The White Horse Brewery

Dorking Road, Epsom

Beer Barrel
Beer Barrel
Image courtesy of Steve Buissinne via

As remarked in The New Inn, Epsom, a case of mistaken identity:to be distinguished from the New Tavern and Assembly Rooms. Its later association with a public house called the White Horse copyhold title of the White Horse P.H. had been enfranchised on 1 August 1873.

In 1851, Charles Dagnall, the elder, of Prospect House, Mount Pleasant, Wandsworth was recorded to have been a hemp merchant. He died on 30 April 1878, described as a rope-maker, leaving a widow, Mrs Mary Ann Dagnall.

On the 24 September 1874, Henry Reffell had assigned the leasehold of Somers Arms, Redhill, with the trade, and business of brewer, to Mr Charles Dagnall, junior, of Point Pleasant, Wandsworth, for £2,500.

An offer for sale of The White Horse, Dorking Road, Epsom, on 21 August 1872 had made no mention of a brew-house but Charman's Reminiscences of Epsom towards the end of the 19th century [ on this website ] mention that the breweries included Dagnall at the White Horse. The publican at that time, named by Charman, was [Frederick] Stone who may be found in Kelly's Directory for 1878.

The White Horse
The White Horse
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

A deed of Conveyance is recorded, dated 3rd September 1879, which declares that Charles Dagnall had for some time prior to the date of the document, plied his trade on the site as a lessee, and the brewery was to be conveyed to him in fee simple for the sum of £2000.

The premises were described as: -
"....All that piece or parcel of land situate and being at Epsom, together with the brewery, van - house, coal shed with loft over, cart-house and store with loft over, and built thereon and the yard belonging to the same, the whole being enclosed with walls and gates which brewery is called or known by the name of the White Horse Brewery together with the goodwill, fixed plant and effects belonging or appertaining thereto, and all & singular, the houses, outhouses, buildings, yards, garden, ways, lights, fences, waters, watercourses, easements, and appurtenances whatsoever…."
In The Notebook of George White of Epsom [ SHC 6036/3/1 ], Lawyer White remarked: -
'Dagnall, Mary Agnes - Point Pleasant, Wandsworth, widow, died at 4 Tintern Avenue, Clapham Common, 9 Apr. 1882 at 71. Mother of Chas. Dagnall, Epsom Brewer. Charles [from Remington, Worple Road, Epsom] married Jessie, daughter of Thomas Brown, Crown Hill, Croydon, 3 Oct. 1882 at Croydon parish church, St. John the Baptist.'
For the 1881 Census Charles Dagnall, junior, was enumerated at Station Road, Reigate, as a Brewer employing 11 men but his name appeared in Kelly's 1882 Directory for Epsom.

A daughter, Frances May, of Charles and Jessie Dagnall was baptised at St Martin's Church on 31 October1883 & a son, Radford Arthur, 19 December 1884.

By 1882, the landlord at the White Horse public house had become M. Evan Coleman who was buried in Epsom Cemetery on 10 January 1887. He was succeeded by his widow, Mrs Mary Ann Coleman, as landlady until 1895.

On 27th June 1885 George Moore & Co. of The Swan Brewery, Leatherhead, acquired the White Horse as a going concern for £ 3,300, made up of £1,200 for the brewery and £2,100 for the assignment of the leasehold premises stock and trade. Contents of the brewery and fixed plant were detailed :-
'Fourth floor: Mash tun with cast tun false bottom, hot liquor back and copper coil, cold liquor back, malt and grist hoppers, steam hoist and fittings thereto.
Third floor: Malt mill and elevators, barling copper and fire back over.
Second floor: Hop back and cast tun false bottom with copper pumps, steam engine, fan, fermenting squares, refrigerator, wort cooler.
Ground floor: Steam boiler and fittings, well pump and driving gear, steam heating appurtenances around the tun room, steam cask washer, rising mains throughout the brewery with fixed taps and pipes, steps from and to the several floors of the brewery'.
These buildings appear behind The White Horse in the Second Edition Ordnance Survey Map of Epsom, published 1896, and survived at least until 1932.

Extract from the 1896 OS Map
Extract from the 1896 OS Map.

Charles Dagnall moved to Redhill after selling the White Horse Brewery to George Moore & Co., and set up another successful concern, plying his trade from the Five Bells, Horley, where there was a brew-house attached.

In 1889, Dagnall also acquired the Old Hornchurch Brewery, High Street, Hornchurch, Essex, and was enumerated there at Station Road for 1891. This business did not prosper and was sold on during 1892. On 9 March 1894 a Receiving order was granted against Charles Dagnall, Horley Brewery, Horley, Surrey, Brewer. Following his bankruptcy, Charles re-established himself brewing in Portsmouth.

Brian Bouchard © February 2017