Before the present Georgian house was built this was the site of 'The Home Maltings', owned by the Crisp family. The building faced south, ie at right-angles to the street, onto the maltings yard which roughly covered the site now occupied by the URC Church. The Crisp family home was just south of this on the site of today's Barclay's Bank at No 67 High Street. The facility appears to have continued here until 1750 when the current house was built. The Crisp family continued their brewing activities, however. John Crisp ran the Home Maltings (presumably on a reduced scale following the building of the Manor House and, in 1825, his brother, William Crisp bought the Southwold Brewery on East Green from Thomas Bokenham and proceeded to rebuild it. This may have marked the end of the Home Maltings operation for, in 1832, the one-time maltings yard was handed over to William's son, Thomas Crisp, a Dissenting Minister, as the site for his new church. William became Southwold's first Mayor in 1836 and also held the lease on the Town Mill until his death in 1844 at which time he was alledgedly close to bankruptcy. Auctioneer James Maggs records the sale of the Crisp estate in his diary:
"1844 April 11th - Sale by Auction of the Brewery - Maltings - Granaries - Shipping - Residence - Building ground and Lodging House the property of Mr Wm Crisp - dec Feb 23 1844 ag 59."
The Victoria Street brewery and High Street maltings were bought (although possibly not financed) for £410 by John Banham Woodley who wanted it for his nephew, William Matthew Woodley and the latter's business partner Samuel Gayfer, a coal merchant and miller from Walberswick. The Woodley name is memorialised to this day in the name of the alleyway, Woodleys Yard, which ran between the brewer's house and the site of the Home Maltings. It is not, however, clear where the maltings now were as their original site was now entirely built on. Note: see Forum correspondent's (robtlb) comments below which throws doubt on some of these details.
William Woodley and Samuel Gayfer traded as Gayfer & Woodley, Brewers for about five years until 1851 when the partnership was dissolved and Matthew Woodley and his family moved to London. Samuel Gayfer now took over the Southwold Brewery operations on his own account. Not for long, though: Samuel died three years later in 1854. His son, George Eworthy Gayfer, took over but drowned six years later. Then came Samuel Haiden Fitch and his partner, JDE Eastaugh who ran Southwold's brewery operations until 1872 when George and Ernest Adnams took over. The brewery became a Limited Company, Adnams & Co Ltd, in 1890.
(The above account has been assembled from several, not always consistent sources including the 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census records; 'The Southwold Diary of James Maggs', ed: Alan Bottomley, Reprinted 2007 for the Suffolk Records Society; A chapter by Bernard Segrave-Daly in 'Southwold: Portraits of an English Seaside Town', ed:.Rebecca & Stephen Clegg, Pub: Phillimore 1999; 'The Brewing Industry: a Guide to Historical Records', Lesley Richmond and Alison Turton, 1990, Pub: Manchester University Press; 'Southwold Street Names: A speculative History', Jenny Hursell, Pub: The Southwold Press, 2011. With thanks to Gavin Richards and 'robtlb' for their forum contributions below.)
The Manor House, as it is now called, was built for John May, the owner of the Southwold Salt
Works, this Grade II Listed Building remained in the
May family until 1814 when John's son, Robert May, was
Frances Mary Norton (nee Blois) - 40 year old widow of Revd Eardley Norton, Vicar of Walberswick, is living here at the time of the 1841 census with her four children
James Crimmen - the then owner, builds and equips a small Roman Catholic chapel as a rear extension to that part of the house where the annexe 'Manor Gate' now stands. The chapel is for the use of local worshippers. He calls it 'St Peter's Oratory'. James, 57, is a wine and sprit dealer. (C1891. 1901)
Note: In 1890, James Crimmen purchased the plot on which Strathmore House was about to be built (No 26 North Parade) for £140. (Source: research by Margaret Stacey).