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The Brickworks of Wales
The Brickworks of Mid Wales
Cardigan, Brecon, Montgomery, Radnor and Merioneth
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The Round the World Brick Trip

I've tripped over dozens of bricks from the UK, India, New Zealand and elsewhere, have a look at them all
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Breconshire

Quick links to :-     Breconshire     Cardiganshire     Montgomeryshire     Radnorshire     Merionethshire

Llangammarch Wells - SN 9543 4969

Garth Brick and Drain Pipe Works was situated some 550 metres east of the village of Garth, and was served by a railway siding from the goods yard of the Central Wales Railway at Garth. The 1st edition of the 25-inch O. S. maps shows two kilns and two long buildings which may have been drying sheds. A brick-built terrace of seven cottages and a post office and further cottage, on the south side of the A 483 may have been associated with the brick works. The 1st edition map depicts a watercourse or leat leading to the site from a large pond to the north of the brickworks site, suggesting that water power may have been used. This pond was supplied from the Afon Dulas by a leat 3.4km long, and by the time of the 2nd edition map, published in 1904, the pond had been tripled in size. The brickworks does not appear on the 1948 OS map.

Brecon, Pen-y-crug - SO 0337 3100

Pen-y-crug Brick and Tile Works adjoining Pen-y-crug hillfort was working around 1886. According to Coflein there were quarries, kiln sites, platforms, clay pits and trackways in the area. it's on the 1887 OS map but shown as disused on 1" 1st edn OS 1889. I had the wrong grid ref for this works (from Coflein), good job that Michael Kilner had the right one !

Builth Wells - SO 0293 5202

A brick kiln and clay pit at Park Farm on the 1889 and 1904 OS maps is shown as 'Disused' on both editions.


Cardiganshire

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Aberystwyth - SN 5880 8100

This brickworks does not appear on any OS maps but Dr. Harries’ Aqua-Terra-Cotta works was beside the River Rheidol on an area known as 'Aqua Terra'. This is reported as a 'flooded brickworks' in 1904 and an advert in the 'Cambrian News' for 17th June 1910 offered a brickworks in Abersytwyth as a going concern.

Cardigan Brick &and Tile Co - SN 1780 4638

The 'Cardigan Brick &and Tile Co' opened this brickworks in 1860 by Geoge Osborne. In 1871 the brickworks, briefly the 'Cardigan & Llandyssul Brick Co', was taken over by William Woodward who built new kilns and chimney stack. By 1919 it had become the 'Cardigan Brickworks Co' but it hit hard times and closed finally in 1925, the stack was demolished in 1927, the rest of the site being cleared soon afterwards. The historical photos are from the Donald Davies Collection, all taken 1869-76 by J T Mathias, courtesy of Glen Johnson.

Cardigan, Martin's brickyard - SN 1880 4595

Charles Martin or his son, John, had a brickyard near Rhydyfuwch Farm from c1835 to c1860, where a 'Brickyard Cottage' still exists.

Llanon - SN 5213 6480

A brick kiln and clay pit is shown here on the 1905 OS map.

Ynyslas - SN 6257 9328

Dovey Tilery was situated next to Ynyslas Farm (now known as Ynys Tachwedd). Records of the 'Dovey Tilery' from 1847 to 1863 are held in the Gwynfryn (Llangynfelyn) Estate Records at the NLW. It changed hands in 1866 from 'Roberts and Owens' to Evan Roberts when a railway plan shows a siding there. The 1886 OS map shows pits on the site but no kilns or other buildings so it seems to have closed by then.



Radnorshire

Quick links to :-     Breconshire     Cardiganshire     Montgomeryshire     Radnorshire     Merionethshire

Llandrindod Wells - SO 0578 6214

Llandrindod brickworks is shown on the 1889 map but is 'disused' in 1904. No bricks have turned up yet but I know Mike Kilner is searching high and low.

Newbridge on Wye - SO 0120 6014

A 'Brickyard Cottage' is shown here in 1887 and modern maps describe the area as 'brickfield'.


Montgomeryshire

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Arddlin (Arrdleen) - SJ 2588 1556

A small brickworks existed here in 1888.

Buttington, near Welshpool - SJ 2630 0980

Buttington brickworks dates from around 1895 to 1900 and first appears on OS maps in 1902 Henry Hurle Treasure owned the Buttington Brick & Terra-Cotta Works near Welshpool and this is where he made his 'Treasure & Son Salop' bricks. Treasure & Son, builders & contractors in Temeside, Ludlow, Shrops. were established in 1747 and is still going strong, specialising in the renovation, repair & conservation of old and historic buildings. In 1900 Henry Treasure liquidated the 'Buttington Brick & Terra-Cotta Co' and the lease on the brickworks reverted back to the Earl of Powis who then re-assigned the lease to Mr. W.H. Thomas in 1901. Edward Oakwell, who operated Park Hill Brickworks in Wombwell, Yorkshire, took over the Buttington Brickworks in 1902, until his company was wound up in 1945. The Buttington brickworks eventually closed in the mid 1970’s. (Information from Martyn Fretwell and the 'shropshirehistory.com' website).

Coed-y-Dinas - SJ 2337 0554

An 'old brick kiln' existed in 1888 at Coed-y-Dinas, South of Welshpool, and very close to Powis Castle.

Kerry - SO 1360 8990

One of three brickworks near the small village of Kerry. This 'brickfield' is shown on maps from 1901 to 1963, but appears to be little more than a claypit.

Kerry - SO 1548 9011

A second small 'brickyard' is shown on maps from 1886 right up to the current editions. The aerial view on 'Google Earth' shows buildings but nothing that looks like a kiln.

Kerry - SO 1738 9214

Goetre Brickworks was established before 1884 and appears to have carried on until the 1940s or 1950s. The site is used as a scrapyard today and is the likely candidate for the bricks illustrated.

Newtown - SO 0975 9065

Park Brick and Tile Co Ltd is on the 1884 OS map and appears to be active until after 1948. By 1965 it has become the town rubbish dump. I don't know whether 'S Morgan Junr', 'T Parry Jones' and 'William H Lee' were owners at some time or they were made to order by the Park company. 'Pilot', with its reversed letter 'N', could have been a brand or trade name.

Newtown - SO 1030 9185

There was a brickworks near Dol-Guan in 1884 but it was 'disused' even then and gone by 1900.

Stalloe, near Montgomery - SO 2265 9920

The brickworks at Stalloe was working by 1882 and appears on the 1902 map as well but has gone by 1938. It appears to have owned by a 'Jones' and an 'A Vaughan' at times.

Welshpool, Pool Quay - SJ 2590 1253

In 1882 this brickworks was owned by 'Woodfield, Murray & Co', owners of Welshpool town-centre brickworks. They went bankrupt in 1882 but this brickworks appears to have carried on as the 1902 map shows an expanded site. By 1948 the works is 'disused' and by 1972 appears to have gone except for one kiln and a lot of ponds. This may well be the site of the 'Welshpool Brick &Tile Co' and the 'Welshpool Brick Co' but I haven't found written evidence of this.

Welshpool, Railway Station - SJ 2310 0720

This town-centre brickworks was established before 1882 by Thomas Fullerton Murray, Richard Westworth and William Schofield trading as 'Westworth, Murray & Co'. The company were brickmakers here, Pool Quay and at Waddicar Lane, Melling, Northeast of Liverpool. T F Murray went bankrupt in 1882 but the site appears to have been cleared by 1901. It had a tramway running from the works to the banks of the River Severn about a half-mile away. Census records show 'W Schofield' of Welshpool as a brickmaker employing 10 men and 8 boys.

Wern, near Welshpool - SJ 2516 1414

Red Bridge brickworks was situated here in 1886 and 1902, owned by the 'Montgomery Canal Co', later 'Shropshire Union Canal Co', and served by the usual narrow gauge tramway from the nearby clay pits. The clay pits now form part of the Clay Pits Nature Reserve. The parking area is by the entrance along with picnic tables.


Merionethshire

Quick links to :-     Breconshire     Cardiganshire     Montgomeryshire     Radnorshire     Merionethshire

Aberangell - SH 8418 1054

The Hendre-ddu tramway ran from Aberangell Station to many quarries in the hills. Some time between 1889 and 1901 a brickworks was built at Aber Mynach on a short branch of the tramway. The quarries and tramway had closed by 1954 but the brickworks had gone by 1948.

Dolau Bricks - SH 7839 0310

The 2inch:1mile OS Surveyors' drawing (No 337) of 1833-4 names a building adjacent to the road as Dol-y-bricks (brick meadow). No direct evidence of a building was seen in the topsoiled spread, but there were a number of poorly fired brick fragments near the location of PRN 80257, perhaps suggesting that brick manufacture was being carried out nearby. The local clay revealed by topsoil stripping appears to be suitable for brick manufacture and may have been utilised. (from The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, 2001)

Fairbourne - SH 6179 1317

Next to Fairbourne Station, this brickworks isn't on the 1887 map. It first appears on the 1900 map but has gone by 1949. It was built c1895/6, by Sir Arthur McDougall (more used to self-raising flour than cement) to build his grand scheme of 'South Barmouth'. It was connected to the station by the forerunner of the Fairbourne Railway.

Towyn - SH 5960 0027

Seemingly taking over an old tannery this brickworks appears on the 1900 map but isn't labelled as a brickworks in 1938.


Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

A great many people have supplied information and photos to add to the story, so many thanks to (alphabetically) Denis Ayers and the Scottish Pottery Society, Graham Bennett, Mike Bennett, Aled Bont Jones, John Bromley, Ian Cooke, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, Paul Dobson, Russ Firth, Martyn Fretwell, Ken Griffths, Fay Hampson, Andrew Harvard, Colin Head, Tracey Hucker, Virginia Jarrell, Glen Johnson, Kes Jones, Nick Kaye, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Montgomerycanal.me.uk, Frank Moore, Rachael Oliver, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Mike Richards, Glyn Roberts, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Jason Stott, Ian Suddaby, Gareth Thomas, Will, David Wood, D Wright amonst many others.

Messrs Sallery and Kitchings 'Old Bricks' website is the best source of info on bricks and brickworks in the UK :- Old Bricks - history at your feet.

For very good coverage of Scottish bricks and quite a bit about other places too :- Scottishbrickhistory.co.uk

Martyn Feltwell has two very good sites here :- East Midlands Named Bricks and UK Named Bricks

There is a specialist society for brick history :- britishbricksoc.co.uk

There's also a 'Facebook' group for bricks and brickworks :- Facebook 'Bricks and Brickworks past' group


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