Forest Hill Brewery

Px03160_800x500 - 3 Jun 2015

Above: Tiled sign in Tintern Street, Brixton.

You might expect the tiled sign, which is still in good condition after being on a wall for something like 80 to 100 years, to be on display in the Forest Hill area. You might even suppose that the sign is on the wall of the original site of the brewery. On both counts you would be wrong. Of all places, this attractive sign is on a wall in a side street off the north side of Acre Lane, in Brixton.

Why the sign is there is not entirely clear. The tiles are on the wall of a terrace of small shops in Tintern Street. The most likely explanation is that the adjacent shop, which is now a hairdressers, was once an off-licence and that it sold the Forest Hill Beers.

Px03197_800x500 - 4 Jun 2015

Px03197b_800x500 - 4 Jun 2015

Above: Two pictures showing details from the panel.

The original brewery was at 61 Perry Vale, a short distance south of the entrance to the down-platform of Forest Hill Station. The premises were acquired by Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1929 who closed the brewery and sold the land to United Dairies a few years later. No evidence for the brewery remains today because the site is part of a block of flats surrounded by grass.

No other similar tiled advert for the Forest Hill Brewery is known to exist in London which means that this sign is the last reminder of local brewing to survive. Being in Brixton, the sign is a ‘long way from home’ but it adds interest to the street and, all things considered, it is surprising to find it with no marks or scratches on it. Due to the bombing in the Second World War it could have suffered from shrapnel but, amazingly, there is no sign of that either.


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3 Responses to Forest Hill Brewery

  1. clavdivs26 says:

    Wonderful history. I hope no one thinks of “lifting” the tiles because of their age and the fact that “No other similar tiled advert for the Forest Hill Brewery is known to exist in London “. Thank you for the detailed photos and the research on these mislocated tiles. Who “owns” the tiles, then? You’d think some enterprising entrepreneur would open up a tavern where this advert was originally at home and perhaps purchase the tiles and bring them home? Too romantic, do you think? Grin. So now it’s on to find where Forest Hill area is relative to 61 Perry Vale.

    p.s. on an aside, I emailed you a post this am (here) and ended it with the words: “wait with baited breath”. Spell check didn’t correct this, so I will here. I meant “bated breath”. :^)


  2. Thanks for your comments. There is a row of three or four small shops, probably rented so the property is probably owned by a landlord. The site of the brewery in Forest Hill was in Perry Vale between the turnings named Hindsley’s Place and Church Vale. I hope you find it. As it happens I only found out about the tiles by chance a few months ago.


  3. Kevan says:

    Fantastic sign. Has anyone seen a Doulton flagon from the same company with a picture of a forest on it ?


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