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Founded in 1884 by Louth Naturalists',
Antiquarian and Literary Society
Registered Charity No. 1145436

A Local Independent Museum
Nationally Accredited
Quality Assured Visitor Attraction

Louth's Malt Kiln

'A Celebration of Louth’s Concrete Cathedral'

1st April to 25th April 2015

Louth Malt KilnThe early part of this year saw the demolition of Louth’s famous Malt Kiln and some in Louth would say that this has been long overdue. It was known by many as Louth’s Concrete Cathedral.

Since the Malt Kiln closed down in the middle 1990s the building deteriorated over the subsequent years, and became to many a Louth resident, a sad empty building and a blot on the landscape awaiting demolition.

This once proud building, a major source of employment and a landmark on Newbridge Hill, has dominated Louth’s skyline since the 1950s, and, just like St James’ spire, it could be seen long before any visitor reached the town. Louth folk will also fondly recall many a past Christmas tree complete with twinkling lights at the very top of the building.

A Malt Kiln has stood on the site since James Thorpe built the original malt house in around 1870 and subsequently it was purchased by Gilstrap Earp & Co. who owned it until 1929 when Associated British Maltsters (ABM) became the new owners but it still traded as Gilstrap until 1937. By 1937 the Malt Kiln was the only maltings left in Louth.

Louth Malt Kiln Construction

During the early part of the Second World War the Malt Kiln was destroyed by an immense fire caused by German incendiary bombs, no loss of life occurred at the Maltings, however, sadly lives were lost elsewhere in Louth.

After the War, ABM obtained war-aid compensation to build a large new state-of-the-art concrete building on the site which would enable the malting industry to flourish once again in Louth. The work began in 1949/1950 to construct the new Malt Kiln, and when it was completed it became the largest malt kiln in Europe and remained so for many years. Later additions to the building were made in the 1960s.

During the 1950s and early 1960s barley arrived by rail and road from many parts of the country and the malt produced was supplied to breweries and distilleries throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and even to the Far East.

Louth Malt KilnAfter the War, ABM obtained war-aid compensation to build a large new state-of-the-art concrete building on the site which would enable the malting industry to flourish once again in Louth. The work began in 1949/1950 to construct the new Malt Kiln, and when it was completed it became the largest malt kiln in Europe and remained so for many years. Later additions to the building were made in the 1960s.

During the 1950s and early 1960s barley arrived by rail and road from many parts of the country and the malt produced was supplied to breweries and distilleries throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and even to the Far East.

In 1982, ABM were taken over by Dalgety’s and then it changed hands again in 1987 when Paul’s Malt became the final owners before it shut down completely in the 1990s.

The Malt Kiln Exhibition at Louth Museum is a celebration in photographic form of when the Maltings was rebuilt after the Second World War and also of its heyday as one of the world’s largest Malt Kilns. The Exhibition will include a unique, highly detailed, model of the Malt Kiln which was constructed by the late John Hardy.

John took retirement from his position as the senior engineering manager at the Malt Kiln when it closed in 1998. After his retirement, John worked for many years on the model, it is correct in all details and both the exterior and interior can be seen. It will give many an insight into the workings of the Louth Malt Kiln.

 

Enjoy England Heritage Lottery Fund Art Fund Arts Council Acredited Museum