|Kindsford Windmill Brewery||
This was at the premises at the corner of Union Road, later renamed Coombe Valley Road, the premises was later Palmer's and then, until 1978, Jenkins and Pain's coachworks. Now the site of Kingsford Court Flats.
Alfred Kingsford was mentioned in Pigot's Directory 1832.
At the beginning of 1834, the estate of the then deceased Mr William Kingsford, the elder, was being disposed of, as a bankrupt, (see Bell Family and Commercial Hotel, Sandwich) and his property on the west side of the London Road is particularly described as extending from Bartholomew Terrace up to a 40ft. wide plot adjoining Buckland Brewery, which was "intended to form an opening into Buckland Bottom." That definitely fixes the date of the origin of Union Road. The whole of the roadside land, from the brewery wall down to below where the old Wesleyan chapel was subsequently built, was put on the market as building land by Mr Charles Lamb, auctioneer, in February, 1834. He, however, failed to dispose of it, and a month later there was a much fuller announcement of the intended sale of Mr William Kingsford's land on the south side of Buckland Bottom, comprising over 130 acres, in 31 lots.
From the description it appeared that from the brewery wall down to Erith Place was a farmhouse and farmyard, which was then very ancient. The farmhouse, occupied by Mr Finn, the steward, stood just where the Fountain Inn (Sportsman) now is, and on a part of the site of Swiss Cottages there was a farm labourer's cottage, and close to it, fronting the main road, was a large barn, which was at that time demolished. There were other farm buildings in the rear, surviving well into the 20th century, having their approach from Union Road. The 130 acres of land then sold comprised the part known as Chapel Mount, so named after the old lepers' chapel. The other land was that later occupied by George Street, Erith Street and Victoria Street, and also extending up the south side of the valley as far as the boundary of Poulton. At the back of the farm there was a brickfield, then carried on by Mr John Finnis, some remains of which used to be seen in front of Edgar Road, but it has mostly been covered by the railway. A large part of the land in Buckland Bottom, including the farmyard, was purchased by Mr George Hatton Loud. The farmyard subsequently became an attractive garden owned by a Miss Loud.
Information taken from John Bavington-Jones' book "A Perambulation of the Town, Port and Fortress of Dover", 1906. (Reprint in The Dover Express, Friday 20th March, 1981.)
The Buckland Windmill Brewery was finally demolished in 1983 and the following photographs were taken by Barry Smith shortly before the demolition.
Further photos have been kindly supplied by Jan Pedersen
The area is now occupied by Kingsford Court Flats and below is a transcript of Lt-Colonel J Kingsford-Carson (Ret'd) speech for the opening day of the flats. (1989).
Your Worship, Lady Mayoress, Mr McCarthy, Ladies & Gentlemen.
May I thank first the HYDE HOUSING ASSOCIATION for giving me the privilege of contributing in a small way towards this happy occasion.
We accepted this kind invitation with some trepidation - it was largely through the efforts of Mrs MARY RILEY and Mrs JANICE WAIN that my wife & I are here and delighted to be with you today.
Secondly, congratulations to those residents who must have spent considerable time & effort researching this site at BUCKLAND ably assisted by Bob Hollingsbee & Mr Harman I understand. For those not involved in this exercise, please bear with me.
For several generations my family ran what was locally known as the WINDMILL BREWERY founded precisely 160 years ago in 1829 by the first FLAVIUS KINGSFORD. He occupied the site which included the windmill built about 1798.
When my ancestor started up the BUCKLAND BREWERY in 1829 I can find no reference to his sources of malting barley or hops. One would have expected them to have come from local farms in Kent. He had a relative, a MALTSTER in Canterbury who may have helped initially.
My Great-Great-Grandfather was born at ASH in Oct. 1761. His Father owned the windmill there & for a time FLAVIUS had been a farmer & miller at BULWARK HILL, so he was fully aware of 'wind-power' -- perhaps in this age of pollution we might make more use of it & I was delighted to see in yesterday's TELEGRAPH that the wind-power revolution was growing & the CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY was seeking 100 Welsh hill farmers in order to construct wind driven generators - incidentally, the Danish firm who is advising them is one I worked for over 17 yrs before finally retiring!
Recently I read in an old Railway Guidebook, that by 1862 my Great-Grandfather ALFRED who had by then taken over, imported through the port... 2,302,169 quarters of foreign barley and no less than 8,442 tons of hops!
Since there were other breweries in Dover at the time, I can only conclude that the good people of this Town must have had an almighty thirst! (My Mother, born down the road at Charlton Place, once told me that she was given small beer for breakfast as a child!)
In those days the windmill was used for pumping water & I understand that one of the wells was discovered when this site was cleared in order to build these flats. And in view of the quantities of barley & hops, persistently its winch gear was used to haul stores to the upper level of the building. (You may like to see an early watercolour picture I have brought down today).
Regrettably, many years before arrived on the scene, my Grandfather had sold this establishment and I have been unable to sample the product!
Some of the older members of my audience may recall "KENTS BEST" the brews produced by Geo. Beer & Rigden at Faversham. My Grandfather, the 2nd FLAVIUS, used to say that old George Beer drove up in his pony & trap one day to negotiate the sale of the pubs - the sale went through & Grandfather went off to his other brewery at LAYCOCK in Wiltshire before finally retiring to Hill Crest, Evesham, where I spent some very happy years of my childhood with him.
Undoubtedly my ancestors would highly approve of the purpose to which this old site has been devoted today.
I think particularly of ALFRED KINGSFORD for not only did he build "Woodside" at the bottom of Whitfield Hill, but as a fine Christian man, greatly assisted during 1840 with the erection of the old SALEM BAPTIST CHAPEL here in Dover. I notice that this fact was recorded as recently as February, 1983 in your local press. (Incidentally, the Victorian brewing families seem to have been extremely generous when it came to the building of many places of worship; on occasions my wife & I attend EMMANUAL in South Croydon, built as a result of the generosity of Miss WATNEY no less, of Watney Coombe & Reid). You may draw whatever inferences you like!
Enough of family history.
In this country today, many enjoy a high material standard of living yet others, including many pensioners, are far less fortunate.
I know from personal experience how difficult life can be after retirement with the problems of adjustment to changed circumstances, both mental as well as material.
During my lifetime the whole pattern of society has changed; no longer have we the ability - nor in many cases the desire - to accommodate the older members of our family within the close & intimate circle of our own home, where in the past, the grandchildren grew up to respect old age, to benefit from the experience & wisdom which the older folk could contribute to their lives, and to learn consideration for those far less active than themselves. (One has only to look at the horrific figures today of crimes committed against the elderly, to appreciate what has happened in our society.)
Fortunately on the other side of the coin, an Association such as HYDE exists to meet the economic challenge faced by elderly people, home-owners who having retired wish to retain their independence & pride in a place of their own albeit within a secure & friendly environment - I find this a tremendous achievement!
One sad reflection upon the times we live in. Only last week the National press reported that no less than 4,000 'secure' homes for elderly people remain unoccupied. There are folk who desperately wish to move but cannot because of the state of the housing market; they are unable to dispose of their present homes many of which could be occupied by those just starting out in life.
This state of affairs calls into question the ability of the so-called 'market forces' to meet the needs of the old and the young within our society.
May I conclude by wishing everyone who resides here, much happiness & contentment.
In the future, may they recall today with satisfaction and I hope, with gratitude to those who had the foresight to build KINGSFORD COURT.
Thank you once again for inviting us here today.
If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-