Francis Vanhagen

Francis Vanhagen came from a family of shoemakers, but turned his hand to brewing from at least 1820 until he died in 1828. His reputation was such that 'Vanderhagen's best ales' were celebrated by near neighbour Sir Walter Scott in his novel The Monastery. The Abbey Brewery was eventually taken on by James Simson in 1839.

Location: Melrose

Active: 1820s - 1828

Status: Closed

Breweries and other buildings

The Abbey Brewery incorporated some structures which may have dated to the mediaeval period. The buildings were donated to the nation in 1950 to allow for improvements to the environs of the Abbey, and most of those that survive have been converted to residential properties.


We do not currently hold any images of items related to Francis Vanhagen, and would welcome any information or images related to his business.

Map of 1826 showing the layout of the Abbey Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2016