The glory of Gloucester Docks are the sixteen large warehouses dating from its Victorian heyday when the port was a gateway to the Midlands. Vast quantities of grain and other commodities were stored there before being shipped to Birmingham and the Black Country via the canal network.
In the twentieth century these impressive historic buildings became redundant and fell into disrepair. They were only just saved from demolition in the 1970s when English Heritage protected them by listing. Since then it has been a challenge to find new uses for all of them but now the long process of restoration and conversion is nearly completed.
One of the last warehouses to be built in the docks and also one of the last to find a new use is the 1888 Fox’s Malthouse. Originally designed to produce malted barley for the brewing industry, most of its life has been spent in other uses including a long period as a joinery works. For the past twenty years the building has languished vacant and neglected. Recently a new commercial tenant was installed and very appropriately Fox’s Malthouse is back in the brewing business. The Gloucester Brewing Company, a micro-brewery already based in Gloucester Docks with an expanding market, has moved its production into the warehouse. Traditional beer making in a historic malthouse – Mr Fox would be proud!
David Viner, heritage adviser
The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.See more blogs from Heritage team