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Morrells Brewing Company

Morrell's Brewing Company was a brewing company in Oxford, England, which operated under that name between 1782 and 1998 Richard Tawney founded it in 1743 as the Lion Brewery1 In 1782 he formed a partnership with Mark and James Morrell, who eventually became the owners2

Morrell's brewed its beers at the Lion Brewery in St Thomas Street In the 19th century Morrell's redeveloped and extended 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 further 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 19013 All these developments were designed by the local architect Harry Drinkwater,3 who also designed a number of the company's pubs4

The Lion Brewery was powered by a waterwheel on Castle Mill Stream, a branch of the River Thames This was supplemented by steam engines for which the engine house was built3 One rotative beam engine that was built for the Lion Brewery in about 1826 remained in service until 1964 and is now preserved at the Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester

The Morrell family lived at Headington Hill Hall and their estate included South Park The family included Philip Morrell 1870–1943, who was a Liberal MP 1906–18 and was married to Lady Ottoline Morrell In 1929–31 Morrell Avenue was built along the south side of South Park5 The family also owned the village of Streatley and one side of the family lived there, until Emily Morrell died in 1938, when the estate was sold

After an acrimonious family dispute the brewery was closed in 19986 Refresh UK bought the beer brands and for a time Thomas Hardy Burtonwood was contracted to brew them7 Marston's acquired Refresh UK in 2008 and now brew Morrells beers8

In 1998 Michael Cannon, owner of the US hamburger chain Fuddruckers, bought Morrell's 132 tied pubs for £48 million through a new company, Morrells of Oxford79 In 2002 Cannon sold 107 of the pubs to Greene King for £67 million10

The Lion Brewery site was redeveloped for luxury apartments in 200211 The waterwheel and yellow brick chimney were retained but only the façades were retained of the other buildings3


  1. ^ Allen 1994page needed
  2. ^ Jenkins, Stephanie 19 April 2009 "Morrell / Wharton / Tawney families" Headington history: People Retrieved 17 April 2010 
  3. ^ a b c d Woolley 2010, p 79
  4. ^ Tyack 1998, p 269
  5. ^ Hibbert 1998, p 261
  6. ^ "Morrells Brewery up for sale" Oxford Mail Newsquest 9 July 1998 Retrieved 17 April 2010 
  7. ^ a b "The night watch: Morrells of Oxford" Morning Advertiser 14 March 2001 Retrieved 27 November 2014 
  8. ^ "Marston's buys Refresh UK" Morning Advertiser 3 April 2008 Retrieved 11 March 2017 
  9. ^ "Morrells Brewery up for sale" Oxford Mail Newsquest 28 September 1998 Retrieved 27 November 2014 
  10. ^ "Brewer buys pub chain for £67 million" BBC News 18 June 2002 Retrieved 17 April 2010 
  11. ^ "Brewery site plan nears final hurdle" Oxford Mail Newsquest 19 February 2001 Retrieved 17 April 2010 
Rotative beam engine built for the Lion Brewery about 1826 and now preserved at the Abbey Pumping Station in Leicester

Sources and further readingedit

  • Allen, Brigid 1994 Morrells of Oxford: The Family and Their Brewery 1743–1993 Stroud: Alan Sutton Publishing ISBN 978-0-7509-0634-0 
  • Hibbert, Christopher, ed 1988 "Morrell Avenue / Morrell's Brewery" The Encyclopaedia of Oxford Macmillan p 261 ISBN 0-333-39917-X 
  • Tyack, Geoffrey 1998 Oxford An Architectural Guide Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press p 269 ISBN 0-19-817423-3 
  • Woolley, Liz 2010 "Industrial Architecture in Oxford, 1870 to 1914" Oxoniensia Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society LXXV: 79 ISSN 0308-5562 

External linksedit

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Morrells Brewing Company

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