The Dude & Arnette team were pleased to be asked to share some of our oast house knowledge with Patrick Grattan for his book Oast and Hop Kilns A History.
This wonderful book was released at the end of last year and is a must-read for anyone with an interest in oast houses – which if you are reading this blog is probably you!
What’s it about?
This book is the very first comprehensive account of the 400-year history of oasts and hop kilns in England. While we in Kent and Sussex know them as oast houses, in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Surrey and Hampshire they were more commonly called hop kilns. Alongside a thorough retelling of the hop history of these three distinct regions of England, the book also takes a comparative look at hop drying buildings in Continental Europe and the USA.
By the late 19th century there were a massive 8,000 oast houses dotted throughout the English countryside. Oast houses and hop kilns are a distinctive feature of our beautiful Kent countryside – and other hop growing areas – and their history is interwoven with the history of Kent. They have played a major role in shaping the area and making it the county we see today. In short, the history of oast houses is the history of Kent.
Patrick’s comprehensive research was gathered from surviving buildings, books, archives and local lore – and of course some expert advisors (if we do say so ourselves).
The book contains 250 illustrations of oast houses and their machinery, including an illustration of Dude & Arnette’s workshop! The book also features some great images of oast houses and their surrounding landscapes.