top of page

The Maltings, High Street

Grade II, listed 28th August 2007
Listing Description

Former brewery, empty at the time of inspection. c.1860 with additions of 1884 and the early C20. Built for William Sharpe. Red brick with moulded brick and stone dressings and Welsh slate roof coverings, replaced in some areas with C20 corrugated sheeting.
PLAN: T-shaped complex with tower brewery and fermentation building forming the central range, and a linked range of floor maltings, malt kiln, Union Room and offices to the north-east.
EXTERIORS: The TOWER BREWERY, incorporating the former ENGINE ROOM and attached FERMENTATION ROOMS forms the centrepiece of the complex. The brewery tower is square on plan, and of 4 storeys and attics with an attached tall 3-storeyed fermentation building to the right. The tower has shallow segmental arch-headed windows to its gabled front elevation, floors 2, 3 and 4 with paired windows, the ground floor with a taller window to the right, and a doorway set at a lower level to the left. All of the window frames are 3 over 3 pane sashes with curved heads. The attic floor has an opening to the centre of the gable apex with a boarded shutter. To the centre of the ridge, is a decorative ventilation louvre with shallow pyramidal roof. Between floors 3 and 4 and floor 4 and the attic are dark painted bands, the lower with white lettering which reads 'THE MALTINGS'. The left side elevation has 2 ground floor windows, a first floor taking-in door set below a gable hoist canopy carried on angled struts rising from wall corbels. Above the canopy are 2 further openings, that to the attic floor blocked. To the rear, at the south-west corner is an integral truncated tapered brick chimney to the former engine room. Fermentation rooms attached to right of tower of 4 bays with altered central ground floor area incorporating C20 metal stair. Ground, first and second floors retain arch-headed window openings, some blocked. Enlarged upper floor windows have flat heads set just below dentilled eaves course. Rear elevation now obscured by C20 concrete additions. FLOOR MALTINGS with attached MALT KILN at the south-west end of 3 storeys and attics above cellars. The kiln has a tall pyramidal roof with an apex louvre and shallow arch-headed windows to the upper floor of its 3 exposed elevations. Lower openings have been altered and enlarged. The floor maltings is of 3 storeys above cellars and 7 bays, with low, shallow arch-headed openings to the front and rear walls to ventilate the malting floors. The openings have some surviving multi-pane cast iron frames with opening lights. To the north-east, the attached UNION ROOM and OFFICES, the Union Room a 5-bay, 2 storied building with attic and basement levels. The north-west elevation has basement, ground and first floor window openings, those to the upper 2 floors with segmental arched heads and 3 over 3 pane sash windows. To the centre of the upper floor is a taking-in doorway, and above this, a further doorway set within a gabled dormer. A decorative stepped eaves band is returned at both gable ends. The gable ends have single windows to the gable apexes, the gable to the street elevation additionally with 3 first floor windows. The offices are contained within a triple gabled single-storied projection from the northeastern gable of the Union Room onto the street frontage. The office range has a blind, keyed semicircular arch to each gable apex, below which are inserted C20 shop display windows.
INTERIORS: All interiors are now devoid of original fixtures and fittings, but all retain original working floors. The malt kiln retains an original roof structure, and the floors within the maltings retain tile floor coverings and a central arcade of cast-iron columns. At the north-east end of the floor maltings, the first floor is supported by a web of flanged metal beams within which are set projecting circular plates. It seems likely that this area housed the barley steep, where grain was soaked prior to spreading on the malting floors. Within the Union Room, tall cast iron columns support timber cross beams, some with metal plates to their lower faces. The roof structure is designed to create an open attic floor, with an underboarded 4 purlin roof carried on wide collar beam trusses, with low angle-braced posts at the junction of the principal rafters and the collar beams. The latter support strutted king posts, above which the roof is further stiffened on both sides by longitudinal timber plates notched over the collar beams, which support diagonal braces rising to the uppermost tier of purlins. The Union Room cellar ceiling is formed from shallow brick jack arches supported on low cast-iron columns.
HISTORY: The complex is thought to have been developed in the 1860's when William Sharpe established a small brewery to the rear of the Duke of York public house on the High Street in Sileby. The brewery was enlarged in the 1880s with the addition of the floor maltings and the Union Room, equipped, according to sale details of 1906 with `6 sets of unions with attemporators in casks and boxes on the Burton principle' The Burton principle was a reference to a recirculating fermentation system known as the Burton Union, practised in Burton-upon-Trent breweries from the 1830s. The Union system consisted of a row of casks connected to a common trough by way of a series of pipes. The purpose of the Union system was to allow excess yeast foam to be expelled from the casks. Any expelled beer could be separated from the wasted yeast, allowing it to flow back into the casks to continue fermentation. The brewery remained operational until the late 1920s, but the floor maltings remained in use for a longer period. The 1906 sale plan and details depict the fully developed brewery complex with stabling, bottling plant, cooperage and storage buildings as well as the main process buildings which survive today.
SOURCES: Unpublished sale particulars for the Sileby Brewery, with plans and conditions of sale, 1906.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:- The former brewery now known as The Maltings at Sileby is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:- (1) It is a nationally-rare surviving example of a small-scale mid-C19 brewery with an integral floor maltings; (2) It retains well-preserved examples of the key process buildings associated with the brewing process; (3) The individual buildings are distinctive in character and appearance, and retain significant interior detail associated with their individual functions within the brewing process; (4) The buildings form a coherent ensemble of attached and functionally related buildings which also share common external architectural detailing.

bottom of page