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|Predecessor||Tollemache Breweries, Cobbold Breweries|
|Founded||Ipswich, Suffolk, England|
The original Cobbold brewery was founded in Harwich, Essex in 1723 and in 1746 the Cobbold Cliff Brewery was founded, at Cliff Lane, Ipswich. The current building of 1896 is a tower brewery by William Bradford.
The Tollemache Brewery was founded in the 1880s by sons of John Tollemache, 1st Baron Tollemache. The family acquired Ipswich Brewery from Cullingham & Co. in 1880, the Essex Brewery at Walthamstow in 1920, a controlling share of the Star Brewery, Cambridge in 1930 and full control in 1947. Tollemache and Cobbold merged in 1957 to form Tolly Cobbold.
Tolly Original, the only Tolly Cobbold beer that Ridley's continued to brew in Chelmsford, is likely to become extinct since Greene King are unlikely to continue brewing it. Greene King was the main sponsor of Ipswich Town F.C., which was established by the Cobbold family.[when?]
In the 1930s the Tollemache brewery underwent a large expansion, taking over the Cambridge Star Brewery and building a number of mock-baronial pubs, mostly in Ipswich. The ornate style, and the scale of the expansion, led to their being known as "Tolly Follies". They were based on the design of the Tollemache stately home, Helmingham Hall. Most survive, though some, notably The Golden Hind in Cambridge, which was the only Tolly Folly outside of Ipswich, underwent major alteration in the 1980s. The Waveney Arms on Bramford Road in Ipswich closed in 1994 and stood empty for a number of years, before being demolished for housing.
The Cobbolds have an important status in Ipswich as the family were landowners in the town and surrounding area. Christchurch Park was donated to "The people of Ipswich" by the family, along with many other donations of land such as Ipswich Racecourse. The family also provided several Members of Parliament for Ipswich over the years. In addition they have provided five chairmen of Ipswich Town Football Club, Lady Blanche Cobbold was president of the club for many years. ITFC have named part of a stand in their stadium and a prestigious member's club after the Cobbold family.
Tolly Cobbold beers
Beers in the range included Tolly Original, Cobnut, Tolly Bitter, Tolly Mild, Old Strong, Old Strong Porter (bottle only). Tollyshooter (named in honour of the visit of Sir John Harvey-Jones to the brewery shortly after the 1990 management takeover) Cantab, Cardinal Ale, Cobbold's Conquest, Cobbold's IPA (a straw-coloured bitter), Beano Stout, Countdown, Election Ale (1997), Final Brew and Last Orders – a final brew in 2002.
For a short time in the 1960s, Tolly Cobbold produced an infamous lager known as Husky Brew, which John Cobbold himself compared to a dog's urine.
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Clive Hodges: Cobbold & Kin: Life Stories from an East Anglian Family (Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2014) ISBN 9781843839545