In Stowupland the name Maltings Lane has survived for a lane or farm track leading down to Park Farm but little is known about malt production in Stowupland. Whether the name Maltings Cottages is associated with malting or they were named because they were sited along Malting Lane is not known.
We do know that the malting industry was very important to the local economy when Stowupland’s border reached down to the River Gipping.
Many of the old malting buildings can still be seen along the River Gipping but they are now converted into homes and warehousing,
‘Malt has been produced in England since the 11th century, by one means or another, and beer was a staple drink before tea or coffee was introduced. Every market town had its own specialist maltsters and while a household might produce its own beer, it was less likely to produce its own malt, unless on a farm’. (Neil Langridge, Telstar, October 2016)
From the 1700s to more recent times the malting industry around Stowmarket was second only to Burton-on-Trent in terms of its output. At its height there were up to 17 maltings, many of them sited along the Gipping River bank so on the border between Stowupland and Stowmarket.
1891/2 Kellys: Prentice, Thomas & Co – Corn & cake merchants, brewers, maltsters, asphalters &artificial manure agents: Ipswich & Copenhagen.
Local resident Roger Carter has confirmed that Stowupland did have its own maltings though it was demolished by the late 18th century.
1787, April 21st. Ipswich Journal: “To be sold: The materials of a Malting, now standing on Thorney Green in Stowupland, consisting of the Kiln, bricks, Tiles, flooring Boards and other timber. Enquiries of Charles Beard of Stowupland or Tho. Collman of Needham Mkt.”
Ena Carter (qv) added a note Croft Farmhouse al. Malthouse Cottage. Maltings Lane runs south from opposite the URC chapel passing between where Croft Farmhouse stood and the Chapel Car Park, but the site of a Maltings is unknown.
By 1912 the remains of Thorney Hall had been converted into a malting. From the medieval era Thorney Hall was the home of the Lords of The Manor of Thorney. The building has since been demolished but its foot print is under the Stowmarket station car park.