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The Brickworks of Wales
South and Mid Glamorgan
In memory of Mike Stokes
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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
along with a good group on Facebook for brick and brickworks enthusiasts here :-

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge a photo or map and sometimes read more about it.
Then click 'Full Size' on the toolbar to see it in all its glory.


Cardiff City

Quick links to :-     Cardiff City     South Glamorgan

Birchgrove - ST 1673 8049

The Phoenix Brick, Tile and Terra Cotta Co opened in 1895 was up and running by 1898. It became The Phoenix Brick Co by 1906 and disappears betwwen 1951 and 1963

Canton - ST 1537 7647

Canton Brickworks, Sanitorium Road, is shown on the 1898 map up to 1938 but has gone by 1947. In 1910 E J Moore (the manager?) was summoned for having an unguarded engine.

'Cory'

Cory Brothers & Co were well-known shipowners based in Cardiff but they had many other interests as well. However they don't appear to have owned a brickworks. they did own pentre Colliery which had an adjacent brickworks. They amalgamated with the Powell Duffryn Co in 1944 so they may have used one of their brickworks on a contract basis.

East Moors - ST 2003 7576

Adamsdown Brickworks, Lewis Road. An advert dated 4 May 1872 states :- "On Sale, at Adamsdown Brick Yard, Forty Thousand solid square bricks of good quality and large size. Apply at Mr Waring's Office, St. Mary Street". It's shown on the 1881map but marked 'old' by 1901.

East Moors - ST 2005 7609

Fire Brick Works, Lewis Road, in 1881, 'Eagle' paint works by 1901

Ely, Highland Park - ST 1419 7562
Ely, West End - ST 1369 7525

Two brickworks in close proximity in Ely, Cardiff operated by William Thorne & Sons. One cited as at Cowbridge Road, Ely, but was about a quarter mile from the named road. The other works at Caerau, named West End, a short distance away. The first reference to the firm is in Kelly's 1906 directory although the Cowbridge Road works appears on the 1901 OS map. The Caerau works which is shown as West End doesn't appear until a later edition of the map. Both works appear to have shut down around the time of WW2 and re-emerged as Welsh Brick Industries (1946) Ltd with the former Cowbridge Road works now named Highland Park Brickworks. West End was disused by 1955 and closed in 1962 and Highland Park in 1975. Just to confuse matters there is another 'Ely' brickworks in Wenvoe, South Glamorgan. Info from Mike Stokes.

Grangetown Lower - ST 1776 7369

Lower Grange Brick Co, Ferry Road was open by 1875 and for sale in 1897. It seems to have failed to find a buyer as the 1899 map only shows the site of the claypits.

Grangetown Upper - ST 1760 7500

Upper Grangetown Brickworks covered the land between Penarth Road and Bromsgrove Street. It was open by 1875 but completely built over by 1901, possibly with its own bricks!

Leckwith - ST 1687 7549

Leckwith Brickworks, Sloper Road, appears on the 1875 map but by the time Sloper Road is built in 1898 the site is labelled 'Old Brickkilns'.

Llandaff North - ST 1445 7940

Llandaff Brick and Stone Co, one of Solomon Andrews less successful ventures, took over a brickworks here in 1888 supplying bricks to many of his own building projects. He tried to make a new kind of cement at the works but it was a failure and seems to have closed in 1896. The works were 'disused' by 1898.

Llandough - ST 1666 7362

Llandough Limeworks were owned in 1871 by D Thomas and Son and the brickworks had been opened next door by 1899. J E Billups of Billups Brick Co Ltd was the proprietor, becoming the Llandough Brick Co by 1923. The limeworks had gone and the brickworks is marked 'disused' by 1947.

Llanishen - ST 1823 8067

Originally the Bute brickworks, this works became part of the 'Duffryn and Llanishen Brick, Tile, Sanitary Pipe and Terra Cotta Co Ltd', who also owned Aberaman brickworks. The works is shown on the 1875 map but the company went bankrupt in 1892 and was offered as a going concern by the liquidator. It had disappeared on the 1901 map.

Maindy - ST 1748 7810

Cardiff Brick Co, Maindy. Originally the Maindy Brick & Tile Co, not shown on the 1880 map but going strong in 1884. It became the Cardiff Brick Co Ltd by 1891 and appears disused by 1938. By 1961 the Company was listed as Powell Duffryn Ltd, Brick & Pipe Dept, Parkfield Place, Maindy, Cardiff.

Newport Road - ST 2030 7790

Roath Brickworks in 1901 only

Newport Road - ST 2067 7800

Roath Pottery and Brickworks, 1901, disused in 1919

Newport Road - ST 2082 7809

Brick kiln in 1881 only, could be an earlier 'Heath' kiln or 'Billups Brick Co' before he went to Llandough?

Newport Road - ST 2091 7796

Brick kiln on South of railway in 1881 only

Newport Road - ST 2093 7822

Heath Brickworks, Thomas Waring in 1884, Waring's Brick Works Co in 1906, gone by 1919

Newport Road - ST 2093 7834

Bridge Brickworks 1881 - 1901, gone by 1919

Newport Road - misc owners in the area were :-

Billups Brick Co Ltd, Wm R Copp, Jenkins and Son, James Lewis

Penarth Road - ST 1785 7543

A brickworks is shown next to the Taff Bridge on Penarth Road in 1878 only

Pentrebane - ST 1324 7854

Waterhall brickworks is on the 1880 map and is 'disused' by 1900. However the buildings and 'old kiln' are still shown up to 1942.

Radyr - ST 1400 7950

Radyr Brick and Quarry Co began by supplying stone for the building of Penarth Dock in 1861. It was originally owned by William Smith, by Walter Raleigh Parker from 1889 and John Lewis in 1898, closing in 1908 on John Lewis' death. here's a full account of Radyr Quarry

Roath - ST 1935 7811

Brickworks in 1880 only, under the houses of Balaclava Road by 1901

'Vachell Cardiff'

This brick was found at Insole Court, Cardiff. Charles Vachell had made his money as an apothecary and later became Mayor of Cardiff. He developed Charles Street as a quality residential street in the mid-1800s along with other buildings. His family included solicitors, botanists and mining engineers but where they were involved in the brick industry remains a mystery at the moment.


South Glamorgan

Quick links to :-     Cardiff City     South Glamorgan

Cadoxton, Barry - ST 1293 6803

An already 'old' brickworks existed in Cadoxton in 1878 and was buried under Barry Docks by 1900

Cadoxton, Barry - ST 1323 6961

Arkells Cadoxton Brick Works, open by 1900 and 'disused' by 1942. The works was established by Henry Arkell (1838 - 1902), originally from Gloucester, who had previously been a shoe merchant in Penarth and then kept the Windsor Hotel in Cardiff. After Henry's death, the works was owned by his wife, Caroline, and managed by his son, Herbert.

Cadoxton, Barry
Biglis Brick Co - ST 1446 6903
New Dock brickworks - ST 1446 6910
Globe brickworks - ST 1469 6912

The Biglis Brick Co was at Cadoxton, Barry by 1891 along with the New Dock brickworks and the Globe brickworks. All three are shown on the 1898 map with William Boucher listed as proprietor of Biglis in 1906. Only Biglis is on the 1915 map and then marked 'disused'. All had vanished from the OS maps by 1946. As Barry docks opened in 1889 it seems likely that they were supplying bricks for the contractors.

Cogan, Penarth - ST 1769 7214

Penarth Brickworks Co, Cogan

Cogan, Penarth - ST 1749 7240

Penarth Patent Press Brickworks, Cogan Pill brickworks

Dinas Powis - ST 1557 7098

The Gwalia brickworks, Dinas Powis, were open by 1898 with a siding from the goods yard. The works were 'disused' in 1948 and demolished in 1956-7.

Pentyrch - ST 1192 8324

The brickworks was opened by T W Booker as part of the ironworks and colliery complex, then Owens &Watkins who became Evan Owens & Co and finally the Glamorgan Brick Co in 1915. It appears to have closed between the wars. The site is now a housing development. Most of theoutput is imprinted 'Pentyrch' or 'Glamorgan Brick Co' but some other bricks found at the brickworks site include a possible 'Booker & Co', a number of bricks with 'TWCo', was 'TW' for Taffs Well or TW from T W Booker? and some imprinted 'L N R' with a reversed 'N' as on other Pentyrch bricks.

Wenvoe - ST 1204 7459

To further confuse the 'Ely' Brickworks there is another works first shown on the 1901 OS 6" map. This is seen as Ely Brickworks but was obviously not in use for a very long period as by the time of the 1915 OS map the site is shown as Old Marl Pit with no buildings. It is not known whether this was another of Thorne's works as no reference can be found other than this map. Info from Mike Stokes.


Mid Glamorgan

Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley
    The Rhondda Valley     The Taff Vale

Aberkenfig - SS 8802 8334

Bridgend Dinas Brick Co, Fountain, Aberkenfig is mentioned in 1880 trade directories and appears on the 1897 OS map but is shown as 'disused' by 1914. The photos of the site were taken in 1990 by Mike Stokes.

Aberkenfig - SS 8886 8358

The 1914 and 1941 maps show an 'old brickworks' with two kilns at this location. There is nothing on the 1897 map at all. In 1941 the clay pits were connected by an aerial ropeway to Tondu brickworks so possibly it was part of the Tondu company.

Beddau, Llantrisant - ST 0649 8522

This brickworks near the site of Ty'n-y-Nant Colliery only appears on the 1914 OS map. It's at the end of a tramway from the old 'Ida Colliery' which may have been a source of clay.

Bryncethin - SS 9168 8447

Bryncethin Brick Co Ltd first appears in Kellys directory in 1895 becoming Bryncethin Brick Works Ltd around 1920. It is believed to have closed in 1960. In 1930 a Sentinel steam lorry No 6773 of 1926 was sold to Charles Jenkins (Bryncethin Brick Works) Ltd. The brickworks converted it to a railway loco and it was presumed scrapped by 1938. A Lister 2ft gauge railtruck No 9969 of 1938 was purchased to work in the claypits.

Brynmenyn - SS 9066 8502

Brynmenyn Brickworks, Bridgend, appears on the 1877 map but there are no kilns shown so it may be under construction. The 1899 map shows it as fully operational but no sign of Brymenyn Colliery. By 1919 it seems to have gone and Brymenyn Colliery is shown as 'disused'.

Coedely - ST 0144 8593

Coedely Brickworks

Llanharan, South Rhondda - SS 9913 8442

South Rhondda Colliery and brickworks, Brynna, Llanharan

Llantrisant, Mwyndy - ST 0560 8177

Hudson Bros (Llantrisant) Ltd, Mwyndy Sawmills and Brickworks, Mwyndy, Llantrisant. The company is believed to have started c1905 as I'm told they are not mentioned in the 1904 RCH Handbook. They seem to have been quite short-lived as the company was dissolved in 1911 but the brickworks are still shown on the 1948 map but as 'disused'. Around this time the site became a coal brickette manufacturer. I've not discovered any bricks with a 'Hudson' imprint.

Llantrisant, Pontyclun - ST 0275 8215

Noel Bros & Co Ltd, Pontyclun, Llantrisant

Maesteg - SS 8493 9147

Llynfi Ironworks

Maesteg, Llwydarth - SS 8604 9019

The brickworks at Llwydarth may well have been owned by William Davis of Bridgend, who opened the adjacent Maesteg Merthyr Colliery in 1868. The brickworks and claypit feature on the 1877 OS map but have gone by 1899 and the claypit tramway marked 'old'.

Pencoed, Hendre - SS 9464 8170

Hendre Brickworks, Pencoed

Pencoed - SS 9578 8176

Pencoed Terra Cotta Brick & Tile Co Ltd, Pencoed and Powis Brick & Tile Co Ltd, Pencoed Brick & Tile Co Ltd

Porthcawl

George Bedford of Briton Ferry, 1851 - 1881, put 'Porthcawl' on his bricks but there is no evidence that there was ever a brickworks in Porthcawl at the time. Some 30 years later, in 1910, the Glamorgan Gazette reported an intended brickworks in Porthcawl but again there is no evidence that a brickworks was built.
Read the full details here

Pyle, Cefn Cribbwr - SS 8536 8340

Cefn Cribbwr Brick Co

Pyle, Stormy - SS 8531 8166

Stormy Stone and Brick Co

Quarella - SS 9031 8074

Quarella Brickworks, Bridgend, owned by William McGaul

Tondu, Evanstown - SS 8925 8402

Tondu Brickworks is first mentioned in Kellys in 1891 as the Evanstown Brick Works, owned by Robert Evans, the owner of the kilns on the other side of Tondu Ironworks. It appears on the 1899 OS map becoming the Evanstown & Tondu Brick Works Co (l910) and the Tondu Brickworks Co Ltd by 1926, finally closing c1974.


Tondu Brickworks was demolished in the late 1970s and luckily someone took these photos to record it.

Tondu, Ferguson's - SS 8939 8451

John Ferguson's Brickworks adjacent to Tondu station was advertised for sale in various south Wales news publications from January to March 1878. This brickworks is on the 1877 and 1899 OS maps but the kilns had gone by 1919. The land was leased to Robert Evans who went on to build the Evanstown brickworks.

Tondu, Ynysawdre - SS 8997 8425

Ynysawdre Coke, Coal and Brick Co Ltd, part of Ynysawdre (Adare) Colliery. No separate brick kilns are shown on any maps but local knowledge says they were part of the colliery complex. The colliery is on 1877 OS map and expanded on the 1899 map with coke ovens. Adare Colliery and the coke ovens were marked 'disused' by 1919.

Waterton, Bridgend - SS 8939 8451

Durus Cast Stone Co, Cowbridge Road, Waterton is shown as a brickworks on the 1941 map, but appears from the company name may have been making cast concrete products.

The Cynon Valley

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley
    The Rhondda Valley     The Taff Vale

Aberaman - SO 0176 0034

Aberaman brickworks, opened after 1884 next to Aberaman Colliery, were owned by the Duffryn & Llanishen Brick, Tile, Sanitary Pipe & Terra Cotta Co Ltd in 1891, who also owned the works at Llanishen in cardiff. Later it became part of Powell Duffryn & Co and closed in the 1960s.

Aberdare, Blaengwawr - SO 0065 0205

Blaengwawr Brickworks, Aberdare

Aberdare, Gadlys - SO 0005 0317

Gadlys Brickworks, Aberdare appears to have been working between 1901 and 1914 but there is mention of it being dismantled and auctioned off in 1903. More information needed.

Aberdare, Llwydcoed - SN 9924 0444

Aberdare Brickworks was open by 1898 in the ruins of Aberdare Iron Co, Llwydcoed, It was owned by the Duffryn & Llanishen Brick, Tile, Sanitary Pipe & Terra Cotta Co Ltd in 1891, Aberdare Brick Co in 1920 and Tanybryn Brickworks Co Ltd in 1931. The chimney was felled in 1982. I assume that the 'Crown Brickworks' is the same company but I can't find any details of it.

Cwmdare, Bwllfa Dare - SN 9735 0230

Bwllfa Dare Brickworks, Cwmdare, possibly opened with the colliery in 1856 and is on the 1868-78 map. It's still shown on the 1948 map but appears quite isolated.

Cwmdare, Nantmelyn - SN 9730 0285

Nantmelyn Brickworks, Cwmdare, first appears on the 1897 map and is still there in 1948.

Hirwaun - SN 9605 0605

Hirwaun Brickworks. From Richard Paterson and Mike Stokes :- The firm was founded in 1853 as Allen & Younger and became N B Allen in 1871. According to Nansi Selwood's excellent 'History of the Villages of Hirwaun and Rhigos', the firm made bricks from silica brought via a dedicated mineral line from two quarries, Yr Eithin and Y Foel, in Penderyn. The bricks were reputedly of high quality and won a prize at the 1880 Paris Exhibition, though a flourishing export trade ended with the outbreak of WW1 as the bricks were required for use on the home front. I remember 'the Quarry Line' being in use and I know that, eventually, Allens were taken over by General Refractories, later GR Stein, before closure in 1973.

Hirwaun, Rhydywaen - SN 9725 0455

Rhydywaen Brickworks, Hirwaun

Hirwaun, Tir Herbert - SN 9435 0605

Tir Herbert Brickworks, Hirwaun, opened after 1878 but is marked 'disused' in 1914.

Mountain Ash, Miskin - ST 0490 9815

'Coflein' record a brickworks on Windsor Street here. There are a number of quarries in the area but no sign of a brickworks as such.

The Rhondda Valley

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley
    The Rhondda Valley     The Taff Vale

Blaenrhondda - SS 9248 0054

Part of Blaen-Rhondda Colliery by 1877, they were marked 'old' in 1899. Blaen-Rhondda Colliery had become part of the Fernhill Collieries by 1919 and the kilns had gone.

Hopkinstown - ST 0588 9077

Great Western Colliery, Tymawr Brickworks, Hopkinstown

Llwynypia - SS 9956 9268

Part of the Glamorgan Colliery, Llwynypia which opened in 1863. Brick production had probably ceased by 1938 when the colliery was greatly reduced, closing finally in 1945.

Pentre - ST

Pentre Brickworks

Tonypandy - SS 9943 9362

A brickworks is shown on the site of Brith-Weunydd Colliery but it is only shown on the 1900 OS map.

The Taff Vale

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley
    The Rhondda Valley     The Taff Vale

Taffs Well - ST 1206 8462

Bryncoch Brickworks, Taffs Well worked from before 1873 to c1900. The 1914 map shows the works still standing but unmarked and all the tramways lifted.

Pontypridd, Sardis Road - ST 0695 8988

Sardis Road brickworks, Pontypridd, was open by 1873 and is shown on OS maps up to 1948.

Pontypridd, Pwllgwaun - ST 0638 9014

The Victoria Brick Works Co Ltd at Pwllgwaun isn't shown on the 1875 map but was listed in 1895 and for sale in 1897. It's shown as the 'Victoria Works' on maps until 1948 but may have ceased brickmaking at the end of WW1 when the Victoria Colliery closed. A 'Pwllgwaun Brick & Tile Co Ltd' is listed in 1952.

Merthyr Tydfil, Cyfarthfa - SO 0379 0707

Cyfarthfa Ironworks had a brickworks next to the Pont-y-Cafnau Bridge, shown on the 1875 1:500 town plan, with two kilns. They are still shown on the 1919 edition.

Merthyr Tydfil, Dowlais - SO 0697 0737

Dowlais Ironworks had a very large brickworks next to their iron and steelworks, shown on the 1875 1:500 town plan, with many kilns. They are all shown as 'disused' on the 1949 edition

Merthyr Tydfil, Heolgerrig - SO 0368 0653

A post WW2 brickworks of the Butterley Co probably re-processing slag heaps, appearing on the 1958 map and closed c1992.

Merthyr Tydfil, Sarn Helen, Merthyr Common - SO 0768 0605

'Old Brick kilns' are shown on the 1876 OS map only. They had gone by 1900.

Merthyr Tydfil, Pen-y-darran - SO 0600 0567

Pen-y-darran Ironworks had a brickworks, shown on the 1875 1:500 town plan, with two kilns. They had gone on the 1900 edition as had Pen-y-darran Ironworks itself.

Merthyr Tydfil, Thomastown - SO 0508 0597

A brickworks in Thomastown, owned by the Jenkins family, was in existance from 1877 to 1921 at least.

Merthyr Tydfil, Trebeddau - SO 0524 0675

A brickworks is shown on the 1876 OS map only. It had gone by 1900.

Dedicated to the work of Mike Stokes

The 'Brickworks of South Wales' was the work of the late Mike Stokes on his excellent website, The Brickworks of South Wales. 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.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

This page is particularly the work of the late Mike Stokes, who had a huge knowledge of South Wales brickworks and their products. A great many other people have supplied information and photos to add to the story, so many thanks to (alphabetically) Graham Bennett, Mike Bennett, Ian Cooke, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, Martyn Fretwell, Andrew Harvard, Tracey Hucker, Glen Johnson, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Frank Moore, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Ian Suddaby, Templeton Heritage Group, Gareth Thomas, David Wood amonst many others.

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 :- 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 :-

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


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