1 should point out that there have been maltings on this site since 1874, and Bairds have been here  since 1924

Hugh Baird set up business in Glasgow in 1832, leasing other ites in 1906. Witham was the first to be mehanised. Present maltings were started in 1961 on the Grays Maltings beside Witham goods station. In 1964 Blyths Mill was baught and demolished (see the photograph below). The roasthouse moved to Witham in 1969.

The Witham plant is the largest of the Bairds malting sites with a total annual production of around 53,000 tonnes. The site was originally established in 1926 when a 'traditional' floor maltings was built. Major investments in more recent years have seen the site being turned into one of the most modern in the country.

Witham is situated in the heart of the 'granary of England'. The primary source of material is East Anglia, thought by many to be the best barley growing area in the U.K.

From the main production facilities, malt is produced for major brewing customers in both the UK and abroad. However following a tradition within the Company of over a hundred years, the Roast House at Witham produces and supplies a variety of specialist coloured malts most often required by the smaller traditional brewers both in the UK and throughout the world.


In 1989 Bairds joined the expanding Canada Maltings Group which is one of the largest malting companies in the world. Canada Maltings were involved in the original design of the modern Witham and Pencaitland maltings in the early 1960s. Expansion at both plants has been continuous and in the autumn of 1991 Canada Malting's investment in the new plant at Witham was completed.


The plant was commissioned in 1991 after extensive design developments and, in partienlar, features belt conveying equipment and the use of stainless steel for all vessels in eontaet with the malt during processing. The plant is fully automated, including the malt silo complex. Bairds Malt Corporate Head Office is situated at the Witham malting site.

Sources: Bairds Malt; Witham & Countryside Society; Great Eastern Railway Society;

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes

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