THE HISTORY OF AMPTHILL BREWING

Morris & Company

The history of brewing in Ampthill is dominated by the Morris family. William Morris had a brewhouse on the north side of Church Street in the early C18th, but it was his grandson John Morris who made a very successful brewery business later in the century.

He built Avenue House (later home to Sir Albert Richardson) in 1790 and bought a brewery in Bury St Edmunds in 1792. His grandson, also a John, inherited the business which in about 1827 comprised two brewhouses, malt and barley houses and 50 public houses. However, the business collapsed in 1858. From the subsequent sale a stake was taken by John  Thomas Green of Woburn, who took over completely in 1881.

The Morris name was retained as Morris & Company until sold to JW Green of Luton in 1926. The sale included 72 public houses including the Albion, Old Sun and White Hart, all thankfully still open today. The brewery buildings were closed and were gradually dismantled over the next  10  years.

Other Breweries 

There had been other small breweries in Ampthill including Humphrey’s Brewery which was located in Church Street, next to Avenue House and owned the Old Sun. The brewery and pub were bought by John Morris in 1798; the brewery was demolished and the land used to enlarge Avenue House in 1819. In the early C19th there were also Burge’s brewery in Dunstable Street, The Cross Keys brewery in Bedford Street and Jones’ Brewery in Woburn Street – all had ceased operation by 1847.