Monday, 5 September 2011

The Skinners' Arms, Godalming

In early 1957 an advert in The Estate Gazette invited interested parties to the Kings Arms Royal Hotel, where the building at the southern end of Church Street in Goldaming would be sold at auction. Since then it has been divided into four shops but traces of its former use remain in the form of a ghost sign running high up along its façade. For some time it had been The Skinners' Arms. I didn't find when this public house opened but parts of the property date back to the 17th century, although the façade itself dates from the extension of the builing in the 19th century. The name comes from the Worshipful Company of Skinners, whose presence in Godalming goes back to 1588, the year Lawrence Atwell bequested to this Livery Company a row of small tenements with a adjoining small parcel of ground.
The Skinners' Arms was tied to Courage's Alton brewery. London brewer Courage expanded into the Hampshire market town in 1903, when it acquired G & E Hall's brewery. Actually this was the company's first venture outside London. By then Hall's brewery supplied around 20,000 barrels a year to public houses in and around Alton as well as in London but Courage came with ambitious plans. The company contracted William Bradford & Sons to design a new brewery, able to produce 50,000 barrels a year. Courage's Alton brewery, a model of the genre, opened in 1904. Over the following decades the site was enlarged and production increased. By the late 1920s it reached 120,000 barrels a year. Courage continued brewing in Alton until 1969, when it converted the brewery into a canning and kegging plant. Ten years later the site was sold to Bass who demolished the old buildings and opened new brewing facilities. Nowadays the brewery belongs to Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Ltd.

Courage AltonThe Skinners' ArmsAles & Stouts

Courage Alton

The Skinners' Arms

Ales & Stouts

Location: Church Stret, Godalming, Surrey / Pictures taken on: 02/05/2011

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