Shropshire History

Shropshire Brick

Tile & Pipe Works

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Tile Kiln

 

Shropshire was lucky to have large deposits of clay that could be used to make many products ranging from bricks to clay pipes and pottery. Most works concentrated on making basic products like bricks, tiles and drainage pipes, with the kilns next to the clay pits. Until the latter part of the 19th Century, all of these were hand-made.

 

BRICKS

Up to the 19th Century, many people lived in wooden houses since bricks were an expensive commodity that only the rich could afford. The presence of large areas of forest made wood a cheap alternative and most windmills used to have a saw attachment to produce planks for this purpose. Over the years, however, the forests shrunk as wood was consumed by industry and mining. The repealing of a tax on bricks and the growing scarcity of cheap timber began to make brick a more popular building material and one that had become commonplace by the end of the century. Before this, builders tended to make their own bricks on site and some large estates had their own small brickworks for private use. There was insufficient demand to produce bricks on a commercial scale. The greater demand for bricks meant that the big deposits of clay in the area began to be exploited on a commercial scale. 

 


Numerous brickfields sprang up all over Shropshire. Vast areas of agricultural land disappeared as a result of brickfields but the great advantage of this industry was that there was no lasting effect.  Once the clay had all been removed and the brickfield abandoned, it left a flat area of land which could then be reclaimed for cultivation. Sometimes the clay pits were not infilled and were left to form ponds.

 

After the topsoil was removed, men began to dig out the clay. Clay digging was normally done in winter and the diggers were paid on a piece rate for the amount of clay equivalent to 1,000 bricks. It is estimated that a volume of clay measuring 44ft x 8ft x 6ft deep would make about 33,000 bricks. Quite often rails would be laid between the clay pits and the brickworks to allow the clay to be moved on trucks. These were usually wide and flat and tipped to the side.

 

pic 03a

Digging out the Clay

 

Dug clay was left exposed in heaps for a time to allow it to weather before being mixed into a slurry with water in a Washmill.

This device was usually a sunken circular brick-lined pit about 4ft deep and up to 15ft wide.  In later years, some brickfields used open-topped metal tanks for this.  A vertical pivot in the middle supported a horizontal beam that was turned by a horse in the earl days until they were replaced by mechanical means. To each side of the beam was attached a device similar to a large rake which, as it rotated, broke up the clay placed in the washmill and mixed it into slurry with the water that had also been added.  As soon as the slurry was the right consistency, a sluice built into the washmill wall was opened and the slurry was allowed to flow into pipes or wooden launders.

The slurry was then laundered to settling ponds called Washbacks.  These were square enclosures surrounded by brick walls up to 6ft high which were banked with soil on the outside to provide extra strength.  There was a small gap left in the front wall which was boarded until the slurry had dried.  A brickfield normally had at least 3 washbacks in line and an amount of slurry was placed into each in turn.  About 2 days were allowed for the water to drain out before more slurry was added, this process being repeated until the washback was full.  The mixture was then allowed to dry until it had reached the right consistency for brickmaking.  Since many of the subsequent operations were carried out in the open, brickmaking was dependant on the weather and the season lasted from April to October.  Men were laid off during the winter, apart from a few who were involved in clay digging.

 

The actual making of the bricks was done by gangs of persons who were often family units including women and children as labourers.  Each gang operated from a covered "berth", which was sited in front of the washbacks. The ratio was normally 2 berths for every 3 washbacks.  Inside the berth was a bench, at the back of which was sited a pugmill, which was a 6ft long narrow cylinder containing an Archimedes screw.  Clay was placed in one end and the action of the screw carried it to the other end, in the process cutting it up and making it pliable.  The berths were placed in line so that their pugmills could be operated from a flat belt off a mechanically-operated drive shaft.  As soon as operations were ready to commence, the access to the washback was unboarded, exposing the clay mixture which was of a stiff consistency.

 

The first member of the gang was called a Temperer and his job was to cut the clay out of the washback.  This was a strenuous job and he used a tool called a large cuckle, which was a three-pronged fork with a sharp blade across the bottom.  Anyone who has dug in clay will know that it tends to stick to spades so this was an ideal device to cut and carry clay without having a large surface area for clay to stick to.  The temperer filled a barrow which he wheeled up a plankway into the back the berth.  He emptied the clay into a hopper which fed it into the pugmill already described.  Since the team was paid on piece rate, it was important for the temperer to keep the pugmill filled and this job could only be undertaken by strong, fit men.

 

At the other end of the pugmill, a small aperture extruded the clay and this is where the Flatie worked. He used a bow-shaped knife called a small cuckle to cut off enough of the extruded clay to make one brick.  This was rolled in sand to take away some of the stickiness and handed to the Moulder. The moulder had the most important job and was in overall charge of the gang. He had a rectangular mould, the inside of which he sprinkled with sand each time to prevent the clay sticking its sides. This fitted snugly over a separate base attached to the bench and the clay was thrown into the mould with some force so it would completely fill it. The moulder then used a wooden scraper called a stricker to level the clay and removed the mould from the base. Some bricks had an indentation on one side called a frog, which contained the initials of the brickworks, and the impression for this was inbuilt into the mould base. Tapping the mould on the bench, the newly-formed brick (called a Green Brick) was removed and the moulder prepared for the next one.

 

The green bricks were picked up by the Off Bearer, who stacked them on the floor next to the bench. Since the moulder’s job was quite strenuous, due to the necessity of throwing clay into the mould with some force, the moulder and off bearer changed places at regular intervals to keep the work flow moving.  The Barrow Loader stacked the green bricks onto a long, flat wooden barrow. This took 30 bricks, 15 to a side, and weighed 210 lbs when full.  Since the green brick still contained a lot of moisture, it weighed a lot more than the completed product. The Pusher Out took the loaded barrows and wheeled these to the hacks to dry out, each gang having their ­own hack to enable the brickworks to calculate the payment.  A hack consisted of 1,000 bricks stacked 7 courses high on wooden planks, with wooden end boards and caps to keep the bricks dry.

 

pic 03b

Brickmaking Gang

 

The state of the industry can be appreciated from the price per 1,000 bricks paid to the brickmaking gangs.  During the boom time prior to 1900, it was 4/- but this dropped to 2/10d after competition began to bite. The shares paid to the members of the gang reflected the importance of their job and out of the 2/10d they received the following :-

 

Moulder - 7d

Off Bearer - 7d

Temperer - 7d

Flatie - 5d

Pusher Out - 4d

Barrow Loader - 3d

 

This left 1d which was known as Pence Money and was kept to be shared out as an end of season bonus.  To earn enough to keep them over winter, the gangs would work all the hours of daylight and an average gang could produce 38,000 bricks per week, although some were known to make up to 50,000.

 

After about 5 weeks, the dried bricks (now known as White Bricks) were up to 2 lbs lighter and were ready for firing.  Only the larger concerns had proper kilns and the traditional method of firing was by making a Cowl, sometimes known as a Clamp.  Gangs of 4-5 men called Crowders would load the white bricks onto crowding barrows, which held 70 at a time, and took them to where the cowl was to be built.  A cowl had 750-800 bricks which were laid on edge, 5-6” apart, to form channels, into which the fuel was placed.  Ascending rows narrowed towards the top for stability, up to a maximum of height of 32 bricks.  The outside was covered with a layer of rejected bricks to retain the heat.  The fuel was lit from either end through gaps left at the bottom of the cowl and left to burn for 4-5 weeks.

 

 

The fuel used was known as Rough Stuff and consisted of partly burnt coal and ashes.  It was obtained by sifting out (or Scrying) household rubbish.  Large piles of this rubbish were left for about a year to allow the vegetable matter to rot away and brickworks must have been very popular with people living nearby!  The sifting to extract ashes was carried out in winter and represented a vital, albeit unpleasant, income to a lucky few of the brickworkers who would otherwise have been laid off. The larger lumps were used in cowls and some of the fine ash was added to the slurry so that it helped to fuse the bricks during firing. The current fuel used in the large kilns is now coal dust.

 

Once the cowl was fired, a man called a Skintler removed alternate bricks from the top of the outside layer and replaced these at an angle to allow air to circulate.  During the course of firing, all of the outside bricks were    eventual criss-crossed to allow sufficient draught to keep the fire burning.  At the centre of the cowl, the temperature reached 900o Centigrade but this decreased towards the edges.  When the firing was complete, a gang of 4 Sorters dismantled the cowl and sorted the bricks into grades, their condition depending on their location in the cowl and how effectively the cowl had been fired :-

 

The larger firms used permanent kilns and there were a number of technical advances in their design in order to attain a better proportion of saleable bricks. The earliest design was the Updraught Kiln (also called a Scotch Kiln) which was rectangular and open-topped with fire holes along the bottom. It was basically a permanent cowl which was filled with bricks and it allowed the hot gases to rise amongst them. The next development was the Downdraught Kiln, which was circular and about 15ft in diameter with a roof. Here the hot gases rose but were deflected back down onto the bricks, this being more efficient in fuel consumption. Closable ports in the roof allowed more fuel to be introduced during firing if necessary.

 

Hoffman Continuous Kiln at Llanymynech

 

The Hoffmann Continuous Kiln was the first move towards mass production and was basically a series of downdraught kilns, connected in a circle or in a long rectangle. Each kiln had an access port to the next and, as soon as the first kiln was into its firing process, the heat would begin to fire the next one. The fires would thus burn around in sequence, allowing brickfields time to remove bricks from a completed firing and reload the kiln with green bricks ready for its turn. There was thus always an empty kiln ready to take green bricks so production was not delayed waiting for a firing to be completed. The next development was the Long Continuous Kiln, where bricks were stacked on flat wagons which were slowly passed through a chamber where hot gases could circulate around them.

 

Long Continuous Kiln

 

The beginning of the decline of the local brick industry started in 1881 when a dark, shaly clay was discovered at Fletton near Peterborough.  Some 5% of its weight was tar oil and it was found that bricks made from this material needed very little fuel since they were almost self-firing.  By 1908, there was a great deal of competition anyway amongst brickmakers as more concrete was being used in buildings and the Fletton brickmakers combined to drop the price to 8/6d per 1,000 (in 1903 the average price had been 29/-).  They could do this because their self-firing bricks could be produced very cheaply in great numbers and they were able to undercut the local product, even with the costs of transport.  As a result, the smaller and less efficient local brickworks began to close and a temporary building boom a few years later was tragically cut short by the First World War. After the war, trade began to pick up again as result of a Government-aided building programme but, by 1929, a slump had set in to the whole industry. Many brickworks closed at this time, never to reopen.

 

ROOF TILES

 

The traditional material for most houses was straw thatch but this went out of fashion as brickworks mass-produced clay tiles. These were easier to fit and lasted much longer. In some areas, slate tiles were used. Modern materials are available such as concrete or plastic but clay tiles are still the most popular. There are several types as follows :-

·         Flat – these are the normal type, which are laid in regular overlapping rows.

·         Tegula – an ancient Roman pattern of curved and flat tiles that make rain channels on a roof.

·         Roman – flat in the middle, with a concave curve at one end and a convex curve at the other, to allow interlocking.

·         Pantile – with an S-shaped profile, allowing adjacent tiles to interlock.

·         Barrel – semi-cylindrical and laid in alternating columns of convex and concave tiles.

·         Interlocking – similar to pantiles with side and top locking to improve protection from water and wind.

 

Roof Tile Mould

 

The method of making roof tiles is identical to bricks apart from the mould, which is wider and thinner.

 

FLOOR TILES

 

 

Clay floor tiles were used in ancient times but until the 19th Century were too expensive for most people to buy. Mass-production processes at brickworks made them available in large quantities to lay on floors to prevent damp rising.

 

Tiles for decorative use were usually painted first and then glazed before firing. A more expensive option was the encaustic tile, where the pattern was obtained by using different colors of clay.

 

Encaustic tiles were made using a mould with cavities for each colour. The individual colours were placed first and then backfilled with the body colour. The tiles are then fired. This process was much used around Jackfield and may be seen today at the Jackfield Tile Museum.

DRAINAGE PIPES

 

Clay was the traditional material for making pipes to drain fields or take away sewage.  Nowadays plastic has mostly replaced these but some clay pipes are still used. The method of making them is similar to brick making but the moulds are more complicated, consisting of an outer and inner part to form the tube shape.

 

A good location reference for the South Telford area is Benthall, Broseley & Jackfield - Brick, Tile & Ceramic Industries.

 

 

Gazetteer of Sites

 

 

*    [As at 5/1/17, it was found that most of the map links were

pointing to the wrong maps. The correct maps are now shown]

 

Adderley Brickworks, Adderley (SJ65883966)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1899 but closed by 1901.

 

Arscott Brick & Tile Works, Arscott (SJ43840802)

1882Untitled-1   

 

1902 Untitled-1

Working adjacent to a colliery prior to 1882 but the colliery was disused by 1890. By 1902 the brickworks had moved to the eastern edge of the site and a tramway linked the old colliery to Arscott Colliery further north (the old shaft probably acting as a pumping shaft). The brickworks was still working in 1954 but the tramway had been removed and the brickworks had closed by 1973.

 

Astley Lane Brickworks, Hadnall (SJ52581952)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1891 but closed by 1901.

 

Astonlane Brickworks, Aston Eyre (SO64009406)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1892 but closed by 1902.

 

Belan Bank Brickworks, Kinnerley (SJ33501985)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1875, when it was shown as disused on the OS map. Site now occupied by an engineering works.

 

Belle Vue Terrace Brickworks, Ludlow (SO51377512)

Untitled-1

Small brickworks working prior to 1886 and up to 1903 but closed by 1926.

 

Benthall New Encaustic Tile Works, Coalport (SJ69100260)

aka Maws New Tile Works

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1954 but closed by 1956.

 

Benthall Old Encaustic Tile Works, Benthall (SJ67100290)

aka Maws Old Tile Works

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902, when operations moved to new works at Coalport.

 

Besom Brickworks, Blackford (SO60218230)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1903 but closed by 1954.

 

Billingsley Brick & Tile Works, (SO70728505)

Untitled-1

Commenced in the 1860s and closed by 1914.

 

Blockley’s Brickworks, Trench Lock (SJ68571200)

A modern brick factory that was started in 1894 and is still producing bricks.

 

Bowers Yard Brick & Tile Works, Benthall (SJ67130337)

Untitled-1

Ceased prior to 1883. Brickworks associated with clay levels and tramway.

 

Brandlee Brickworks, Dawley (SJ68000750)

Untitled-1

White fire bricks were being made here in the 1790s and by 1902 it was called Day’s Pipe Works. In 1903, it became an engineering firm called the Bridge & Roof Works but it had closed by 1915.

 

Brockholes Brick & Tile Works, Ironbridge (SJ67900372)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1954 but closed by 1956. The works are shown connected by a rail line to the mineral railway system which ultimately connected with the main line rail network.

 

Brockhurst Brickworks, Church Stretton (SO44989285)

Untitled-1

Started sometime between 1891-1903 but closed by 1927.

 

Brooklands Brickworks, Whitchurch (SJ52684248)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1886 and up to 1900 but closed by 1901.

 

Brownhills Brickworks, Betton (SJ68503606)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1925 but closed by 1926.

 

Broseley Tileries, Broseley (SJ68100130)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1954 but closed by 1963.

 

Cantlop Brickworks, Condover (SJ50870541)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Castle Fields Brickworks, Shrewsbury (SJ49701342)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1888 but closed by 1902.Two large clay excavations adjacent to each other.

 

Cement Mill Brickworks, Madeley (SJ70090406)

Untitled-1

“Brickworks and claypits” shown on 1849 Tithe Map, adjacent to canal and identified as belonging to Edward Edwards. No longer working in 1883 and no trace so presumably it had been levelled for agriculture.

 

Cherrytree Hill Brick & Tile Works (SJ67310511)

Untitled-1

Working between 1825-1903 but closed by 1927. From 1894 it concentrated on tile production.

 

Cheswell Grange Brickworks, Lilleshall (SJ71501650)

Untitled-1

In 1804 there was a Brick Kiln leasow south-west of Cheswell Grange. By 1882 there was no trace so the workings must have been levelled for agriculture.

 

Chidley’s Farm Brickworks, Coxgreen (SO79588604)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1892 but closed by 1903.

 

Chipnall Brickworks, Chipnall (SJ71483122)

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1892 but closed by 1902.

 

Cleobury Mortimer Brick & Tile Works, Cleobury Mortimer (SO66787572)

 1846

 

 1884

There were two adjacent sites. The western one was working in 1846, when it was shown on the Tithe Map as Brick Kiln Close, but ceased working prior to 1884 and the firm presumably moved to the eastern one at SO66967572 when its clay ran out. The eastern one was working up to 1894 but had closed by 1903.

 

Coalford Brick & Tile Works, Coalford (SJ683600304)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1928 but closed by 1938.

 

Coalport Brick & Tile Work, Coalport (SJ70810144)

Untitled-1

Opened sometime between 1899-1902 and working until 1954 but closed by 1963. It had a connection to the GWR Severn Valley Branch.

 

Collybrook Green Brickworks, Knowbury (SO58067481)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1954 but closed by 1970. A large disused clay pit, 100m by 50m, was recorded here by the RCHME in 1983

 

Coundarbour Brickworks, Cound (SJ55820585)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Craven & Dunnill Tile Works, Jackfield (SJ68600290)

see Jackfield Encaustic Tile Works

 

Crescent Road Brick & Tile Works, Hadley (SJ67611185)

In 1767 George Forester leased Brick Kiln Leasow to a Hadley brick maker. It was working up to 1890 but closed by 1902.

 

Dell Brickworks, Cherrington (SJ66741905)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1902 but closed by 1926.

 

Dernhill Covert Brickworks, Buttonbridge (SO71577932)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1892 but closed by 1903.

 

Ditherington Brickworks, Shrewsbury (SJ51421472)

Working in 1833 but closed by 1881. Later maps show no trace so the site was probably levelled for sgriculture.

 

Donnington Wood Brick & Tile Works, Donnington Wood (SJ71191280)

This was a brickworks that opened in 1876 near the old Pain's Lane works and by 1908 was producing 3–4 million bricks a year. The bricks were of high quality but proved expensive after the Second World War and the works closed in 1972.

 

Dorrington Brick & Pipe Works, Dorrington (SJ72714070)

Working prior to 1886 and up to 1900 but closed by 1902.

 

Dorrington Brick & Stone Works, Dorrington (SJ72894100)

A small quarry was working prior to 1880 and by 1902 it had expanded into a brick and stone works. This continued working until 1925 but by 1926 it had closed.

 

Doughty’s Tile Works, Jackfield (SJ68600290)

see Jackfield Encaustic Tile Works

 

Dunge Brick & Tile Works, Broseley (SJ68120112)

Established elsewhere in 1811 by Richard Poole as a brickworks, the firm was acquired by George and Francis Davis and they moved to this site in 1870, specifically for the change from manufacture of bricks to roof tiles. By 1879, they produced pressed and hand made roof tiles, ridge hip and valley tiles, flooring squares and fire kiln goods. George Davis is reputed to be the first to introduce machine pressed tiles. The works closed soon after 1903.

 

Dunnsheath Brickworks, Bomere Heath (SJ48061753)

Opened sometime between 1889-1901 and working until 1954 but closed by 1970.

 

Echoes Hill Brick & Pipe Works, Stockton (SO73759926)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1903 but closed by 1954.

 

Edgebold Brickworks, Shrewsbury (SJ46861120)

Started sometime between 1891-1902. Working until 1903 but closed by 1927.

 

Edgmond Brick & Pipe Works, Edgmond (SJ71001856)

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Ensdon Brick & Tile Works (SJ40581692)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1902 but closed by 1954.

 

Excelsior Tile Works, Jackfield (SJ68400300)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1954 but closed by 1956. In 1908 they employed between 80-90 men and boys, producing around 35,000 roof tiles per day.

 

Fishmore Road Brick & Pipe Works, Ludlow (SO51187553)

This was adjacent to the Ludlow Brick Tile & Pipe Works. It was working prior to 1885 and up to 1953 but closed by 1963.

 

Frodesley Brickworks, Frodesley (SJ51110163)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1899 but closed by 1902.

 

Grindley Brook Brickworks, (SJ52264222)

Small brickworks that had closed prior to 1886. Possibly produced bricks for construction of the adjacent Shropshire Canal.

 

Hanwood Brickworks, Hanwood (SJ43730930)

  

Working on the east side of the track in 1840 but sometime between 1891-1902 the works moved to the west side of the track at SJ43700920. it continued working up to 1903 but was closed by 1954

 

Hanwood Bank Brickworks, Hanwood (SJ44601000)

Working in 1843 but closed by 1881.

 

Hargrove Farm Brickworks, Wall under Heywood (SO49819211)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1891 but closed by 1903.

 

Hawkstone Park Brickworks, Marchamley Wood (SJ58963060)

Closed prior to 1881 and clay pit converted into fish pond.

 

Haygate Brickworks, Wellington (SJ64341103)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1890 but closed by 1902.

 

Heath House Brick & Tile Works, Chetton (SO64719133)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1892 but closed by 1903.

 

Hesterworth Brickworks, Hopesay (SO39228286)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1891 but closed by 1903.

 

Heywood Brickworks, Loughton (SO62588274)

Small brickworks ceased prior to 1884.

 

Highfield Brickworks, Shooter’s Hill (SJ50892566)

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1891 but closed by 1901.

 

Hinkshay Brickworks, Malinslee (SJ69310756)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1903 but closed by 1927.

 

Hollinswood Brickworks, Hollinswood (SJ70320924)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1957 but closed by 1966.

 

Hollygrove Brick & Tile Works, Jackfield (SJ68220296)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1903 but closed by 1928.

 

Hollywell Tileries, Broseley (SJ68170201)

Started between 1882-1887 and working until 1903 but closed by 1927.

 

Hopton Wafers Brickworks, Hopton Wafers (SO63557621)

Untitled-1

Working in 1839, when the Tithe Map showed Brick Kiln Piece and Brick Kiln Field, but closed by 1884.  In 1983, the RCHME found that Brick Kiln Field contained an area of grassed-over clay pits within its south-east half. These pits were thought to have provided the clay for the kilns which probably existed in Brick Kiln Piece, although no brick waste or building foundations were found there.

 

Horton Brickworks, Horton (SJ67611431)

Working in 1724 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902. In 1919 a small beehive kiln remained on the site but this has now gone.

 

Hughley Brick & Tile Works, Hughley (SO57189738)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Ightfield Brickworks, Ightfield (SJ60513921)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1900 but closed by 1901.

 

Ironbridge Brick & Tile Works, Ironbridge (SJ67810340)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902 when the  adjacent Gas Works was expanded.

 

Jackfield Encaustic Tile Works, Jackfield (SJ68600290)

aka Craven & Dunnill Tile Works

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1954 but by 1956 it had become an engineering works.

 

Ketley New Brick & Tile Works, Ketley (SJ67121078)

Started around 1842 when the old brickworks to the east was closed. Working up to 1903 but closed by 1927 when an iron foundry was constructed on the site.

 

Ketley Old Brick & Tile Works, Ketley (SJ67401078)

In 1794 the Reynolds family had a brickworks here making white fire bricks. By 1842 it had closed and a new brickworks was built to the west.

 

Kinlet Brickworks, Netherton (SO73818185)

Working sometime between 1889-1903, after which it closed and was subsumed by Kinlet Colliery.

 

Kynaston Brickworks, Kynaston (SJ34592002)

Small brickworks working prior to 1875 and up to 1891 but closed by 1901.

 

Ladywood Tileries, Coalford (SJ67900300)

 Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up 1938 but closed by 1954.

 

Lanegreen Brickworks, Tuckhill (SO78758647)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1925 but closed by 1926.

 

Leaton Heath Brick & Tile Works , Bomere Heath (SJ46051892)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1891 but closed by 1901.

 

Leebotwood Brickworks, Leebotwood (SJ48129997)

Working prior to 1882 on site of old coal mine and up to 1892 but closed by 1902.

 

Lightmoor Brick & Tile Works, Lightmoor (SJ68080520)

Rail lines connected this works to the GWR (Madeley Branch) and the GWR (Severn Junction Branch). It started around 1779, when it was owned by John Davies, making bricks by the semi-dry process. They diversified in the early 19th Century, making flooring bricks, drainage pipes, chimney pots and lightweight roofing tiles. In the 1860s, the works expanded it firing capabilities by attaching a secondary kiln running east-west across the northern end of the original kiln. In addition, another kiln was built parallel to the original kiln and was in use by 1883. In the early 20th Century, the linked kiln was separated to form two independent kilns and the works turned back to brick making. From the 1900s to the closure of the Coalbrookdale Company in 1933, the works supplied them with all the firebrick shapes for their solid fuel appliances. In the fifty years from 1933 to the late 1980s, Lightmoor continued to survive on brick manufacture. With the closure of the adjacent Shutfield Tileries in 1951, the works built another four long gas-fired rectangular kilns. Six kilns were demolished during the reorganisation of the works in 1984.

 

Lilleshall Grange Brickworks, Lilleshall (SJ72901440)

Untitled-1

A small brickworks existed to the south of Lilleshall Grange in 1598 and only a pool remains where the clay pit was.

 

Lincoln Road Brickworks, Wrockwardine Wood (SJ69891191)

 

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1890 but closed by 1902. Adjacent to the Shropshire Canal on which they probably had a loading wharf. The adjoining Woodlands Brickworks to the south is a separate site.

 

Linford Brickworks, Weston under Redcastle (SJ56022956)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1954 but closed by 1971.

 

Little Eyton Brickworks, Malinslee (SJ68970771)

Old brickworks that had closed prior to 1882.

 

Little Stocking Brickworks, Oreton (SO65268032)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1892 but closed by 1903.

 

Lodgebank Brickworks, Donnington Wood (SJ72251238)

Untitled-1

Working from 1839- 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Long Lane Brick & Pipe Works, Long Lane (SJ63531554)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1954 but closed by 1966.  These works existed on either side of the road with two kiln complexes. By 1902, however, they were only working on the east side.

 

Longwaste Brick & Pipe Works, Longdon on Tern (SJ61331570)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1902 but closed by 1954. There were two clay pits, a kiln and an L-shaped drying shed. The small hamlet was originally called Longwaste but is now known as Longdon on Tern, presumably it sounds better to the inhabitants.

 

Lubstree Park Brickworks, (SJ69411550)

Untitled-1

There was a small brickworks south of Lubstree Park in 1717. There is now a pond where the clay pit was.

 

Ludlow Brick Tile & Pipe Works (SO51237554)

This was adjacent to the Fishmore Road Brick & Tile Works. It was working prior to 1885 and up to 1891 but had closed by 1903, when the Fishmore Road works expanded into their area. The high quarry face of the clay pit is still visible and the vitrified bricks used for the stopping the entrances to kilns can be seen in garden walls along New Road.

 

Magpie Hill Brickworks, Catherton Common (SO61117745)

Small brickworks closed by 1884. Building foundations and associated clay pits were recorded by the RCHME during the field survey of Clee Hill. The site of a long, narrow rectangular building and the stone foundations of a smaller building are visible to the north-west of the clay pit and are thought to mark the positions of a drying shed and a kiln. A slight circular depression with an enclosing bank is visible beyond the southern corner of the large building and is believed to be the site of a horse gin which would have been used to hoist clay out of the adjacent pit.

 

Manse Brick & Tile Works, Uffington (SJ53311264)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1903 but closed by 1927. Had its own wharf on the Shrewsbury Canal.

 

Marshbrook Brickworks, Marshbrook (SO43979072)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1891 but closed by 1903.

 

Marton Brickworks, Marton (SJ44382412)

Small brickworks closed prior to 1879.

 

Maws New Tile Works, Coalport (SJ69100260)

see Benthall New Encaustic Tile Works

 

Maws Old Tile Works, Benthall (SJ67100290)

see Benthall Old Encaustic Tile Works

 

Milborough Tileries, Jackfield (SJ68300270)

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1954 but closed by 1956.

 

Mile Bank Brickworks, Whitchurch (SJ55414318)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1900 but closed by 1901 when the Mile Bank Creamery occupied the site.

 

Mitnell Brickworks, Richards Castle (SO50426982)

Working prior to 1885 and up to 1890 but closed by 1903.

 

Monksfield Brickworks, Chirbury (SO26509890)

Small brickworks associated with clay pit and earthworks closed by 1882.

 

Morda Brickworks, Morda (SJ28542766)

In 1875 the site was Morda Colliery but by 1901 a brickworks had been set up. By 1926 this had closed.

 

Mount Bradford Brickworks, St Martin’s (SJ33343698)

Working prior to 1874 and up to 1900 but closed by 1901.

 

Mount Brickworks, Oswestry (SJ27423051)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1902 but closed by 1914.

 

Muckleton Brickworks, Muckleton (SJ59542026)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1891 but closed by 1901.

 

Mumporn Hill Brickworks, Snedshill (SJ69981040)

In the early 19th Century there were two groups of kilns at Mumporn Hill, known as the upper and lower brickworks. These appear to have been built over by the Snedsill iron Works.

 

Myddle Brickworks, Myddle (SJ46462342)

Small brickworks closed before 1879.

 

New Lodge Brickworks, Lilleshall (SJ73341265)

In 1804 there was a small brickworks south of New Lodge. The old clay pit is now a pond.

 

New Road Brickworks, Ludlow (SO51287550)

Small brickworks that had ceased prior to 1885.

 

Newhouse Brickfield, Leebotwood (SJ47629981)

Brickworks ceased before 1882.

 

Newhouse Brick & Tile Works, Walford (SJ44842150)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1954 but closed by 1974.

 

Northwood Brickworks, Horton (SJ49083159)

Working prior to 1881 but closed by 1889.

 

Old Park Brickworks, (SJ69600960)

The Botfields were making fire bricks at Old Park between 1809-1874 but they had ceased by 1882 and the area was greatly altered by mining activities.

 

Oldwood Brick & Tile Works, Walford Heath (SJ45552037)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1902 but closed by 1954.

 

Owlbury Brick & Pipe Works, (SO30589152)

Working prior to 1890 and up to 1903 but closed by 1949.

 

Park Coppice Brickworks, Overton (SO67028694)

Working prior to1884 and up to 1891 but closed by 1903.

 

Pave Lane Brick & Pipe Works, Pave Lane (SJ76411692)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1903 but closed by 1926.

 

Petton Brick & Tile Works, Petton (SJ43462608)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1890 but closed by 1901.

 

Plascerig Brickworks, Pant (SJ26912161)

Started sometime between 1890-1901 but closed by 1902.

 

Pontesford Brickworks, Pontesbury (SJ40520577)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Pool Brickworks, Red Lake (SJ68701048)

Started by Robert Pool prior to 1813 but closed by 1842. By 1882 all traces destroyed by mining operations.

 

Potters Piece Brickworks, Red Lake (SJ68221084)

Started by Reynolds & Co prior to 1813 but closed by 1842. By1882, no trace left as covered over by mine tips.

 

Powkesmoor Brickworks, Ditton Priors (SO59268816)

Brickworks ceased prior to 1884. No features shown on OS map but probably in Brick Kiln Coppice.

 

Preenshead Brickworks, Coalport (SJ700030196)

The brick and tile works next to the station was only in operation sometime between 1891-1902, when it was closed.

 

Randlay Brickworks, Randlay (SO70200780)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1963 but closed by 1969. The buildings were of red brick with corrugated iron and asbestos roofs.

 

Ranslett Brickworks, Eaton Constantine (SJ59290533)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1903 but closed by 1927.

 

Ratlinghope Brickworks, Ratlinghope (SO40429676)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.

 

Redlees Brickworks, Ketley (SJ68601054)

Operated by Reynolds & Co prior to 1813 but closed by 1842 and ground disturbed by later mining operations.

 

Rhosweil Brickworks, Rhosweil (SJ29803642)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1899 but closed by 1900.

 

Rock Tile Works, Jackfield (SJ68200280)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1954 but by 1956 it had become a metal reclamation centre.

Roveries Brickworks, Lydham (SO32629178

Untitled-1

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1953 but closed by 1963.

 

Ruyton Brick & Pipe Works, Ruyton-XI-Towns (SJ38622204)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1902 but closed by 1954.

 

Sandpits Brickyard, Ludlow (SO51467549)

Old sandpit supposed to have been a small brickworks that had ceased prior to 1885. The high quarry face of the clay pit is still visible and the vitrified bricks used for the stopping the entrances to kilns can be seen in garden walls along New Road.

 

Sandyhill Brick & Tile Works, Ellesmere (SJ40603631)

Working prior to 1874 and up to 1954 but closed by 1975

 

Sarn Brick & Pipe Works, Westbury (SJ34861100)

aka Westbury Brick & Pipe Works

Working prior to 1890 using clay pits west of the Wattlesborough-Westbury road and connected by tramway. By 1954 large clay pits were being dug east of the road up to 1978. Called Sarn Brickworks up to 1973 when the name was changed.

 

Shawbury Brick & Tile Works, Shawbury (SJ55662072)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1902 but closed by 1954.

 

Shetfields Brickwork, Hints (SO60767551)

Small brickworks started in the late 17th Century but closed by 1884 when its large easily-quarried deposits of clay were nearly exhausted. William Baldwin, who built the “Brickhouse” in 1700 (the earliest house to be built of brick in the area at SO61237492) was probably the first of a long line of brickmakers to use the site. The area is known locally as the Brickiln Floor and was called “Brick Hills” in 1697.

 

Shrewsbury School Brickworks, Shrewsbury (SJ47821262)

Working prior to 1881 but closed by 1887. The source of the bricks for construction of Shrewsbury School. A tramway connected to the school site.

 

Modern map of tramway from brickfield (A) to school (B)

 

Below is the route as shown on the 1882 OS map

 

 

 

 

 

Shutfield Brick & Tile Works, Lightmoor (SJ67740530)

Untitled-1

Started around 1825 and in 1894 it concentrated on tile production until water started leaking into the kiln from a stagnant pool to the west and this caused the works to close in 1951. In 1961,  the site was taken over by an engineering firm. Both roofing tiles and floor tiles were produced and these were branded with the "Lightmoor Broseley" stamp. The kiln was an intermittent down draught kiln with drying sheds. The remains of a single chimney stack is still visible, positioned inside the kiln to the south of the site.

 

Snedshill Brickworks, Snedshill (SJ70031022)

Working from the early 1800s until its closure in 1966. The site was levelled and terraced into the south side of Snedshill for the construction of the brickworks. There were 2 brick kilns and 4 chimneys, together with a range of 20th Century brick buildings and metal framed sheds and structures roofed and clad with a mix of corrugated iron or cement/asbestos sheets. Major fires in the 1980s and 2005 caused the loss of a substantial proportion of the original fabric of the buildings, which were destroyed anyway to create an industrial park.

 

Sommerfield Road Brick & Tile Works, Hadley   (SJ68531192)

Started sometime between 1890-1902 and working up to 1937 but closed by 1954.

 

St Chad Brickfield, Shrewsbury (SJ47141310)

Small brickfield started before 1882 and closed by 1902.

 

St George’s Brick & Tile Works, St George’s (SJ71201151)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1927 but closed by 1928.

 

Stanley Brickworks, Stanley (SO74968323)

Commenced sometime before 1884. Still working in 1904 but closed by 1954.

 

Station Drive Brickworks, Ludlow (SO51347494)

Working prior to 1886 and up to 1891 but closed by 1903.

 

Stirchley Brickworks, Stirchley (SJ70120648)

The Botfields were manufacturing bricks in Stirchley in 1808-1809 in a field south of Stirchley village, later called Brick Kiln Leasow.

 

Sweeney Brickworks, Morda (SJ28922741)

Untitled-1

The site was originally the Sweeney Colliery, owned by the Croxon family and sunk around 1836. By 1842, however, considerable problems with flooding were experienced and, since the seams could be worked from the adjacent Drill Colliery, Sweeney Colliery was abandoned. The site was leased to  Stanley Leighton of the Oswestry Coal & Brick Co. Ltd, who continued the mining but also built a brickworks on site.. This produced red and blue bricks, tiles, pipes and other products.  In 1872, it was put up for auction as a going concern and the particulars of sale included condensing engine, boilers, grinding and tempering pan, elevators, brick ovens and other plant, showing that it was an important concern. The sale was afterwards withdrawn and the site was leased to a group of Lancashire businessmen who formed the Oswestry Coal & Brick Co Ltd. At the outset they were very active, deepening the pit and making other changes by which it was hoped to allow a large increase in output. It was also hoped to construct a branch line to be laid linking up the site with the main line but this never happened. From a paysheet for the fortnight ended September 23rd 1874, it is possible to obtain a rough idea of the output at that time. Note that the mine on site was bringing up both coal and clay for the brickworks.

 

 

Amount Raised

T  C  Q

Rate

Wages

£  s  d

No.1 Company

William Evans

Coal

Clay

122  4  2

18  13  0

3/4d

7¼d

20  7  5

11  2

No.2 Company

John Lewis

Coal

Clay

55  2  0

8  13  0

4/2½d

7¼d

11  11  11

5  3

No.3 Company

Thomas Lewis

Coal

Clay

56  0  0

18  7  0

4/2½d

7¼d

11  15  8

11  4

No.4 Company

Pryce Francis

Coal

Clay

51  17  2

18  18  0

4/2½d

7¼d

11  10  9

11  5

No.5 Company

George Dykes

 

Coal

Clay

63  2  0

13  2  0

4/2½d

7¼d

13  5  7

7  11


No.6 Company

John Edwards

Coal

Clay

76  2  0

19  4  0

4/2½d

7¼d

16  0  3

11 

No.7 Company

John Fields

Clay

Days

15  2  0

7¼d

4/1d

9  2

1  11  8

 

After 1885 it was leased to Kay & Hindle Ltd as the Sweeney Brick & Terracotta Works but they ceased trading by 1901. In 1911 the brickworks was restarted by Sweeney (Oswestry) Brick Company Ltd and then sold to New Sweeney Brick & Tile Company Ltd (composed of a number of local gentlemen of whom Mr C E Williams was managing director).  This company obtained a large contract with a firm in Holland for the supply of blue bricks and the "Advertiser", in commenting on the good news that an order for two million bricks had been obtained, stated that as it required so many bricks to make a ton the contract was equivalent to so many tons. Unfortunately double the correct number of tons was given and Punch Magazine copied the paragraph, pilloried it and added "This estimate allows for the straw".  By 1926 the brickwork and coal workings had been demolished apart from the roadside buildings and the spoil tip. The site is now completely built over with houses. 

 

Tasley Brickworks (SO69449473)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1892 but closed by 1902.

 

Treenpits Brickworks, Cleehill (SO58847551)

Working prior to 1884 and up to 1954 but closed by 1970. Earthworks (clay pit and brick waste) were recorded by the RCHME during their 1983 field survey of Clee Hill.

 

Upper Longwood Brickworks, Eaton Constantine (SJ59160678)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1903 but closed by 1927. Hidden by dense undergrowth, a small downdraft type brick kiln still exists, complete with a square chimney.

 

Upper Moat Brickworks, Church Pulverbatch (SJ45120266)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1891 but closed by 1903.

 

Upton Brickworks, Shifnal (SJ75480655)

There was formerly a brickworks, closed by 1882, in the field west of Upton Farm. An area of platforms approximately 200m by 100m is cut into a north-west facing slope in a pasture field. They do not appear to be house platforms and were probably associated with the brickworks.

 

Wallace Tileries, Coalport (SJ68900260)

Untitled-1

Opened sometime between 1891-1902 on the site of the disused Wallace Colliery. Working until 1954 but closed by 1956.

 

Watling Street Brickworks, (SJ68301120)

Small brickworks north of Watling Street Grange working in 1774 but closed prior to 1842. By 1882 all traces had been destroyed by later mining activities.

 

Waxhill Brick & Tile Works, Donnington Wood  (SJ71201278)

see Woodfield Brick & Tile Works

 

Wellington Brickworks, Wellington (SJ64381172)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1890 but closed by 1902.

 

Westbury Brickworks, Westbury (SJ36360964)

Small brickworks ceased before 1882.

 

Westbury Brick & Pipe Works, Westbury (SJ34861100)

see Sarn Brick & Pipe Works

 

Westoncommon Brick & Tile Works, Petton (SJ42682633)

Working prior to 1881 and up to 1890 but closed by 1901.

 

Whatsill Brickworks, Doddington (SO61667704)

Small brickfield working prior to 1884 and up to 1894 but closed by 1903.

 

White Brickworks, Benthall (SJ67100330)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1954 but closed by 1963.

 

Windy Meadows Brick & Tile Works, Edgmond (SJ73151941)

Working prior to 1880 and up to1925 but closed by 1926.

 

Winthills Brickworks, Knowbury (SO57487544)

Ceased prior to 1885 and site used to sink a coal mine shaft.

 

Wollerton Bank Brickworks (SJ61913031)

Working prior to 1880 and up to 1954 but closed by 1967.

 

Woodhousefield Brick & Drainpipe Works, Bourton (SO60619554)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1902 but closed by 1926. The drying shed has been converted into a cottage and the kiln is being restored by the site owner.

 

Woodfield Brick & Tile Works, Donnington Wood  (SJ71201278)

aka Waxhill Brick & Tile Works

From 1761-1780 Joseph Taylor was the tenant of a large brick and tile works on the northern edge of Donnington wood. The brickworks continued working up to at least 1890 but had closed by 1902.

 

Woodlands Brick & Tile Works, Ironbridge (SJ67660380)

Working prior to 1883 and up to 1903 but closed by 1927.

 

Woodlands Brickworks, Wrockwardine Wood (SJ69851183)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1890 but closed by 1902. Adjacent to the Shropshire Canal on which they probably had a loading wharf. The adjoining Lincoln Road Brickworks to the north is a separate site.

 

Woodlands Tileries, Benthall (SJ674031)

Working prior to 1882 and up to 1891 but closed by 1902.