Conisbrough & Denaby Main
Heritage Group
 
                                                                    From 'Photographs of Old Conisbrough'
                                                                                     by June & Tony Greathead
                                                                     with the permission of June Greathead

                                                                                            Holywell Brewery

The history of the 'Holywell Brewery' is entangled with that of Conisbrough's Nicholson family.  The Company' founder Mr Joseph Nicholson is noted in the 1841 census as a Maltster aged 30 and living in White Leather Alley.  In the 1851 and 1861 census returns he is still known as a Maltster.  He had five sons Edward, George, Henry, Charles and Thomas and a daughter Sarah Elizabeth. Following his death in 1864 the business was run by Henry and Edward under the style of Nicholson Bros.  After their deaths in 1867 and 1880 respectively the business was run by George. Unfortunately evidence has not be discovered when the family commenced brewing from the premises depicted which was formerly a Bobbin Mill. According to George's obituary in the Doncaster Gazette George had originally been a draper but had subsequently gone to London to pursue studies in business. On taking over the brewery he built up its trade and made it a great success.  The number of employees greatly increased as the output went up and the fame of the 'Holywell Beers' rapidly spread.  The firm also made incursions into the bottling trade.  All this was done by George practically alone, for though his brother Major Charles Nicholson, who was a Hatfield resident, used to visit the brewery occasionally he had no official part in its management.  George's spinster sister, however, is noted in the 1881 census as being a partner in the brewery.  In 1905 the Holywell Brewery was acquired by Whitworth, Son and Nephew, brewers of Wath upon Dearne and Doncaster.  George, who was then advanced in years, ceased to take an active part in the business though he remained interested as a director of Whitworth.   George died in 1912 having resided at Rock House for twenty five years.  The Holywell Lane premises were subsequently taken over by the XL Crisp Company which used them until the late 1950s when a new factory was erected. The maltings on the opposite side of Sheffield Road were later used by Braim and Cooper fat works.

Joseph Nicholson and Charles Hammond Thompson owned the premises in 1854 when it was a Flax Mill.  By 1857 Joseph Nicholson was the sole owner and in 1859 converted the Mill to a Brewery, Holywell Brewery.  The first Public House supplied by the Holywell Brewery was The Red Lion Inn on Sheffield Road in Conisbrough.
Charles Thompson built Hill Inn and Brewery about 1825 and his widow married Francis Ogley in about 1828.
The present Hill Top Hotel was built by Mr Francis Ogley around 1870, the original Inn being on the opposite side of the road.

Nicholsons Brewery supplied the following Public Houses with beer.

White Hart Barnby Dun
Red Lion Inn Hatfield
Star Inn Doncaster
Red Lion Braithwell
New River Inn, Marshgate,  Doncaster
Red Lion Tickhill
Green Lane Tavern Rawmarsh
Star Inn Barnby Dun
Bay Maltern Greaseborough
Royal Oak Mexborough
George & Dragon Crowle
Plough Inn Mexborough
Fox & Hounds Wadworth
Blacks Head Bawtry
Hare & Hounds Braithwell
Plough Inn Micklebring
Three Tuns Stainton
New Inn Wath
Mowbray Arms Epworth
Carpenters Arms Harworth
Railway Tavern Craiselound
George & Dragon Mexborough
Kings Head Epworth
Star Inn Conisbrough
Station Hotel Conisbrough
Alma Tavern Conisbrough

  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
 
Newspaper Cuttings

NICHOLSONS BREWERY
Joseph Nicholson and Charles Hammond Thompson owned the premises in 1854 when it was a Flax Mill.  By 1857 Joseph Nicholson was the sole owner and in 1859 converted the Mill to a Brewery, Holywell Brewery.  The first Public House supplied by the Holywell Brewery was The Red Lion Inn on Sheffield Road in Conisbrough.
Charles Thompson built Hill Inn and Brewery about 1825 and his widow married Francis Ogley in about 1828.
The present Hill Top Hotel was built by Mr Francis Ogley around 1870, the original Inn being on the opposite side of the road.

17th August 1874
Nicholsons Brewery
Mr John William Nicholson was charged with polluting the Conisbrough Brook by allowing deleterious matter to flow from his brewery into it.  Mr Nicholson sends the washings of his barrels etc., into the Brook and it was contended that this fermented, became putrid and became injurious to health.                      
Mr Nicholson was ordered to abate the nuisance within six weeks.

24th August 1896
Beer Dealers Retail License - Nicholson
An application was made by Mr G T Nicholson of Conisbro Brewery for a beer dealers additional retail license.  It was stated that the applicant wished to sell some quantities of bottled beer to farmers.  The application was opposed by local licensed victuallers.  The Bench granted the application conditionally that there should be no hawking and that not less than one dozen pints or two dozen half pints should be sold to order.

25th January 1913
Maltster and Brewer Mr G T Nicholson died leaving £100,776 in his Will.