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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 33298

Map Reference SN50SW

Grid Reference SN51770205

Unitary (Local) Authority Carmarthenshire

Old County Carmarthenshire

Community Llanelli Rural

Type of Site BREWERY


Period Post Medieval

Site Description Felinfoel Brewery, Llanelli, is a mid-Victorian brewery on the industrialised gravity principle. It is a rare surviving example of a once important industry in Wales. The buildings now constitute a picturesque and historically interesting roadside group with two taller hip-roofed parts linked by a lower mid section.

David John commenced brewing at Felinfoel in the mid 19th century. In the rapid growth of Llanelli and the South Wales towns generally in this period, there was sufficient market for production on a large scale and for industrialised buildings using the advantage of gravity to economise on labour. It was common in breweries for the wort to be pumped to the top of the building for maximum ventilation, following the initial stages of grinding and stirring in the mash tuns, descent by gravity to the underback, boiling with hops and straining. The large extent of louvred openings required for ventilation was characteristic. After sufficient cooling it then descended again by gravity to fermentation and storage.

The first building of the gravity brewery was erected on the strip of land between the road and the river, opposite to the old brewery, and was then enlarged to the south and rear. This new brewery was built and enlarged in four main phases of construction. The first two have top storeys with prominent ventilators (now sealed). The phases of construction are (a): the original brewery building of unknown date, consisting of four storeys, at the NW corner of the site; (b): a building added to the S of (a), partly of five storeys and partly of two storeys and a basement, the S face of which carries the date 1878; (c): the tallest building of the group, added at the E of (b); and (d) later additions and infill, including a low range at the rear and a loading bay facing the yard.

The firm has remained a family concern in the related John and Lewis families to the present day.

Cadw listed buildings database.
B Glover, Prince of Ales (1993) pp. 148-160.

RCAHMW, 2009.

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