Advent Day 16 – Hornchurch Brewery cognac bottle, c. 1885

In the run up to Christmas we’ll show some of the objects added to the Museum’s collection in the last 12 months. These objects will be on display at the Museum until we close for Christmas on 16th December.

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The Hornchurch Brewery was founded in 1789 by John Woodfine, out of whose family it passed in 1874. It ceased production altogether in 1929 after several other changes of ownership. The buildings, located on both sides of Hornchurch High Street, were demolished in 1930-31 and its 40 pubs sold off.  As the company only brewed beer, it is probable that they brought the cognac in and branded the bottles themselves.  It is believed this one dates from 1885.


Donated by Tom Renvoize


  1. Paul Bradford on 30th December 2018 at 18:06

    I don’t know how true it was in that day, but Cognac can only be called that if it is actually comes from Cognac in France. I imagine that it was brought by the barrel and bottled there.
    My Grandfather, born in June 1900 was Reginald MacDonald Woodfine Brown. We have always wondered whether or not there was any affiliation to the brewery, buy have never been able to find out.

    • James Young on 5th June 2021 at 22:43

      My great , great, great grandfather was John Woodfine

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