The Brickworks of Wales and their Bricks
Bricks are 'History with a label' so here's the story of the brickworks of Wales. It is presented in the form of a gazetteer, county by 1974 county, from Monmouthshire in the South-East to Flintshire in the North-East. It includes maps, photos, products and (as far as I know them) brief histories. It's very much 'Work-in-Progress' and probably always will be as there's so much to discover. I'm also collating an alphabetical list of Welsh brick imprints and created a Welsh Brickfinder which includes all the imprints I've come across plus the names of places, brickworks, companies and proprietors where it's not obvious from the imprint. And finally there's a couple of pages of the bricks I've tripped over anywhere around the World.
Dedicated to the work of Mike Stokes
was the work of the late Mike Stokes. Following Mike's untimely death his website is inaccessible and may suddenly go offline so I have transcribed it here and am expanding it as time allows.
The Eastern Valley to Blaenavon, the Western (Ebbw) Valleys to Brynmawr and Beaufort, the Sirhowy Valley to Tredegar and the Rhymney Valley to Rhymney, Newport City and Rural Monmouthshire. The clay deposits of the Eastern and Western valleys were home to a large number of well-known brickworks, many of which were still at work until recently.
Cardiff and South Glamorgan
A great many brickworks in Cardiff and it's suburbs, then Penarth, Barry and out to Pentyrch. There were a surprising number of early brickfields in and around Cardiff in the mid 19th century as the City developed. Most of these disappeared as they became the victims of their own products.
Bridgend and the Ogwr Valleys, The Taff Vale to Merthyr, the Rhondda and the Cynon Valley to Hirwaun. The coastal area near Bridgend was well-known for brick production, the valleys concentrated on their collieries but still managed to have a viable brick industry.
The communities around Port Talbot, Neath and Swansea then up to the top of their valleys to some very remote locations. West Glamorgan was rich in clay deposits and a flourishing brick industry grew up, closely connected with the strength of the coalfields.
Llanelly, Kidwelly and the coal fields of Carmarthenshire were well blessed with brickworks and Pembrokeshire had quite few too.
The counties of Brecon, Cardigan, Montgomery, Radnor and Merioneth where brickworks were rather thin on the ground. There were two big brickworks, Buttington's in Welshpool and Park in Newtown.
Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire and Flintshire. Snowdonia does not lend itself to brickmaking at all but this is more than made up for by the prolific brickworks of Denbigh and Flint.
The Welsh Brickfinder and the Bricks I've tripped over...
The Welsh Brickfinder is an index to brick imprints, works, companies, proprietors and locations across Wales.
I've tripped over many bricks in my travels, here are my finds from the UK, mostly found in Wales! The Round the World brick trip visits New Zealand, primitive brickworks in India and other places.
Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.
The Brocross/Penmorfa 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 :-
There is a specialist society for brick history :-
There's also a 'Facebook' group for bricks and brickworks :-
'Bricks and Brickworks Past'