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Early Modern




Drinking scenes

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Evidence for a thriving brewing industry in Dartford can be traced back to the mid-seventeenth century when the production of beer changed from a home-based occupation to a family industry. Kentish hops provided the main ingredient for locally brewed beer. In fact, many of the hops used for brewing in Dartford were probably grown in and around some of Dartford’s outlying villages.

The earliest recorded brewery in Dartford was owned by the Woodin family during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. This small-scale brewery was sited between Lowfield Street and the River Darent on land now occupied by Central Park. The River Cranpit flowed close to the Woodin brewery. Water from this source was used in the brewing process.


Various drinks vessels

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The Woodin brewery was acquired by Benjamin Pettet around 1730, and business was carried on by his son John. Ownership of the brewery then passed to John Pettet’s daughters Mary and Ann. The brewery finally ended up in the ownership of Mr. Hussey Fleet who took over c.1780. Fleet and Company’s Dartford Brewery survived until 1862.

The Tasker family opened a brewery in Lowfield Street in the early 1700s in direct competition with the Woodins. William Tasker had moved to Dartford from Shoreham. His family became prominent landowners in the Dartford area. The fact that there were two principal brewing families working in the town is commemorated in the name of the Two Brewers public house which is still trading in Lowfield Street. Tasker’s brewery survived until 1866.

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