The Maltings, a fully restored gem from the past, saved by volunteers

The old telephone exchange and the gate leading to The Maltings in Great Dunmow by Jessica Sian Illustration.

The old telephone exchange and the gate to The Maltings, Great Dunmow by Jessica Sian Illustration. Picture: JESSICA SIAN - Credit: Jessica Sian

Old buildings have a lot of stories to tell. The Maltings in Great Dunmow is a hidden gem in our midst and dates from the 16th century. Angela Jardine explains more.

In these lockdown days many people are taking the opportunity to get out on foot and discover a little about Great Dunmow’s colourful past.

Instead of heading straight to the high street why not wonder down Mill Lane where you will find a building steeped in history, new and old.

The Maltings dates from the 16th century and was operational until 1948 as part of the Dunmow Brewery Company. Now fully restored, this Grade 2* gem has been saved for the community by a committed team of volunteers.

In more normal times, I would suggest that you take the opportunity to visit the museum which is housed on the ground floor.

There you can find out why Dunmow is great and learn about previous residents who have included two martyrs, a VC holder, a host of cricketers, rock stars and actors amongst many others.

Get a real flavour of the town with a range of exhibitions from wartime memorabilia, to fire engines and historical time pieces by the likes of John Fordham.

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As we wait for our favourite pubs and bars to reopen you could be excused for researching the local brewing history, maybe with a little homework (hic!), before getting the opportunity to learn more as the museum reopens.

But what has happened to this stunning building since it was retired from industry?

Well, The Maltings has been making new history by being a venue for a range of events from yoga and Pilates and parties to a host of celebrations bringing the community together.

Until we can meet again it would be great to hear your stories of The Maltings. Look us up on Facebook and share your photos of past events.

Each month The Maltings will update with another local story while we look forward to opening our doors once again.