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17th Century

The 17th Century

  Growing and drying hops for the brewing industry expanded steadily in the 17th Century. Gerard’s Great Herbal, hugely popular for many years extolled the virtues and wholesomeness of hopped beer over common ale. One report suggests that hops were to be found in 14 counties by 1655. There is […]

Little Golford (Godwin House)

    The oast at Little Golford, east of Cranbrook, (TN17 3PA) appears to be the most authentic surviving example of an early oast, closely mirroring the 16thCE building described by Scot in size and layout. In 1960 its significance for the history of agricultural buildings had not been identified […]

“Internal” kilns in converted buildings and barns

Tracking down hop drying operations of the 17th C means delving under the surface of buildings rather than just looking for tall kilns and cowls across the countryside. The main evidence in timber framed buildings of the period is found in the beams and rafters of the roof. The Historic […]

West Midlands. “Internal” kilns in converted buildings and barns.

The countryside and soil of Hereford and Worcestershire was well suited to hops with a good supply of poles and, according to Defoe in 174 “a diligent people ..addicted to husbandry who boast they have the finest wool, the best hops and richest cyder in Britain”.  Hopped beer had to […]

Malthouses

Up until the 18thCE both malting and brewing took place on an essentially domestic scale for local consumption. The term oast was used for buildings drying both barley and hops . The hop counties of England were not major malt producing districts but many oasts/kilns were used inter-changeably for barley […]

Kentish Wealden oasts

  There is a striking concentration of historic 17th-18thCentury oasts in the Cranbrook-Biddenden area of the Kentish Weald. Whether this is down to chance or some other explanation is hard to know. The hamlet of Golford near Cranbrook has a second early oast at Golford Corner. It is probably a […]

Catt’s Place, near Paddock Wood, Kent

    To the South East of Paddock Wood a barn turned oast at Catt’s Place (TN12 6NQ) has survived remarkably little changed. The 1960 photograph shows the half timbered building with plaster and weather boarding of various ages. A large brick kiln was built inside the older building probably […]

Kenward Farm, Yalding

One of the most remarkable oasts identified in 1960 was at Kenward Farm, Yalding (ME18 6AG) close to the River Medway. As the plans show it had 10 kilns, each of them 14 foot square. The drying floors were in poor condition; the kiln walls of rough plaster. The vent […]