Brickworks on the Edge of the County

The old brickyard plantation1 is a triangular piece of woodland in the northwest of the grid square SP 290750, with one face bordering Gibbet Hill Road. Close examination shows some interesting features which, along with its size, suggest that quite a large establishment was located here for the manufacture of “bricks ,tiles,and pipes” which again suggests that it might have been managed by the Stoneleigh estate.

Obscured features

Immediately close to the road, the features are obscured by modern building rubble of brick and concrete which has been roughly levelled. Behind this one can see (on the 300 ft contour) on the southern side, the well-defined edges of presumably a clay pit. Running in line with the north facing boundary is a ridge feature, possibly back-filled with rubble to the north where it is close to modern buildings. it is my supposition that this was the north boundary of the pit and that the area north of it was the brickyard, where clay dug in Autumn was stored in heaps to consolidate over winter, before being moulded for bricks and fired in stacks in one of various types of kiln.

Continuous use

Meanwhile, there are other possible brickworks at the modern industrial site between Westwood Heath Church and the smithy. This site occupies the same boundaries which were marked on 1902 inch to the mile O.S. mapping, and used to be if I remember correctly the locations for Wormells roofing, a specialist supplier of roofing materials – the present use seems to be related to the construction industry.

What is interesting is the eastern boundary, which on close examination seem to be a clay pit. This suggests that the rest of the property might have been a brickworks, which would agree with its continuity of use for industrial purposes. The photo of the entrance to the premises shows a residential building of late 19th century appearance, which could have been the manager’s residence or “office” buildings.

1 So named on first series O.S. 1:25000 mapping.

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