Urine and dung from cattle was used in the process of leather tanning - nice smell!
Nos 21 and 23 Church Street were part of a late Georgian commercial property, to which a double shop front was added in the middle of the 19th Century.
At the rear of the antiques shop, behind the closed carriage doors, there is a Grade 2 listed derelict malt house of 1785 .
In addition to the malthouses behind the building, this was also the site of a ropewalk for rope manufacture and leather tanning. The combination of the smells from the production of malt (pleasant) and the tanning of leather (unpleasant - as urine and dung were used in the process) would have made the house an interesting place to live to Georgian times.
If you wish to go through to the back to see the malt house. please speak to Mrs Manion in the shop. If convenient, she will take you through,
There were originally two malthouses behind this building, but one has been demolished and is now a courtyard. The remaining malthouse was possibly built on the site of an even earlier dwelling (an earlier malt house perhaps?) which was constructed of stone; this may explain the present construction of brick on earlier stone. Ashbourne’s seven malt houses were amongst the largest industrial/ premises in the town in the late 18th/ early 19th centuries, and this building is the only remaining unaltered example. During the 19th Century, improved techniques and transport spelt the end for local malthouses as the production of beer became focused in centres such as Burton-on-Trent.