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The Brickworks of Wales
Mid and North Wales
From Cardigan and Brecon to Flintshire
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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 :-

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Mid Wales

The counties of Brecon, Cardigan, Montgomery, Radnor and Merioneth
Quick link to :-     Breconshire     Cardiganshire     Montgomeryshire     Radnorshire     Merionethshire

Breconshire

Llangammarch Wells - SN 9543 4969

Garth Brickworks, Garth

Brecon, Pen-y-crug - SO 0330 3010

'Coflein' record a brick and tile works adjoining Pen-y-crug hillfort. Quarries, kiln sites, platforms, clay pits, trackways etc. Shown as disused on 1st edn OS 1889.

Builth Wells - SO 0293 5202

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

Cardiganshire

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

An advert in the 'Cambrian News' for 17th June 1910 offered a brickworks in Abersytwyth as a going concern. I haven't been able to locate the site.

Llanon - SN 5213 6480

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

Radnorshire

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

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. Whether 'S Morgan Junr' and 'T Parry Jones' were owners at some time, I don't know. 'Pilot', with its reversed letter 'N', could have been a brand name.

Newtown - SO 1030 9185

There was a brickworks near Dol-Guan in 1884 but it was 'disused' even then and gone by 1900. A 'brickfield' is mentioned in the 1840s just outside of Newtown on the road to Kerry but there's no trace on the first OS maps.

Welshpool - SJ 2305 0722

This 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 was working by 1902 and appears to have carried on until the mid 1970s. it appears to be owned by Edward Oakland Co Ltd until the company was wound up in 1945. The company also appear to have owned Park Hill Brickworks, Wombwell, W Yorks.

Merionethshire

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

This 'Dovey Tilery' brick was found by Martyn Fretwell at Corris so 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)


North Wales

Anglesey

Quick link to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     Denbighshire     Flintshire

Cemaes - SH 3734 9309

Cemaes brickworks, or Afon Wygyr brickworks, is known to have been open from 1907 to 1914 but a smaller brickworks is shown on the 1899 OS map with the tramway running down to the harbour and the brickworks still appears on the 1922 map. The Hoffman kiln certainly dates from 1907 as the date is on the 92 foot chimney stack. The kiln had the capacity to produce 50,000 bricks per week, but probably seldom reached. The brickworks site was partially restored by Anglesey County Council in 1998. The chimney is clearly visible from the A5025 just east of Cemaes Bay and a path leads down to the works. The 2' gauge tramway was built from the harbour to the works to bring in coal and take out the finished bricks. Much of it was made into a footpath in 1976 and about 50yds of track can still be seen here. The tramway was man or horse hauled and in 1926had of 7 coal trucks and 6 brick trucks.

Porth Wen - SH 4020 9460

This very well-known and quite remarkable survivor began life some time before the 1880s as it's on the 1888 OS map as 'Porth Wen Silica Brick Works' but shown as 'disused' by the 1889 revision, published in 1901. By 1906 it was owned by a German named Stiebel who seems to have expanded it and by 1908 Charles Tidy was the owner trading as the 'Tidy Brick and Tile Co'. All goods inward and outward had to be by sea from the works quay, which was quite difficult to navigate. Unfortunately the quality of the bricks seems to have gone downhill and, coupled with the poor transport links, the works closed just before WW1 and any decent machinery was later tranferred to a brickworks near Caernarvon.


Caernarvonshire

Quick link to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     Denbighshire     Flintshire

Caernarvon, Parkia - SH 4978 6558

Parkia (or Parciau) brickworks was built before 1888 and the Parkia Brickfields of Carnarvon Ltd was liquidated on 5 May 1896. The New Parkia Brick Co Ltd was formed in 1908 but it too went into receivership, in 1930. The works were sold and the company liquidated in 1934. It passed to John Summers of Shotton and was shown as 'disused' in 1948 with a concrete works next door.

Caernarvon, Peblig - SH 4910 6200

The brickworks at Peblig Bridge, opened in the 19th century, was latterly closely connected with the Seiont brickworks. In various trade directories it is recorded as being owned by John Jones in 1874, Thomas Hughes & Co in 1880, Oldfield & Co in 1889 to 1903 and the 'Arvon Brick & Tile Co Ltd' of the 'Peblic brickworks' until 1915 when they were dissolved. There is also a 'Peblig and Seiont Brick Co' recorded as brickmakers in 1895. The Peblig Briickworks also passed to John Summers of Shotton, trading as the 'Castle Brick Co'. It appears to have closed around 1947.

Caernarvon, Seiont - SH 4890 6130

A long-established brickworks opened in c1850 but marked 'disused' in 1889. During it's existence it was owned by William Hayward in 1874 andin 1931 by John Summers of Shotton, trading as the 'Castle Brick Co'. By 1972 it was part of the Butterley group, then Hanson group and moved to the other side of the river, finally closed in 2008.

Caernarvon, Slate Quay - SH

Thomas Owen in the 1870s and the 'Caernarvon Brick Works Co' from 1917 to 1936 are recorded as being brickmakers at the Slate Quay.

Llandudno - SH 7799 8120

A brickworks is shown opposite the fever Hospital in 1898/99 but the area is 'old claypits' by 1911

Llandudno - SH 7853 8125

This brickworks opposite the gasworks is on the maps for 1875 and 1898 but is a vacant site in 1911.

Llandudno, Penrhyn Bay - SH 8232 8167

Not on the 1898 map but shown as 'disused' in 1911

Morfa Cwta, Llanfaglan, near Caernarvon - SH 4600 5980

The Llwyn-yn Brick Works was in operation on the 1888 map but only shown as a claypit in 1913.

Porth Neigwl, Abersoch - SH 2584 2821

A very remote brickworks operating around between 1890 and 1900 when it was marked 'disused'., desperately looking for a partner in 1897.


Denbighshire

Quick link to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     Denbighshire     Flintshire

Denbighshire was a huge brick producer centred on Ruabon and Wrexham, featuring such famous names as 'Dennis' and 'JC Edwards'. A suberb book entitled 'Life in the Victorian brickworks of Flintshire and Denbighshire', written by Andrew Connolly, has a vast amount of information on the bricks and brickworks of these counties along with chapters on the brickmaking process itself. There are nearly 300 large pages of text, photos and maps and it is available from the publishers for just £6.00 :- Carreg Gwalch

Denbighshire is also extremely well covered by individual pages of Messrs Sallery and Kitchings 'Brocross/Penmorfa Old Bricks', which are linked below.

    Ruabon     Wrexham     Other NE Wales     Life in Victorian brickworks

All I've done for this website is to produce a simple listing of the brickworks with the addition of my own or friends photos, maps and notes as I've come across them.

Rhyl and Prestatyn

Having seen a brick with 'W M Rhyl' imprinted and wondering where was a brickworks in Rhyl, I find four in close proximity. I haven't traced the 'W M' yet, though.

Cefndy - SJ 0127 8054

Cefndy isn't shown in 1877 but on the go before 1898 when an 'old brickworks' is also shown next to the railway station less then half a mile away. They were in receivership c1897 but back in business by 1900. By 1910 it has been joined by a third brickworks just across the road but that works isn't seen again. The brickworks is shown as 'disused' in 1948.

Ty'n Rhyl - SJ 0174 8093

An old brick kiln is shown here in 1871 but vanished by 1898.

Ty Newydd - SJ 0216 8156

The Tynewydd Brick Works Co Ltd was established after 1871 and was involved in a rates appeal in 1899. it isn't shown on the 1938 map.

Meliden, Prestatyn - SJ 0568 8176

Prestatyn Brickworks or Meliden Brickworks was working by 1898 but is shown as 'disused' by 1938.

Acrefair

Delph Brick and Fireclay Works (118) - SH 2801 4359

T H Seacome and Wyndham & Phillips
Thomas Seacombe founded the brickworks at Delph Quarry in 1868 and purchased by Henry Wyndham in 1883, joined in 1902 by the manager, R T Phillips, becoming Wyndham and Phillips in 1906. The brickworks closed in 1958, to be used to make concrete blocks and tipping, finally opencast mining which destroyed the site.

Ruabon

Hafod 'Red' Brickworks (107)

'Dennis Ruabon' is probably the most well-known name associated with this large brickworks

J.C.Edwards, Ruabon (126)

Monk & Newall, Ruabon (111)

Pant brickworks, Rhos (106)

The largest of the Rhos brickworks, it was originally a colliery and ironworks until it became the 'North Wales Coal & Fireclay Co' around 1860, later the 'Pant Coal, Brick & Fireclay Co'. It was taken over by the industrialist Henry Dennis in 1866 and produced glazed firebricks, under the 'Ruabon Glazed Brick and Fireclay Co', becoming one of Britain's most important producers. The 'Gwersyllt Silica Brick Co' bought the works in 1921 after glazed bricks went out of fashion and closure finally came in 1971.

Ruabon Brick and Terra Cotta Co (110)

Wrexham

Abenbury Brickworks, Wrexham (92) - SH 2584 2821

Llay Hall, Gwersyllt, Wrexham (75)


Flintshire

Quick link to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     Denbighshire     Flintshire

Buckley was the centre of Flint's brick industry with around 25 brickworks and home to some very well-known Welsh brands. A suberb book entitled 'Life in the Victorian brickworks of Flintshire and Denbighshire', written by Andrew Connolly, has a vast amount of information on the bricks and brickworks of these counties along with chapters on the brickmaking process itself. There are nearly 300 large pages of text, photos and maps and it is available from the publishers for just £6.00 :- Carreg Gwalch

Flintshire is also extremely well covered by individual pages of Messrs Sallery and Kitchings 'Brocross/Penmorfa Old Bricks', which are linked below.

Buckley     Other NE Wales     Life in Victorian brickworks

All I've done for this website is to produce a simple listing of the brickworks with the addition of my own or friends photos, maps and notes as I've come across them.

Mold

Alyn Brick Tile & Terra Cotta Co, Coed Talon, Mold (62)

Originally the 'Gem Brick Tile & Terra Cotta Co', registered in 1896, until taken over by the Alyn Brick Tile & Terra Cotta Co in 1901 but still using then 'Gem' trade mark.

Buckley

R Ashton & Co, Knowle Lane brickworks, Buckley (45)

R Ashton & Co were an old-established brickworks, working from c1790 to 1902.

Aston Hall Coal and Brick Co, Buckley (33) - SJ 2940 6605

A combined colliery and brickworks operation dating from the 1860s and lasting through the usual financial crises until 1913. Their trademark was 'Premier' and imprint 'Aston Flintshire'. Bricks imprinted 'JBG & Co' may be from here.

Buckley Brick & Tile Co. Ltd, Brookhall brickworks, Buckley (34), also (40)

Buckley Brick & Tile Co. Ltd was active from 1865 to 1963. Their trademarks were 'Gibsonite' and 'Mettaline'.

Buckley Junction Metallic Brick Co Ltd, Buckley Junction brickworks, Buckley (52)

Buckley Junction brickworks was established in 1911 and closed in 1959 after being taken over by the Castle Firebrick Co in 1956. Their trademarks were 'Jacobean' and 'City'.

Castle Brick Co, Buckley (29)

The Castle Brick Co opened in 1866, becoming the Castle Firebrick and Coal Co in 1875. It eventually became part of John Summers Ltd of Shotton steelworks and closed in 1970. They used a logo of a castle as their trademark.

Catherall & Co, Buckley (35) and (39)

Jonathan Catherall set up an early brickworks in Buckley but closed towards the end of the 19th century.

Charles Davison & Co Ltd Buckley (32) (38)

Charles Davison & Co Ltd were on of the biggest brick manufacturers in Wales with their 'Adamantine'.'Obsidian' and Hysilyn' brands. 'Adamantine' possibly holds the record for imprinting no less than 77 letters on one brick! They specialised in refractory and acid resistant bricks at their Ewloe Barn Brick and Tile Works and Old Ewloe works, active from 1933 to 1951 The company merged with General Refractories Ltd, and then taken over by the firm of G. R. Stein Ltd. The site closed in 1967.

Drury & Co, Sandycroft Brickworks, Buckley (43)

Sandycroft Colliery and Brickworks was working in c1860 under a number of owners until closure in the 1960s.

Etna Brick & Tile Co, Buckley (37)

The Etna brickworks was owned by George Watkinson and Sons who owned a number of collieries and brickworks in the area in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Globe Fire Clay Works, Buckley (36)

The Globe Fire Clay Works, trademark 'Fort', was working from 1878 to 1912. The claypit still survives.

Lane End brickworks, Buckley (48)

Hancock and Co opened the Lane End brickworks in 1792. It became part of the Castle Firebrick Co in 1956, then Butterley and Hanson until closing as late as 2004, the last brickworks in Buckley.

New Mount brickworks, Buckley (47)

New Mount brickworks was opened by Hancock and Co in 1865 and almost immediately closed. It re-opened in the 1890s but is shown as 'disused' on the 1900 and 1912 OS maps.The chimney was demolished in 1941.

E Parry & Sons Ltd, Ewloe Wood brickworks, Buckley (31)

Parry's used the trademark 'Dragon' and operated from 1860 until the late 1960s. They were acquired by the Castle firebrick Co in 1944.

South Buckley Colliery and Brickworks, Buckley (50)

Beginning business as the 'North & South Buckley Colliery, Brick & Tile Co', becoming the 'Rock Brick Co' at some time.

Standard Buff & Glazed Brick Co, Mount Pleasant, Buckley (41)

An offshoot of the Mount Pleasant Colliery by John Bates Gregory, it became a pipe works and cl;osed in 1969.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

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, Kes Jones, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Frank Moore, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Glyn Roberts, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Ian Suddaby, Templeton Heritage Group, Gareth Thomas, David Wood amonst many others.

A suberb book entitled 'Life in the Victorian brickworks of Flintshire and Denbighshire', written by Andrew Connolly, has a vast amount of information on the bricks and brickworks along with chapters on the brickmaking process itself. There are nearly 300 large pages of text, photos and maps and it is available from the publishers for just £6.00 :- Carreg Gwalch

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 :- britishbricksoc.co.uk

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


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