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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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Cardigan Brickworks - SN 1780 4638

The Cardigan Brick and Tile Co opened this brickworks in 1860 by Geoge Osborne. By 1875 a new chimney stack and kiln had been built. 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.
There was also a brickyard at SN 1880 4595 from c1835 to c1860 where a 'Brickyard Cottage' still exists.

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.

Llanon - SN 5213 6480

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

Ynys Tachwedd, Ynys-las - SN 6258 9332

The assets of Thomas Savin (the railway builder) were sold in 1866 and included 'a valuable and extensive bed of clay' and that 'a railway line runs into the brickyard'. Three long thin buidlings are shown end-on to the railway siding (orientated north/south) and may represent drying sheds.

Radnorshire

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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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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

Jones brickworks at Stalloe was working by 1882 and appears on the 1902 map as well but has gone by 1938

Welshpool - SJ 2305 0722

This town-centre brickworks was working by 1885 but had gone by 1901. It had a tramway running from the works to the River Severn about 0.5 mile away.

Welshpool - SJ 2305 0722

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.


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.

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.

Machynlleth - possibly SH 7839 0310

There may have been a brickworks or 'tilery' in the Machynlleth area but I haven't traced it yet. However.... (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. (The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, 2001)


Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

A great many people have supplied information and photos to add to the story, so many thanks to (alphabetically) Graham Bennett, Mike Bennett, John Bromley, Ian Cooke, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, Paul Dobson, Russ Firth, Martyn Fretwell, Ken Griffths, Andrew Harvard, Tracey Hucker, Glen Johnson, Kes Jones, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Frank Moore, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Glyn Roberts, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Jason Stott, Ian Suddaby, Gareth Thomas, 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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