LOCATION 9
 

 

THE FORMER BREWERY

The biggest business in Dawlish was the Ferris Steam Brewery and lemonade works covering both sides of the road (connected by overhead pipes) from 1817-1928.
The building on the south side contained the brewing section. In 1825, owing to ill health, John Till sold the brewery to local farmer Richard Brock of Botchill at an auction at the York Hotel (now the URC) on the Strand conducted by John Force of Exeter. The price was £1,650. His brother-in-law, Richard Ferris took it over and it became Ferris Brewery.

Richard Ferris II took over the brewery in 1838 and, to increase his sales of beer, started to purchase pubs in Dawlish to 'tie' them to his brewery. Apart from the Prince Albert, the first was in 1849 with the Royal Western (near the station), then The Brunswick Arms in 1855 followed shortly by The Country House (Smugglers Inn, Holcombe) in 1863, then a good handful in 1872, The Station Hotel in 1874 and The Teignmouth Inn in 1875.
In 1865, he had bought a lot of property in High St, including many cottages, an orchard and a wheelwright’s shop. These housed some of his workmen – maltsters including Sid Sanders, dray men and carters and labourers.
Just a few years after, Richard Ferris died in 1878 and his son, Richard Brock Ferris, took over.

In 1902, Brock was a1so a whiskey bonder and blender with his bonded warehouse in Teignmouth. He won prizes in France for his drinks for he not only brewed beer but also made lemonade, “the best in Devon. The recipe jealously guarded by the Ferris family and died with them” although it is said that he only drank mineral water from Torquay. He produced Oatmeal Stout which was considered better' than Guinness from Dublin. He continued to buy pubs and owned 28, when the brewery was sold to heavitree, who immediately closed down the business and trans¬ferred all brewing business to their site in Exeter. Brock died in 1932 with an estate of £75,000.