Page Updated:- Wednesday, 26 April, 2023.





Earl Street


Fremlins picture in frame

Above picture kindly sent by Laura Williams.

Fremlins Brewery Dray 1887

Above photo, circa 1887, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fremlins Brewery 1888

Above photo, circa 1888, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fremlins, Maidstone circa 1897

Above picture circa 1897. Taken from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne.

Fremlins Brewery 1935

Above photo circa 1935, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fremlins 1935

Above photo, circa 1935, kindly sent by Jenny Midwinter.

Fremlins Brewery elephant visit 1960

Above photo, circa 1960, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fremlins Brewery Dray 1960s

Above photo, circa 1960 kindly sent by Mark Anderson.

Fremlins, Maidstone circa 1970

Above picture circa 1970. Taken from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne.

Fremlins chimney 1957

Above photo kindly sent by Colin Walker who says "It was taken during repairs to the chimney c1957. My father and I carried out the work as steeplejacks."


The Pale Ale Brewery in Earl Street, Maidstone, dominated the riverside until 1981, when the fermenting block-the remaining sizeable building-was demolished. The brewhouse had been pulled down in 1976, four years after the cessation of brewing at Maidstone. Fremlins was the largest of the breweries in Kent; not only had it acquired several businesses in the County, but it had also cast its net further afield, taking over Adams' Brewery in Halstead, Essex in 1939 and Harris, Browne's Hadley Brewery at Barnet a year earlier. The Fremlins elephant lost its freedom in 1967, when Whitbread bought the business with its 800 or so licensed properties. (Photo by courtesy of Frank Baillie).

Ralph Fremlin established his brewery in 1861, when he acquired an almost derelict brewery from the executors of Mr John Heathorn. His beers were produced for the family trade only; he was a deeply religious man and his principles ruled out the purchase of public houses. To facilitate the sale of Fremlins ales and stouts, branch offices were opened in London and other towns in the South-east of England. Ralph Fremlin was a pioneer in the supply of beers in bottles and gallon jars, and the brewery's range of products was remarkable. At the time of the brewery's takeover in 1967, no less than nine bottled beers alone were produced.

(All info above from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne).


Fremlins bottle labels Fremlins Brown AleFremlins Light Ale Fremlins XXX AleFremlins County Ale Fremlins IPA Fremlins English AleFremline Kentish Beer
Fremlins Calendar 1897


From the Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 7 February, 1914.

Fremlins flue advert 1914

Above advert advertising a cure for flue.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 25 November, 1938. Price 1½d.


The accounts of Fremlin's Linited, Maidstone, to September 30th, show a trading account balance of £97,584. To this there is added balance of interest and dividends receivable and transfer fees, making £109,172. Directors' fees and interest payable amount to £10,848, leaving £98, 342.

Dividend of 7½ per cent, on preference stock to 30th September took £26,250 and £22,000 was written off buildings and goodwill leaving a balance of £50,074. Out of this sum provision has been made for income tax and National Defence Contribution and an interim dividend distributed of 3 per cent. on the ordinary stock. To the balance of £21,574 the amount brought forward from last account is added, making £57,197. Out of this sum the directors recommend a final dividend of 6 per cent. on the ordinary stock which will absorb £21,000, leaving £36,197 to be carried forward.

This dividend is 1 per cent. less than last year.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 20 May, 1949.


The 20th annual general meeting of Fremlins Ltd. Maidstone , was held at the “Royal Star Hotel,” Maidstone, on may 11th, Mr. Alfred C. Leney, J.P. (Chairman) presiding.

There were also present Mr. G. T. Cook and Major Claud Leney, D.S.O. (joint managing directors), Mr. T. S. Manning, J.P., Mr. F. N. Adams, the Hon Mister F. Remnant, Mr. D. E. Mosley, M.C., and Capt. The Rt. Hon. Lord Cornwallis, K.B.E., M.C. (director.)

The Chairman circulated statement read:- During the year we have lost an old and valued colleague by the death of Mr. Albert Loftus Brown. He had just retired after serving the Company for nearly 70 years, and his experience and advice was of the utmost value in our affairs. We express sympathy with his relatives.

As you will see from the report, Mr. Hills, after over 68 years' service with the Company, has expressed a desire to retire, and therefore does not offer himself for re-election as a director. He was general manager and managing director of this business for a period of over 25 years, and the Company owes him a great debt for his long and loyal service.

We wish him every happiness in his retirement, and I feel sure the shareholders will agree that he has most thoroughly earned the suggested pension of £500 per annum, which it is proposed to grant to him.

It is again my privilege to present to you the Accounts of this Company.

For various reasons to you in my report on the accounts of the year ending September 30th, 1947, this accounting period of 16 months, in order that all the accounts of the Fremlins Group may end on January 31st. This year the accounts have been re-arranged to conform to the requirements of the Companies Act, 1948.

There are many factors affecting the accounts which have to be considered before making a comparison between a 16-months' period and one of 12 months, e.g., the present accounts cover two Christmas seasons.

We have continued our endeavour to catch up with some of the war years arrears of repairs to our properties, a measure of such catching up being £33,000 taken out of provision for repairs and renewals. Provision for taxation has been made for the profits of the full 16 months, and £31,000 has been added in contingencies reserve.


The re-arrangement of the balance sheet shows that since the formation of the Company in 1928, nearly £175,000 has been written off the cost values of our properties plant and goodwill. You will notice that the Company has made substantial provision out of contingencies reserve for pensions and superannuation.

Two interim dividends, as four told in my last report, have been paid this year totalling 8 per cent., and the final dividend of 10 per cent. brings the total to 18 per cent. less tax for the 16 months, to compare with 1¼ per cent, for the previous 12 months. The carry-forward having been increased by £3,248 now stands at £58,658.

Our grateful thanks are due to all employees for their loyal services.

We have in continuation of our policy of interest in the general wellbeing of the staff and employees of the Company improved our pension police by introducing a non-contributory pension scheme for both staff and work-people, which also makes provision for widows in the event of death during service.

In addition, the employees receive holidays with pay, and a contribution by the Company is made in the case of any loss of income due to illness or accident.

Bearing in mind the urgent need of a well-defined country, all employees are encouraged to join the Territorial Forces and campings are allowed over and above the annual holiday without pecuniary loss to the employees.

As those of you who are acquainted with the areas in which the Company's properties are situated are aware every effort is made to maintain and improve the comfort and condition of all our houses, and to give the utmost service to our patrons. We therefore endorse the considerable misgiving voiced by the public concerning the trend of the present Government towards the State control of public houses, which, if effected, can only result in the loss of the present personal contact between producer and consumer which must be an inevitable outcome of State control.

Our appreciation of unfailing cooperation from the Company's tenants in our joint efforts to ensure the satisfaction of all our consumers, is acknowledged with sincere thanks.

We have already been informed of the purchase of the Company of the old established business of Messrs. George Beer and Rigden Limited. Your directors are confident the effect of the purchase will be to the general benefit of your Company.


In his remarks, the Chairman added:-

You will remember that an extra ordinary general meeting of the Company was held in March last when your sanction was asked for an increase in the borrowing powers of your Directors to a sum not exceeding two million pound. (£2,000,000)

This permission being granted the purchase of the whole of the limited preference and ordinary share capital of George Beer and Rigden Limited was duly completed by bank borrowings.

The question of funding this loan is now being considered by a committee of your directors and a statement will be published as soon as the matter is finally arranged.

I need only add that the directors will give due consideration to the possibility of giving preference in any issue that might be made to the then stockholders.


The name of Cornwallis is one that is honoured and revered throughout Kent and to a Kentish Company I am sure his Lordship needs no introduction from me.

Lord Cornwallis is a very busy man and we consider ourselves most fortunate in having obtained his acceptance to serve on the Board.

He is a man of many interests, and it is certain his advice and wise counsel will be an immense asset to the Company.

You have read in my statement and also the report of the directors that our old friend and colleague Mr. Henry Hills, has tendered his resignation as a director of the Company after an association of 68 years with this Company and its predecessors.

Your directors therefore propose to ask for your authority to pay him a retiring allowance of £500 per annum, and I have very much pleasure in proposing: “That the stockholders in general meeting and assembled authorise the Board of Directors to pay Mr. Henry Hills a pension of £500 per annum, to take effect as from this date.

The proposition was passed and the report adopted.

A stockholder proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, and directors and staff, and the meeting then terminated.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 28 May, 1965.


Fremlins 1965

Fremlins, the East Kent brewers - whose emblem is an elephant - came to the aid of Elephant Battery of the 40th Field Regiment, R.A. at Dover on Friday.

The battery was racing against three others to transport a 1½-ton field gun from Germany to Alexandra Palace, London.

Fremlins met the Gunners at the quayside - the men are seen aboard their lorry above - and carried the gun to London. But another team, from Tiger Battery, won the day after crossing from Hook of Holland to Harwich. And guess who helped Tiger Battery?


From an email received 16 January 2012

I came across this glass in Belgium.

Fremlins glass


David Cooper.

Tower was a bottled pale ale (maybe just County Ale?) produced by Fremlins for their bar at the International Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. Of course, being in Belgium, they had to have a distinctive glass to serve it in!

Picture taken from

Fremlins Truck 1926

The above photo show a Mr. S. Streeter in 1926 with his Fremlins truck.

From an email received April 2012

I purchased a vehicle in February 2012 and told it was registered to Fremlins Brewery in 1933. I would be grateful of any information or old photos of this car if possible.

Fremlins Austin 7

The vehicle concerned is a Austin 7 (Opal) PD Tourer 1933 registration number AKO771 blue in colour.

The vehicle was registered the Fremlins in 1933 and stayed with them for 40 years. It then went into disrepair and seems to have been restored around 1991.Only 4 owners from new, that's the only information at this stage I've found. I will keep in touch and send more photos soon.

Fremlins Austin 7


Paul Sleeman.


From an email sent 15 August, 2012.

Fremlins badge

The above kindly sent to me from Jorn Cooper, shows one of the Fremlin badges that were very popular in the 1960s.


From an email received, 27 January, 2013

Dear Sirs,

I have 3 Vintage Beer barrel branding irons, for sale, one of which is a FREMLINS, the others being MEW&Co and TENNANT, if you are interested. Please use photo.

Yours sincerely,

Nicola Barrett.

(I believe they must have been sold by now, but below is a photograph of what they looked like. Paul Skelton)

Branding Irons
From an email received 12 June 2014.

Hi, I saw your website and I thought you might be interested in these attached pictures of a bottle of Fremlin beer?

I found this bottle on a ship wreck that was sunk on 10th of June 1915 so it is now over 99 years of age. As you can see it has Fremlin as a raised marking just below the neck and Fremlin is also on the stopper.

Fremlins bottleFremlins bottle Fremlins bottle top

When the stopper was removed I could smell the yeast of the beer as well as a very strong smell of something that is well past its best before date. Is this the oldest bottle of Fremlin beer that still has its contents?

I hope this is of interest to you.


Ian Neville

From an email received 27 July 2014

Good evening

I bought this at a car boot sale today and thought you might like to see an image.

Kind regards mark.

Fremlins plateFremlins plate

From an email received 19 May 2015.

Fremlins matchbox 1960s

Above photo showing a matchbox circa 1960s.

Kindly sent by Marcus.

Fremlin matchbox

Above matchbox, date unknown, kindly sent by Rachael Taylor.

From an email received 27 May 2020.

Silver Matchbox holder

Above silver matchbox holder, kindly sent by Heinz Ziegler from germany.

From an email received 1 April 2015.

Fremlins sign


I found your email address when trying to find out more information about an old Fremlins sign I located over here in the US, Texas. I have attached a picture of the sign that I took, feel free to use it on your web site. Any ideas on rarity or value would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Scott Johnson.

Fremlins Elephant

Above photo showing the Fremlins Elephant.

From an email received 4 November 2015.

Fremlins Outmeal Stout sign

Above sign, I am informed by Steven Kimberley is currently (2015) adorning the wall of the "Merchants Inn," Rugby, Warwickshire.

From an email received 1 December 2015.

Fremlins Holland lager label

This beer was brewed and bottled in Holland!! Do you know which Brewery? Was it Amstel? During what time?


Ton van Oorschot


Sorry to say I didn't even know they brewed beer in Holland. Paul Skelton.

From an email received 4 January 2016.

John Ford recently purchased the following poster from an antique shop in Axminster and was wondering what date it would have been used. It has By Appointment to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on the Brewed To Perfection part.

Fremlins poster

I suggested some time between 1952 when our present Queen came to power and 1967 when Fremlins was taken over by Whitbread.

From an email received 6 May 2016.


I’m a Danish collector of Carlsberg beerlabels and local historian at the “Korsør Lokalhistorisk Arkiv.”

In my collection I have some beerlabels with the text “Bottled for Fremlings Ltd, Maidstone.”

Best regards,

Kay-Verner Chrisitansen.

Fremlins Carlsberg label

From an email received, 2 November 2016.

Fremlins elephant

Mark Hooper suggests that the elephant shown above may be the one that was hanging on the front of the brewery, her says it's about 24 inches long and about 18 inches high.


From an email received 15 December 2016.

We bought this crate at an auction yesterday and thought you might like a photo.

We love it and intend to use it to store beer!

John and Debs Hunt.

Fremlins CrateFremlins Crate

From an email received, 26 January, 2017.

Fremlins No 5 Pale Ale bottleFremlins No 5 Pale Ale bottle

Above photos from Michael Lucas.

From an email received 9 November 2017.

I have an old keg that I thought you might like to look at. It is branded 1770 (?) and over-branded by Fremlin's Brewery. The original writing is obscured but the first and last letters of the top line (town or brewer/distillery?) are still visible (I....D). So too are the first and last letters of the bottom line (town or brewer/distillery?) C....I?

Fremlings cask

I guess the strange thing is that I bought to keg at an auction in Queensland (Australia) a year or two ago. No idea what is was doing so far away from England but methinks it may be a rare item and perhaps it belongs in a museum somewhere?


Fremlings Cask
Fremlins barrel ring

Above photo showing a barrel ring found by Mark Anderson whilst metal detecting on a farm in Newchurch in October 2021.

Fremlins barrel

Above photo showing a complete barrel. From Mark Anderson.

Information received from Peter Moynihan, December 2017.

Fremlins Sentinel S3

In 1956 the Suez crisis in the Middle East created fuel shortages in Britain. Fremlins, eager to get the Three Star Bitter out to their pubs, contacted Wingham Engineering, to whom they contracted out their transport needs, to mobilise one of their ageing fleet of steam wagons for the job. Here we see Sentinel S3, number 9023, registration number AKR 958 mocked up for a publicity photo. She had been new to H. Sargeant & Sons, of Hougham, Kent in March 1934 before going to Wingham.


From an email received, 9 August 2018.

Fremlin's Lorry

Above Fremlins Steam Lorry, date and location unknown. Kindly sent by Garth Wyver. Could well be the same one as above.

From a Facebook page accessed 6 March 2020.

Liz Blackmore says she picked these tokens up a few years ago.

Fremlins Tokens

It appears they are probably hop tokens and that at the time Fremlins owned a hop farm.

From an email sent, 13 May 2020.

Fremlins beer towel 1980s

Above beer towel circa late 1980s, picked up by Ken Wilson in Denmark.

From an email sent, 16 June 2020.

Fremlins sign frontFremlins sign back

Above kindly sent by Chris Jenkins.

From an email received 21 March 2021.

I thought this might be of interest to you. The Cock and Blackbirds was in a village called Bulmer, in North Essex. It would have been taken in the early 1960's and features my father on the right and two uncles. I am sorry that it isn't of the greatest quality.

Cock and Blackbird sign 1960's Essex

I know that Fremlins bought out Adam's Brewery in Halstead which is about 10 miles from Bulmer.

The Cock and Blackbirds closed over 20 years ago and is now a private residence.

Nick Tatum-Rowe.

I hadn't actually realised that Fremlins had any tied houses so far North and outside of Kent. Paul Skelton.

From an email received 4 November 2021.

John Coomber was district manager for Fremlins in their Dover office which was situated in Castle street later moving up to the Maxton depot and then to the Hythe office of Fremlins/Mackesons and finally for Whitbread/Fremlins Faversham. He had joined Fremlins Maidstone as an office boy straight from school and moved to Dover as their representative. I thought you might be interested in his photograph note sent out during petrol restrictions.

Fremlins petrol restrictions

.... but like a good many others, owing to petrol restrictions, I can't get round now as often as I should like, and I don't want you to think I have forgotten you. I hope you are not suffering too much inconvenience in the present situation, and to help me will you please send in your orders early. Do remember that if I am wanted you have only got to ring me at Dover 269 and I will get there somehow.

Hoping to see you again before very long.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

John Coomber.


Regards Joyce Coomber (Australia)

From an email received 16 November 2021.

Fremlins Elephant Brand

Above picture kindly sent by Michael Grassart.

Fremlins Tower Ale clock

Above photo show the Fremlins Tower Ale clock, kindly sent by Roddy Hibaude. 2022.

Fremlins Tower Ale clock

Above photo show the Fremlins Tower Ale clock, kindly sent by Roddy Hibaude. 2022.

From an email received, 4 June 2022.

Dear Sir,

Please see attached photo of a 1937 Morris 8 van in Fremlins livery.

Fremlins Morris 8 1937

This van was donated to the Morris Register in the late 1960s, and was said to be “fairly derelict” at the time. The van has been restored, and is still in use by our club for publicity purposes.

We would be interested if anyone can fill in any of its previous history.


Tom Bourne.

From an email received, 12 March 2023.

Fremlins Cast-iron elephant

I wondered if you had seen one of these before? Its cast iron. The LX label is stuck to the rear.

Fremlins cast iron elephant base.

Do you know what this stands for? Not sure how old it is. I acquired it about 8 years.

Mark Bourner.

Sorry to say I know nothing about this, but LX could stand for 60, so could have been manufactured in 1960. If anyone knows anything please email me and I'll add the correspondence here.

From an email received 26 April 2023.

We were lucky to purchase a nice pub mirror yesterday in Franeker, Friesland, Netherlands.

Cheers, best regards and keep up the good work.

Job van Dijk

Fremlins Mirror


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-