved but soon after they were completed there was a terrible fire, thought to have started from the overheating of one of the drying kilns. Rather than wait for the fire brigade to arrive, Charles Garton tackled the fire with one of the brewery hoses. However, in crossing one of the lofts he accidentally stepped on an open trap door, falling over 30ft to the ground. He was carried to his house on part of the brewery site where he received medical assistance. However, the doctors did not think he would survive. The brewer was clearly made of strong stuff and did recover from his injuries.
Despite the buildings not being insured, the brewery recovered from the fire and continued in business. Indeed, the beers produced at Lawrence Hill were being recognised for their quality. The firm joined an elite group of three breweries to be awarded an International Prize Medal at the Exhibition of 1862 in London. Ever the innovator, in January 1867 Charles Garton displayed his prize-winning mashing machine at the St. Philip's Art and Industrial Exhibition, an event that was attended by large numbers of people. The mashing machine had scooped the Prize Medal at the International Exhibition at Dijon during the previous year. The firm was, by now, an internationally-recognised brewing concern.
The chemists printed in the advertisement dated April 1866 [see above] were mentioned in an article in which the firm stated : "It will be readily admitted that purity and soundness are properties which should be possessed by every article which we consume, and when Dr. Letheby, the late Medical Officer of Health for the City of London, in his report upon their Ales, states that "the beer is in all respects a sound and wholesome beverage;" and the late Mr. William Herapath, that "its purity and lightness are without comparison," consumers may sure that no higher guarantee of the absolute good quality these Beers could be offered."
The above sale notice shows that the wine and spirit merchant, William Russell, joined the firm in 1868. Up until 1875 the firm traded as Charles Garton, Russell, and Co., the partners being Charles Garton, William Russell and William Proctor Baker. This partnership was dissolved in November 1875 with the business being continued by Charles Garton and William Proctor Baker.
Charles Garton died in January 1892. He had suffered from chest problems for some years and I wondered if this was partly due to the brewery fire thirty years earlier. The company was acquired six years later by the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery Co. Ltd. of Shepton Mallet. Brewing continued until the end of March 1898 when all production was concentrated at Shepton Mallet. There was much discussion about the site. There was talk of the building, once fitted with a glass roof, serving as a market. The site was also considered for a new Corporation Baths. Many councillors wanted to buy the site just to widen the road at this busy junction. What a sad end to an internationally-recognised brewery.
Alfred Barnard, the Thaxted-born British brewing and distilling historian, had a great job in the late Victorian period. Between 1889 and 1891 he undertook a tour of all the major brewery concerns and compiled his notes and observations into a four-volume series of books entitled "The Noted Breweries Of Great Britain and Ireland," Now out of copyright, I have reproduced his section on the Lawrence Hill Brewery in order that you, the reader, can enjoy a brewery tour of this former important brewing concern of Bristol .....
The original brewery was erected in the year 1828, and has since then been rebuilt and much extended. It is situated at the junction of the Easton Road and Lawrence Hill, and is built upon a V-shaped plot of land, the angle of the V being fronted by the office building. The structure, which is a noble and imposing one, extends a distance of 350 feet from front to back, and is built entirely of Pennant stone with Bath stone facings.
All the plant and machinery, within the brewery, is of the most modern description, the vessels are of the newest pattern, and the whole establishment is a model of neatness and order. On our arrival at the brewery we were received most courteously by Mr. Alfred Leader, the manager, who arranged the order of our tour through the buildings, and later on personally directed us through the fermenting rooms. We commenced our investigations at the brewhouse, under the guidance of Mr. Moulton, the head-brewer, who has been on the staff of the establishment eighteen years.
Passing beneath a lofty archway, and mounting a long staircase, with high steps, we found ourselves in the mashing room, through which we passed to the malt store, a large place, situated in the left wing of the building, and open to the roof. Here workmen were seen raising up sacks of malt from the waggons below, in a very rapid manner, by means of one of Shaw's patent steam hoists, and afterwards wheeling them away to different parts of the building.
We should here observe that, from the front portion of the block, the buildings are thenceforth divided in the centre, and spread out fan-shape, giving a roadway between the two portions, small at the beginning but very wide at the end, where are situated the fermenting rooms.
The mill room is beneath the copper stage, and looks out on to Easton Road. It measures about 50 feet square, and contains a pair of malt rollers, over which are placed a set of screens and malt-cleaning machinery like those previously described. The mill is driven by a vertical engine of eight horse-power, placed on the same floor, which also drives the mashing machinery and lifts. From the mill rollers the crushed malt falls into a large hopper beneath, which is lined with zinc, from whence it is elevated by a Jacob's ladder to the grist hopper over the mash tuns, which holds one brewing. The moment this hopper is filled it commences to run through a flat copper spout, perfectly fitting, which delivers the malt to the masher to the last grain. From this mill floor we followed our guide up to the tower, where we had a fine view of Bristol, with its steeples and towers; perhaps the best to be obtained from any building in the town. At this elevation we were shown the water reservoir for supplying the brewery. Bristol was formerly supplied with water by pipes laid along the streets from Jacob's Wells on the side of Brandon Hill. It is now supplied by the water company from the pure springs of the far-famed Mendips, which have been proved to be one of the purest water supplies in the kingdom. The precautions taken by Messrs. Garton to ensure absolute purity in the productions of the brewery, induced them to abandon all other springs or wells in favour of the water company's supply, which is now the only liquor used in their brewings. After enjoying the view, which included nearly the whole of Bristol and its suburbs, we descended to the mashing stage to resume our studies in that department.
Before enlarging on the many vessels and machines to be seen in this part of the building, we should state that the mashing room is about 60 feet square, that its walls are 50 feet high, and that it has a lanterned roof. Our attention was first directed to a couple of hot liquor tanks overhead, constructed of iron, one on either side of the grist case, each fitted with a steam injector, their contents being used for mashing purposes. They are both heated by double-winged copper coils, and hold 160 barrels. At the south end of the room, covering a large space, are the two mash tuns, rising up 6 feet from the floor, with a platform erected within a few inches of the top of them. They are both constructed of cast-iron, lagged with hair felt, and lined outside with match-boarding, the whole being brass-bound. A noticeable feature, connected with the draining plates in these tuns, is that the slots are not cast as usual, but have been sawn out of the iron, giving far better drainage than the old system of cast slots. We were informed that in the mashing operation the starch cells of the grain are ruptured by the high temperature of the water employed, and their contents coming into contact with the soluble albuminous matter contained in the malt are converted into dextrin and maltose. The albuminous matter taken into solution furnishes the material required for the development of new yeast during the subsequent fermentation process. The proportions of maltose to dextrin may be varied by the brewer, according to the character and strength of the beer which he wishes to produce.
Both tuns are commanded by a mashing machine which was invented by Mr. Charles Garton, and for which he was awarded the Prize Medal at the International Exhibition at Dijon, 1866. It may interest some of our brewing friends if we describe this excellent machine, which is constructed of copper and gun-metal and, therefore, free from galvanic action.
The mode of operation is as follows :- The grist falls from the hopper upon a revolving disc which throws it upwards against a spray of hot liquor issuing from the top of the masher; it thus becomes well saturated. The mash then passes through the cylinder, wherein it comes in contact with a number of disintegrators so arranged as to break up any "balling" which might exist. It afterwards falls upon a second disc, and being now in a forward state of preparation, it is here thoroughly permeated by a second liquor of higher temperature [the heat of which is regulated to a nicety at the will of the operator], the mash eventually dropping into the mash-tub in the condition required. The sizes are calculated to mash the quantity named in an hour, at 200 to 250 revolutions a minute. The novelty of two mashing liquors in one machine is certainly of the highest importance, giving the brewer perfect control over the process of mashing. The variation of a few degrees of heat in forming the extracts produces an important difference of effect, and the brewer's great study is how best to regulate it.
But to return to the mash tuns the grains are discharged therefrom by means of trap-valves at the bottom of the vessels, leading into a shoot depending over the yard, under which the farmers' carts draw to be loaded. In front of the tuns there is another novelty, consisting of a circular receiver constructed of oak lined with copper. It contains a copper strainer for filtering the wort as it passes from the tuns through the cylinder into the coppers, where it arrives as bright as sherry. The pipes conveying the wort, as indeed are all the wort-carriers in this brewery, are of copper.
Progressing a few paces we came to the copper stage, a few feet lower down, reached from this floor by a couple of steps, and containing three splendid coppers. Their contents cannot possibly boil over, as all of them are fitted with a copper ball-cock arrangement, to which is attached an electric bell, which gives the alarm the moment the worts approach a certain height. This simple apparatus, which has been in operation for some years, works most satisfactorily. The results of boiling, or cooking of the wort, are the precipitation of a portion of its albuminous constituents [of uhich a quantity, in excess of that required for yeast development in the subsequent fermentation process, is extracted and must be removed], and also the destruction of any germs which may have been introduced from the air in the malting or mashing process. The hops added at this stage yield to the wort their oily, resinous and tannic substances, imparting to it the characteristic flavour and materially adding to the stability of the wort, hop oil being powerfully antiseptic. As the boiling proceeds, a further separation of albuminous matter is effected, the tannin of the hop combining with it to form the insoluble tannate of albumen. The hops used in the various beers are most carefully selected in this brewery, and are of the choicest qualities.
Leaving the coppers behind us, we walked northward and then ascended to the cooling floor. Here the first object that attracted our attention was a circular hop-back, upwards of 18 feet in diameter, containing gun-metal draining plates, and, over the top of the vessel, a three-armed sparger. The whole area of the floor beyond this vessel is covered by two large open coolers, or great shallow tanks, one commanding the other, over uhich is arranged a strong current of air. From these vessels the partly cooled wort runs into a jack-back, from whence it is pumped to a receiver in the roof, which commands two vertical refrigerators, cooling eighty barrels per hour, over which the wort is run to be finally cooled before it reaches the fermenting department. In the roof of this building there is an ice-tank used for cooling purposes in the summer time. The boiled hopped wort is cooled to the temperature required for commencement of fermentation [some necessary oxidation of wort being effected also during the operation] with all possible rapidity, especially during the summer months, in order to prevent its taking any injury from germs heating in the atmosphere, since such germs find in albuminous substances, such as malt wort, a suitable medium for their development.
We continued our inspection of the fermenting department. From what we have already witnessed in the two principal breweries in Bristol, the first object of their proprietors seems to have been to set up a department of science. To this end they have erected laboratories, for the use of their brewers, and established libraries of books containing the accumulated wisdom of savants. The result has been that they have been able to compete most successfully with the productions of Burton-on-Trent and Edinburgh.
The ale produced by the brewer, nowadays, must be an agreeable malt wine, suited to the palate of his customers and the district. As a matter of fact, the subject of beer has become one of practical importance; knowledge in the art has increased, and there never was a time when the process of brewing pure and wholesome beer attracted so much attention, thought and study.
We were led to make these remarks by being shown into the laboratory adjoining Mr. Leader's office, which is not only a large and lofty place but is most replete in its equipments. It is situated on the first floor of the office building and contains complete apparatus for illustrating the doctrines of science connected with ale brewing.
Crossing an enclosed bridge, from the brewhouse, we entered the Great Tun Room, 140 feet long, situated in the right wing of the building. It is a lofty apartment, as clean as a new pin, containing fourteen fermenting rounds, each holding from seventy to eighty-five barrels. From the doorway these vessels have a very striking effect, being all massively constructed of oak and bound with neatly painted hoops. They all possess movable attemperators, for carrying off the redundant heat. Over the top of the tuns, and running their entire length, are four rows of iron pipes through which, during the summer, a stream of brine supplied from the huge freezing machines described hereafter, is circulated night and day. The pipes are thus kept constantly in a frozen condition, and the room by their means maintained at a low temperature even in the hottest days, enabling the brewery to produce "October" beers at Midsummer.
The ventilation of this beautiful tun room is also most perfect and easily controlled. Pasteur has proved that "alcoholic fermentation is a chemical action connected with the vegetable life of cells" which, in the absence of free oxygen, live by withdrawing it from such substances as the sugar of malt-wort, and that fermentation is "life without air." The yeast of beer, of which there are many varieties, when examined with a powerful microscope, is seen to consist of cells, circular or ovoid in appearance. Malt-wort furnishes a suitable medium for their life and growth.
On the addition to the cooled wort of a quantity of yeast proportionate to the weight of wort to be fermented, the cells of which it is composed begin, in a few hours after immersion, to multiply at the expense of the albuminous and saccharine substances of the wort by a process of budding, and on the withdrawal of oxygen from its sugar-bodies [the free oxygen of the wort being first absorbed] the latter are decomposed into alcohol and carbonic acid, with small quantities of other substances. Much heat is developed during the decomposition, which requires to be carefully controlled by the brewer, and hence the provision by Messrs. Garton of the costly and splendid machinery for the regulation of the temperature in this room, which we have attempted to describe.
Adjoining this there is another fermenting room, containing four more of these capacious "rounds," similarly arranged, and each containing seventy-five barrels. The galleries round the fermenting tuns, in both fermenting rooms, are all boxed in to a height of 6 feet, just above the brine pipes, so as to enclose them with a pathway in front, and to retain the cold air falling upon them from the frozen pipes above.
The yeast used for the fermentation in this brewery is microscopically tested every day. It is quite impossible to produce a perfect and effectual fermentation without good yeast, hence its quality receives the most minute scrutiny.
We next entered the lower fermenting or cleansing room, a magnificent apartment in the form of the letter L, the angle running along at the end of the fermenting rooms. Some idea of its extent may be imagined when we state that it is 150 feet in length, 35 feet in width, and is lighted by twenty lofty windows. It contains eleven cleansing vessels, capacious and shallow, each holding from 70 to 220 barrels. They contain fixed copper attemperators, and over head six rows of 4-inch brine pipes, braced together, to keep the room cool during the warm weather, as in the great tun"room previously described. Each vessel, after being used, is cleaned with scalding water. The process of "cleansing," or separation of the yeast from the finished beer, is an important and delicate one, requiring the constant use of the thermometer, as the brewer takes great care that cleansing shall not commence too soon for strength and quality of the goods. The cleansing is allowed to take place at the meridian stage of the fermenting fluid, and the brewer's object is then to reduce the heat and allay the fermentation. This being accomplished, the lighter yeast, which rises to the surface, is skimmed off, the heavier yeast descends to the bottom, and fermentation gradually declines as the cleansing draws to a conclusion.
Bearing round to the left, we followed our guide down some steps leading into the yeast-house, unlike any we have seen in our travels, and which presented a singularly clean appearance. The walls are entirely coated with white enamel, the floor asphalted throughout and provided with sluices, cut along the centre, for daily flooding down. Placed along the walls are eight capacious slate tanks for collecting the store yeast from the cleansing vessels in the next room. As the slate tanks are placed on a lower floor this operation is easily and ingeniously carried out through openings in the walls constructed over each yeast tank. It is accomplished by means of broad, flat, detachable wooden shoots, which are made to fit on the exact level of the cleansing backs, and slant down through the wall openings into the yeast tanks. As the yeast is sliced off the top of the vessels so it continuously discharges itself into the store tanks. Besides these there are three more slate yeast tanks under the gallery in the tun room, which we entered from the yeast-house. Here we observed that the rounds rest on massive iron columns, and that they are discharged by a large copper main which conveys the beer across to the cleansing vessels just visited. This room is also maintained at a very low temperature during the summer months by means of an extensive set of four-inch brine pipes, like those previously referred to, and which are fixed above the yeast tanks.
Recalling to mind what has already been described, it will be seen that the beer has been successfully deprived of its yeast and is now ready for the customer's barrels. The racking department, comprising the No. 1 and No. 2 racking cellars, to which our visit next led us, is under the fermenting room. It occupies two great apartments, having brick walls and paved with stone, capable of storing 3,000 barrels. Here the beer is racked direct into the trade casks, or else into four vats placed on the floor of the house. As we walked through the place a busy scene was presented on every side. Here, a number of men were busy filling the barrels; there, others rolling them away into the stores, or to the loading-out shed, whilst several were depositing them on to the steam lift where they swiftly disappeared from view. In a recess, at one end, is the place where finings are manufactured, an article of considerable importance, and almost indispensable to brewers of light delicate ales, which are required to be got quickly into brilliant condition. It is prepared with isinglass of fine quality.
Crossing the courtyard we entered the No. 3 beer cellar. Along the walls are laid pipes through which in winter flows hot water, to keep the store at a regular temperature. At the far end of the building, divided by a brick wall, there is a neatly fitted up sampling room, for the use of customers. Parallel with the range of buildings there is another cellar containing capacious vats for storing old beer. On either side of the broad alley, some 300 feet long, which divides the brewery, are stored a portion of the stock ales. From this alley a flight of stone steps, by the side of the steam lift, leads to the cellars below the brewhouse, where is housed a large stock of beer of all kinds. After walking through these subterraneous cellars we visited the "bulk sampling office" and cellar, occupying the whole basement of the office building. Here it is that a sample cask of every gyle is kept for reference and examination, and also for customers' inspection.
The shipping cellars, as they arc called, are situated opposite the entrance to this place and adjoin the loading-out stage; they are used for beers to be sent to distant parts of the country.
We next bent our steps to the principal cask-washing department, adjacent to the racking rooms. It consists of a large yard, 70 feet square, covered by a series of roofs. On one side are to be seen four revolving cask-washing machines, each holding several barrels, these are most effectual in operation and thoroughly rinse the casks. At the side of them, and laid along the pavement, is a row of nozzles protruding from pipes, which are for blowing cold air into the casks after they have been washed and steamed. Here also to be seen is our old friend the "Lord Mayor," or cask-measuring machine, also the branding furnace and a capacious hot-liquor tank.
After this we passed through a shed into the large yard, at the rear of the brewery, which is the place where the huge drays, waggons and carts, are drawn up at night. Near the gateway, leading into Lawrence Hill, there is an enclosure where empty casks are received from the railways and public-houses in the city. At the checking desk a clerk takes the number of every cask as it is delivered into the yard, entering them in a book, which latter is sent to the cask-office daily. There are sheds with tiled roofs along one side of the yard, some used for storing the barrels, others for repairing them. It is a practice, in this brewery, to unhead every cask that has the slightest smell, and two coopers are kept occupied at this work all day. Adjoining the unheading shed is another, where these unheaded barrels are scrubbed inside and out; and opposite there is another place where casks are steamed. Here are to be seen five steaming frames, which are capable of blowing sixty casks at one time. There is also a similar frame for conveying boiling water into the casks, the apparatus, in this case, being above instead of below the barrels. In some breweries that we have visited, hot water is simply put into the casks to cleanse them, but here, by means of movable steam piped, projecting into the barrels, the water is made to boil therein for some time, making them perfectly sweet.
One of the undeviating rules in Garton's brewery, and which is carried out with great strictness and care, is to observe the greatest cleanliness in every part of the process. The casks, in which beer is conveyed from the brewery to customers, are especially attended to in this respect; the boiling and steaming we have described being admirably arranged to carry out the cleansing process in a most efficient manner.
In the washing yard there is a carpenters' and joiners' loft, also an engineers' shop, a stave store, and a shed for the circular saw' the firm carry out all the repairs on the premises. Extending some distance up the hill, beyond this yard, there is a long row of houses, the property of the firm, which must shortly be pulled down to enable the firm to enlarge the brewery.
We next visited the new cooperage and beer stores, situated across the Easton Road, and lately acquired by the firm. The floor of the cooperage is divided off into cask-repairing and manufacturing shops, where twelve coopers are constantly employed. At the eastern end, are stores for hoops, timber, and staves.
On our way back to the brewery we took a peep at the stable buildings, also situated on this side of the road. They contain commodious stalls and loose boxes, fodder and hay lofts, and there is a dwelling house for the head stable-keeper. The chaff cutting is performed by steam machinery in a house adjacent to the dray yard. Returning to the brewery we visited the empty cask store adjacent to the fermenting rooms, and where clean barrels - hold and new - are kept ready to be sent to the racking department. It also contains store bins for bungs, shives, corks, etc. Over the bridge that connects the two parts of the building, are two cast-iron liquor tanks of 300 barrels content, which are used for collecting waste water to be utilised for cask washing. The hop room is situated over the fermenting room, and is most conveniently placed for supplying the coppers.
Our next visit was to the ice-machine house, situated eastward of the No. 4 store cellar. It is an extensive well-lighted building, with bare white walls, rising to a height of 40 feet, and its severe simplicity strikes the beholder as he enters. It contains two Pontifex Patent Ammonia Absorption Refrigerating Machines, capable of producing nine and fifteen tons of ice respectively every twenty-four hours. The principle upon which ice machines are constructed is that of producing cold by the evaporation of a volatile liquid under a very low pressure, or approximately in vacuo, the vapour produced being subsequently condensed, and the liquid thus obtained re-evaporated, and so on, continually.
This house, with its ice-machines and accompanying steam power and vessels, cost the firm nearly £5,000 to complete. In the same building we were shown the main steam engine, which drives the machinery in the brewery, and works a powerful set of three-throw liquor pumps. The boiler shed is immediately adjacent, and contains three Lancashire boilers, each 25 feet by 7 feet. In the adjoining shed there is a donkey pump of four horse-power for feeding these boilers, and opposite, a steam engine for working the cask-lifts, etc. Before completing our tour of the establishment we made a circuit of the offices, which, as before stated, are located in the lofty and handsome detached building, which fronts the brewery. The ground floor is mostly occupied by the spacious counting house, neatly and most substantially fitted up with desks to seat fifteen clerks. It contains also a waiting room, a grains sale office, and a carter's tally room. From the centre of the floor rises a long staircase which leads up to the partners' private suite of rooms, Mr. Leader's office, and the laboratory. The topmost floor is utilised for a stationery stock room and office stores. It also contains the great turret clock, with its fine bells chiming the quarters and hours, a valuable monitor to the whole district. The brewer's room, situated over the narrow roadway, and joining the two buildings of the brewery, next received our attention. It is most conveniently arranged and possesses easy communication with all parts of the brewery. Here we were shown samples of the various kinds of beer brewed in the establishment. Also a sample of porter and stout, and one of the special products of the brewery - i.e., a pale ale of a high class, similar to those of Burton-on-Trent.
The national beverage is brewed by this firm with such care, and turned out in such quantity, that its fame has spread far and wide. We sampled several brewings of the pale and bitter ales; the former we found a light, delicious and delicate ale, the latter a more exhilarating beverage. We were particularly impressed by the quality of the firm's "XX Bitter Ale," which we found aromatic in flavour, a brisk tonic and smooth to the palate, and we certainly wondered how such beer could be sold at a shilling a gallon. This ale and the Goldne Ale, now so widely known and appreciated, is brewed by the firm specially for private families, and in view of its excellence, the extensive private trade done by the brewery in these specialities is no matter for surprise.
The firm have branch establishments at Exeter, Birmingham, Torquay, Cheltenham, Plymouth, Southampton, and other towns, and buying agents in almost every town of importance in England and Wales. It is worthy of notice that Messrs. Garton & Co. obtained the International Prize Medal at the Exhibition of 1862, in London, "for the great excellence of their ales," and were the only firm in England, except Messrs. Bass and Allsopp, who obtained it.
The sole partners, in this enterprising firm, are Charles Garton, Esq., of The Limes, Cheltenham Road, and William Proctor Baker, Esq., Broomwell House, Brislington, near Bristol. About a hundred and forty persons are employed in the brewery and offices, and a number of travellers and collectors for out-door work.
Alder Stores, Winchcombe Street, Cheltenham
Bath Road Stores, Bath Road, Cheltenham
Beaufort Hunt, Union Street, Cheltenham
Black Horse Inn, Great Torrington
Brighton Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham
Cotswold Stores, Suffolk Road, Cheltenham
Drawbridge Hotel, Quayside, Bristol
Golden Heart, High Street, Cheltenham
Grapes Hotel, Rounceval Street, Chipping Sodbury
King William Vaults, Bath Road, Cheltenham
Lamb and Flag, Henbury, Bristol
London Inn, Morchard Bishop, near Crediton
Mount Pleasant Inn, Winchcombe St., Cheltenham
New Inn, Hewlett Road, Cheltenham
Old Swan Hotel, High Street, Cheltenham
Porter Stores, Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury
Queen's Head, High Street, Cinderford
Railway Inn, Hill Street, Lydney
Redfield Inn, Church Road, St. George, Bristol
Rifleman's Arms, Hill Street, Lydney
Rising Sun Inn, Moseley Green, near Lydney
Rock Inn, Hillersland, near Coleford
Shakespeare Inn, High Street, Cheltenham
Swan Hotel, High Street, Thornbury
Tanner's Arms, Bishop Street, St. George, Bristol
Traveller's Rest, Aylburton, near Lydney
White Horse, Fore Street, Cullompton
"Mr. Charles Garton died at his residence, The Limes, Cheltenham Road, yesterday, in his 67th year. Mr. Garston had been in failing health
for some three or four years. It was on that account, to the regret of a large circle of friends, that he felt compelled to retire from public life; and the
announcement of his death will be received with unfeigned sorrow. Mr. Garton was widely known outside Bristol in connection with the large brewery which bears his name;
but in Bristol, besides being regarded as a just and generous employer and a kindly-hearted citizen, he was highly esteemed as a conscientious public servant. For
many years he served St. Philip's in the offices of churchwarden, poor-law guardian, and town councillor. He became a member of the Barton Regis Board of
Guardians in 1875, and in course of time was elected a vice-chairman and finally [in 1887] chairman in succession to Mr. John Yalland, a position which he
filled with dignity and credit for two years, when the state of his health compelled him to retire. Early in 1883 he was selected as the Liberal candidate for St.
Philip's North, and took the seat in the Town Council vacated by the death of Mr. Algernon Warren. In November of that year he had to seek re-election, and was
opposed by Mr. F. Gilmore Barnett, who came forward on independent grounds. Mr. Garton's popularity won him an easy victory, but in 1886 Mr. Barnett [having
failed again in 1884] persuaded the ward to prefer him, and for a year Mr. Garton was not seen in the gilded chamber. He returned, however, in November, 1887, in
spite of the fact, so distasteful to many St. Philippians, that he was understood to have become a Liberal Unionist. Having served the three years, Mr. Garton declined
re-election, and his place was taken by Dr. Cunningham. Mr. Garton was for some years a District Commissioner. He was a good man of business, with a full share of
common sense, and a man of unvarying courtesy. He had an inventive turn of mind, and patented a mashing machine for which he obtained the Prize Medal at the
International Exhibition at Dijon, in 1866. His firm obtained the International Prize Medal at the Exhibition of 1862 in London. "for the great excellence of their
ales," and were the only firm in England, except Messrs. Bass and Allsopp, who obtained such distinction at that Exhibition. He suffered much from bronchitis, and
at the time of his death, had also an inflammation of the lungs. Mrs. Garton died but recently, and there are now left five daughters, three of whom are married."
"Mr, Charles Garton"
Bristol Times and Mirror : January 27th 1892 Page 8
"Yesterday afternoon, as a nurse was taking the children of Mr. Charles Garton, of the Lawrence Hill brewery, for an airing in a perambulator,
load of coal turned a corner on the Easton Road rather suddenly, and upset the perambulator. The children were thrown into the road, and the wheel of the cart passed over
the leg of the second child, aged five years, crushing it severely. The injured child was immediately conveyed home, and Mr. Parsons, surgeon, Old Market Street, and Dr.
Green, of Berkeley Square, were sent for and promptly attended, when it was found that all the muscles of the leg were severed and the bone broken. It is feared that
amputation will be necessary."
"Serious Accident To A Child"
Western Daily Press : September 18th 1861 Page 2
"Yesterday morning, shortly before six o'clock, as P.C.248 was proceeding on his rounds, he observed smoke issuing from the brewery
of Messrs. Garton and Co., situated at the bottom of Easton Road and Lawrence Hill. The brewery, as most of our readers are aware, has lately undergone extensive
alteratious, and it was in the newly-erected part of the premises, which abut upon Easton Road, where the fire was discovered. The constable immediately aroused
Mr. Charles Garton, who resides on the premises, and at once sent to the West Street Police Station for assistance. Intelligence of the fire was at once telegraphed
to the Central Station, and the various fire brigades were apprised of it. They were speedily upon the spot, but in the interval Mr. Charles Garton and several
constables had succeeded in getting the mastery over the flames by means of the private hose connected with the brewery, but we regret to learn that in doing so Mr.
Charles Garton met with accident, which at the time it was thought would prove fatal. Mr. Garton was walking through one of the lofts for the purpose of getting at
the seat of the fire, and accidentally fell through a trap in the floor a distance of some 30 or 40 feet. He was picked up and carried into his dwelling-house,
and medical aid was sent for. Dr. Parsons and three other medical gentlemen quickly arrived, and all that professional skill could suggest was done for the sufferer.
Upon inquiring last night we were informed that the unfortunate gentleman was still lying in a most precarious state, but little hopes being given of his recovery.
The fire must have originated from the over-heating of one of the drying kilns, which was left apparently safe on Saturday evening as late as eight o'clock.
The firm are not insured for that part of the property, but we understand that the proprietors intended to insure it in the course of few days."
"Fire At Lawrence Hill Brewery"
Western Daily Press : January 2nd 1865 Page 2
"Yesterday the whole of the men employed by Messrs. Garton and Co., of the Lawrence Hill Brewery, Bristol, together with their wives, were
treated by their employers to an outing to Weston-super-Mare. After rambling about the town the party joined in a dance on the green plots in front of the
esplanades, after which they adjourned to the Bristol and Exeter refreshment rooms and partook of tea. Later in the evening the party returned to Bristol, after having
spent a most pleasant day."
"Treat To Workpeople"
Western Daily Press : June 13th 1868 Page 3