Cheers to Crown Ales: Crown Brewing Company Ltd archive

We were recently contacted by the archivist from Cumbria Archive Service to ask if we would be able to take in a hefty couple of share members’ ledgers relating to the Crown Brewing Company of Bury; they were duly delivered to us by courier and we added them to our existing collection of the company’s records. All that ale must have made the clerks who handled these ledgers super strong i’th’ arm! These volumes are seriously weighty!

Share and members’ ledgers for The Crown Brewing Compnay

The company was registered in 1861 as the Bury Co-operative Brewing & Distilling Company Ltd, changing its name to the Crown Brewing Co. in 1866.

The brewery and its offices were located in Rochdale Road, Bury.

Newspaper article regarding the demolition of premises on Rochdale Rd, Bury. 1967

The company was acquired by Dutton’s of Blackburn in 1959, at which point it controlled some 127 tied houses*.

Lists of tied houses

Dutton’s in turn was taken over by Whitbread’s in 1964.

The records we hold cover the period up to 1964 and were originally held by the Whitbread Group Archives. The company dispersed their archives in 2001 – we received records relating to Crown Brewing Co and also Richard Seed & Co Ltd, brewers of Radcliffe. Cumbria archives must have received the Crown Brewing share members’ ledgers from Whitbread during the transfers.

Together these collections hold a substantial amount of fascinating information charting the history of the brewing industry in Bury and Radcliffe. Below is just some of the material from both collections.

Transfer of mortgage Richard Seed of Blackpool, William Seed of Whitefield and John Lord of Walsall

Minute Book

When Dutton’s took over in 1959, Crown was the only remaining brewery in Bury and employed more than 60 workers. A report in the Bury Times on 8th August 1959 stated that some of the workers would be offered positions by Dutton’s but some, sadly, would have no job at all. A compensation payment of £25,000 was proposed by Dutton’s which would be distributed between the employees paying particular attention to workers with long service.

Documents relating to the takeover by Dutton’s

For a full listing please check out our archive catalogue – entering catalogue Ref BCB (for Crown) and BRS (for Richard Seed & Co.).

*a tied house is a public house required to buy at least some of its beer from a particular brewery or pub company. That is in contrast to a free house, which is able to choose the beers it stocks freely.


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4 Responses to Cheers to Crown Ales: Crown Brewing Company Ltd archive

  1. Patsy Green says:

    Richard Seed & Co Ltd Radcliff

    Good afternoon.

    I have just brought a small glass and just found out about it’s history. Would you like to see a photo of it. Or you may already have one.



    • buryculture says:

      Hello Patsy, I’m assuming it is a glass bottle with the Crown Brewing Logo? Or Richard Seed logo? We do not hold objects at the archives, only paper records. Bury Art Museum may already have one. It would be nice to see a photograph of the bottle though. Our direct email address is just attach the image to an email message, Thank you so much!

  2. Can I just ask if you are able to search records? I am doing the family history of the landlady of the Star & Garter 6 Moss St, Heywood, one of the Crown tied pubs. Margaret Tattersall was my great great grandmother. She was there 1880-1882 until her 1st husband Richard died on Valentines Day. I have seen that the owner in 1880 was William Maddox. Is it possible to see when this changed? I know that she married Maddox in 1884 and they ran the Shakespeare Hotel on Rochdale Rd and later the Robin Hood – though these were not Crown pubs.
    Many thanks Steph

  3. buryculture says:

    Hi Steph, our archives are inaccessible at present due to the pandemic. Have you checked the listings on our catalogue? If there is something you are interested in looking at you can make an appointment to view the item once we have reopened. News updates on re-opening will be on our main website:

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