Timothy Bentley, Master Brewer of Yorkshire, by Anthony Avis

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Timothy Bentley, Master Brewer of Yorkshire, by Anthony Avis

Subtitled 'An Account of his life and work'

Published by Kirklees Cultural Services in 1998, 118 pages. Paperback (SPBWSO)

From the foreword: This book is about Timothy Bentley, a brewer in Yorkshire at the beginning of the nineteenth century. There no longer survives any physical reminder of him and his significance in the brewery trade - no company, no product, so far as is known no male descendant to keep alive the name, and just the scattered remnants of his breweries.

He perfected - perhaps he invented - a system of brewing ale which ensured consistent quality at a time when there was more mystery in the brewing process than science. It is recorded in the history books as the Yorkshire Stone Square method of brewing. His system lasted for nearly a century, and was only replaced by the invention of new materials and the advance of scientific knowledge. Just a few private brewery companies today still use his old system, because they believe
it brews a distinctive and better ale; in the opinion of many with discerning palates that belief is justified.

The son of a weaver from Southowram, near Halifax, he learned the rudiments of his trade by working for his uncles in London. who were brewers there. He returned to the West Riding in the 1790s and for the following forty years devoted himself to brewing and building breweries. He built, or had a hand in building, no less than eight - at Warley, Meltham, Lockwood, Oulton, Rotherham, Bardsley, New Mill and Kelsterton - three of which went on, in the hands of his family, to become very large businesses.

He set a standard by which ale and beer were judged generally in the nineteenth century in Yorkshire - was the ale up to Timothy standard? This phrase was common in the trade for three-quarters of that century.

Most of the breweries he founded lasted a century or more; today not one survives. Where once they stood a few stone buildings remain, converted to other uses; an elderly local inhabitant may recall the original use. This book is to remind us of the Bentley family achievements, and Timothy Bentley especially, in the annals of Yorkshire brewing. Contents include:

Timothy Bentley
Lockwood Brewery
Eshaldwell Brewery
Bentley’s Old Brewery
Bardsley Brewery
Kelsterton Brewery
New Mill Brewery
Bentley Genealogy


The condition of the book is generally ok. The covers have several scuffs and creases, and further creasing and wear along the edges and corners. The spine is intact, and all pages are intact, unblemished and bound. There is light creasing to the edges of some inside pages and a couple of blemishes and stains to the outside page leaves