Ralph James Fremlin (1833-1910)

posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:56 AM by Terry Bird   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 4:11 AM ]

Ralph James Fremlin


Ralph was born at The Wardens, Wateringbury, and was the founder of Fremlins Brewery in Maidstone, which became one of Kent’s largest. The brewery closed in 1972, but the name continues in Fremlin Walk.



Ralph was the eldest of the 11 children, born at The Wardens, to James and Ann Fremlin. The house was very close to both Wateringbury breweries on Bow Road and the Fremlins family became linked by marriage to both families of owners, the Leneys and Judes. Ralph attended Sutton Valence School, leaving in 1848 at the age of 15. In 1851 he was living with the Jude family who owned The Kent Brewery where he was employed as a clerk.  

In 1861 Ralph bought a dilapidated brewery in Earl Street, Maidstone and, taking his brothers into the business, turned it into one of Kent’s largest. He distributed beer in bottles and jars to the home market, and, out of religious principle, avoided the acquisition of a chain of pubs.

Ralph moved to Maidstone and became involved in many Christian projects and local charities, including the building of several new churches in the town. He died in 1910 at his home in Heathfield Road, Maidstone.