Morrells Brewing Company

Morrells Brewing Company
Morrells brewery company Beermat.JPG

Morrells Brewing Company was a brewery in Oxford, England, which operated under that name between 1782 and 1998. The brewery was founded in 1743 by Richard Tawney. He formed a partnership in 1782 with Mark and James Morrell, who eventually became the owners.[1] Morrells' range of ales included "Varsity".[citation needed]

Morrells brewed its ales at the Lion Brewery in St Thomas Street. In the 19th century Morrells redeveloped and added to the Lion Brewery a number of times. A large brewing shed was added in 1879, a blacksmith's shop and engine house in 1880, a futther shed and new yard in 1882, stables in 1889, new offices in 1892, a tun room in 1895, further offices in 1897 and a tall octagonal chimney in 1901.[2] All these developments were designed by the local architect Harry Drinkwater,[2] who also designed a number of public houses for Morrells.[3] The Lion Brewery was powered by a waterwheel on a backwater of the River Thames, supplemented by steam engines for which the engine house was built.[2]

After an acrimonious family dispute the brewery was closed in 1998,[4] the beer brand names being taken over by the Thomas Hardy Burtonwood brewery,[5] while the 132 tied pubs were bought by Michael Cannon, owner of the American hamburger chain Fuddruckers, through a new company, Morrells of Oxford.[6] The new owner sold most of the pubs on to Greene King in 2002.[7]

The Lion Brewery site was redeveloped for luxury apartments in 2002.[8] The waterwheel and tall, yellow brick chimney were retained but only the façades were retained of the other buildings.[2]


  1. ^ "History of Headington, Oxford". 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d Woolley, 2010, page 79
  3. ^ Tyack, 1998, page 269
  4. ^ "Morrells Brewery up for sale". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Morrells Brewery Ltd". 2001-09-22. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  6. ^ "Jericho Echo". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Brewer buys pub chain for £67 million". BBC News. 2002-06-18. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  8. ^ "Brewery site plan nears final hurdle". 2001-02-19. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 

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