Archaeologists discover 100-year-old St Austell Brewery beer at St Piran site in Cornwall

Archaeologists unearthing the secrets of St Piran’s Oratory in the shifting sands at Perranporth, Cornwall have discovered a bootle of local beer more than 100 years old.


The green bottle of Walter Hicks ale from St Austell Brewery is thought to date from around the time of the encasement of the oratory in 1910.

The brewery says it is is in immaculate condition and came out of the sand intact.

Still visible is a swastika inscribed on the top, which was apparently a feature of early brewery bottle tops and represented the Sanskrit symbol for brewing and fertility.

Later, after a German chap with a ‘tasche adopted the symbol, it was dropped.

Lead archaeologist, James Gossip said the bottle was most likely left in the sand by a thirsty worker back in 1910 when the oratory was encased in a concrete structure in an attempt to protect it from the encroaching sand and waves.

This was later removed in the 1980s, allowing the current excavations to expose the original stonework of the ancient oratory – and the leftovers of its previous explorers.

St Austell Brewery’s archivist Chris Knight said: “There are plenty of stories about St Piran and his fondness of the hop, so it’s sort of appropriate that some quality local ale managed to find its way on to such a hallowed site.

“There is a small amount of the original ale left in the bottom of the bottle as well so, who knows, we might just be able to work out which of Walter’s ales played its small part in the conservation of the site.”


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One Comment on “Archaeologists discover 100-year-old St Austell Brewery beer at St Piran site in Cornwall”

  1. petexner Says:

    Reblogged this on Czech Beer Blog and commented:
    I love beer archaelogy and I love Cornwall! And guys from foodiessouthwest published a great one!

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