Butler's Pubs

Since 1900 the company had been acquiring other breweries and public houses. By the 1950s a large number of pubs carried the Butler's name. The company also built new pubs and refurbished others.

View images and details of some of Butler's pubs.
Take Over

In 1960 William Butler & Company Limited was taken over by Mitchells & Butlers of Cape Hill. A year later Mitchells & Butlers merged with Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton to form Bass, Mitchells & Butlers Ltd.


Springfield Brewery in the 1970s. Courtesy of David Parsons.

A view of the brewery offices from 2003 showing the M & B signs.

Many changes quickly took place at Springfield Brewery. Malt production ended in 1962, after which it was brought-in from contract maltsters. Bottling ceased in 1971, and the railway siding was demolished and removed in 1972. The maltings and bottle store were demolished in 1981 and replaced by a distribution warehouse.

In 1982 two fermenting rooms were solely used for the production of Charrington IPA. A two-shift system was introduced to process six (4 to 5 tonnes) mashes for Charrington IPA and Highgate Mild.

Three brews were run in parallel through eight coppers and three hopbacks, during a five-day brewing week.

The end came on 2nd August, 1991 when the site closed. It remained empty for many years.

Buildings on the site were Grade II listed in February 1977 and on August 1991. The brewery was acquired by Simon Developments in December 1997.

In 2001 proposals to redevelop the site as a retail centre were turned down, despite support from local councillors and English Heritage. It was felt that a new shopping centre would adversely affect shops in the town centre. The brewery then became part of a conservation area, but sadly was badly damaged by fire as a result of a mindless arson attack on Sunday 15th August, 2004. Another disastrous arson attack occurred a year later, after which most of the historic brewing equipment was destroyed, and the buildings were left in a serious structural state.

A view of the offices from 2007 during restoration.

Another view of the brewery in 2007, taken from the long-gone railway footbridge.  

The site was finally made secure, and restoration and redevelopment began, but this has temporarily ground to a halt because of the recession. Hopefully in the not too distant future the project will get underway again, and at least part of the old brewery will survive.

What remains of the old brewery tower, and
R. C. Sinclair's brewhouse.
As seen in 2007.
Another view of the offices in 2007.
Looking down Grimstone Street towards Cambridge Street at part of the former stable block.

Looking along Cambridge Street in 2007.

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