Great Dunmow Maltings is a rare example of a small 16th century two-storey, timber-framed malthouse in a market town. Operational until 1948 and rescued from dereliction in the 1990s it is authentically restored to afford a fascinating insight into the structure of timber-framed buildings and the operation of a floor maltings.
The building is fully accessible, having step-free access and a lift . All components of the malting process survive - the steep / cistern, couch area, growing floors, kiln furnace and flue, plus other features such as the taking-in door, water pump, diamond mullioned windows and internal openings for moving the grain from one stage of the process to the next.
Permanent displays include equipment such as shovels, ploughs for turning the grain and barrows, examples of perforated kiln floor tiles, various documents and examples of the many uses made of malt. The town museum occupies part of the ground floor and includes displays on local industries.
Great Dunmow Maltings dates from c1565 and the original growing floor section survives as the oldest part of the extant building. It is timber-framed with wattle and daub infill, a clay-tiled roof and diamond mullioned windows.
The rest of the structure is of the 18th and 19th centuries when alterations and modernisation were undertaken. The granary and steep section date from 1833 and have a brick ground floor and timber-framed upper storey. Beyond the growing floors is the kiln which is a 1800s replacement. This section is brick built with a brick furnace, originally a tensioned wire-mesh kiln floor and a conical flue of timber-frame, lath and plaster.
The final section is the 18th/19th century timber-framed malt store with an external stair access to the upper floor. A second kiln and store of the 19th century are now a private dwelling. The maltings operated until 1948, initially by Webb & Gibbons of the Crown Brewery off Market Place. The brewers were taken over in 1911 by Randalls who operated the Dunmow Brewery in North Street.
For over 40 years the building was at risk and in the early 1990s proposals were made for its dismantling and relocation. However, its historic and architectural significance were recognised (Grade II* listed) and with funding from various national and local bodies and individuals it was recorded, stabilised and then restored, opening in 2000 as a visitor attraction, museum and community resource.