Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Birmingham Brickworks - part 4

In part 4 of Birmingham Brickworks I cover these areas ;- Selly Oak, Kings Heath, Kings Norton, Sparkbrook, Greet & Tyseley. 

E. Boylin, Selly Oak

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882.

This Selly Oak brickworks was first worked by Edward Boylin then after his death Edward's wife Eleanor took over until she sold the works to Marshall Raybould & I have wrote about Raybould in Birmingham Brickworks part 3. 

It is unknown if Edward or Eleanor made this brick. Both Edward & Eleanor where born in Shropshire, Edward 1815 & Eleanor 1822 & after their marriage they produced 8 children who were all born in Tipton between 1850 & 1868. I have a 1870 reference recording Edward Boylin as being a coal dealer in Selly Oak. The 1871 census records Edward as a Brickmaster in Northfield, Worcestershire & from the web I have found Selly Oak during the 1800's was within the Parish of Northfield. The only trade directory entry that I have for Edward Boylin is in Kelly's 1872 edition which just records him at Selly Oak. It was from Marshall Raybould's later trade directory entries that I acquired the works address of Frederick Road (coloured yellow on the 1882 OS map above). Edward died in 1873 & from White's 1875 edition Mrs. Eleanor Boylin is listed as brickmaker at Selly Oak. Eleanor's trade directory entries continue to Kelly's 1880 edition. We find in the 1881 census that Eleanor's 3rd son Charles, born 1856, aged 25 is listed as a brickmaker living on Harborne Lane, Selly Oak in the Parish of Northfield. So it appears Charles may have joined his mother in the family brickmaking business as soon as he had left school. With finding Marshall Raybould at this Frederick Road works in Kelly's 1882 edition I am taking it that Eleanor sold the works to Raybould in late 1881 or early 1882. Whether Charles was given the opportunity to take over the brickworks is unknown as we next find from a family website that Charles & his family emigrated to America in 1888.

Hough & Co. Kings Heath

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1883.

I start this entry by telling you about the first owner of the red coloured brickworks at the end of Kings Road (purple) as shown on the 1883 OS map above which later became Hough & Co.'s brickworks. Kelly's 1876 & 1878 editions lists Henry Garner, Kings Road, Kings Heath as brickmaker at this red works. Kelly's 1879 edition then lists Henry Garner as owning a new brickworks on nearby Grove Road (orange) & I have coloured this new brickworks blue on the 1883 OS map above. This blue coloured brickworks later became a claypit to the yellow coloured brickworks & I write about this yellow coloured works later in the post. The green coloured road on this 1883 OS map was only an access lane to the two brickworks at this date.

Now back to the red coloured works & we next find that Tarry & Haydon re-established a brickworks at the side of Carlton House around 1896/7 & this "new works" is shown on the 1902 map below coloured red. Tarry & Haydon are listed with the address of Priory Estate Brickworks, Kings Heath in Kelly's 1897 edition. Then Kelly's 1899 edition records the owners of this Priory Estate Brickworks, Kings Road as Hough & Co.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1902.

I just quickly mention at this point that I have been unable to establish who owned the disused brickworks which I have coloured green on this 1902 OS map.

This is were information from A.H. Stephenson's 1933 Birmingham Brickmakers book is slightly confusing as Albert writes that John Hough had started this Kings Road works & then after his untimely death (date unknown, but I have a reference to him being alive in November 1900), Tarry & Haydon ran the works & traded as Hough & Co. 

So I can only assume at some point in 1899 that it was the other way round & it was John Hough the elder who joined Tarry & Haydon at the works with this duo being listed at this works in 1897 & Hough & Co. was then formed in 1899 as per trade directory entry. Tarry & Haydon then ran the works after John Hough the elder's death. John Hough had a son called John & Stephenson refers to him as John the younger & I write about this John in the Kings Norton Brickworks entry. It is unknown if John Hough the younger had any dealings with this Kings Heath works, but from info found for the Kings Norton Brickworks, I am saying no, but if anything is found to the contrary, I will update the post.

Kelly's list Hough & Co. at the Priory Brick Works, Kings Road, Kings Heath from it's 1899 edition to the last available trade directory in 1940. 

Another excerpt from Albert Stephenson's book in which he states "that some years ago the yard of Hough & Co. Kings Heath was purchased by the late Mr. H.M. Grant & is now being run (1933) by his nephews, Messrs. J.H.B. & Grant Dixon."

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1937.

The 1937 OS map above shows a much enlarged brickworks at this date & Carlton House no longer exists. I have found that this works closed in 1960, whether it was still owned by the Dixon's at this date is unknown. Today houses have been built on this former brickworks site with one of the roads being named Hough Road. 

Kings Norton Brick Co. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1903.

This brickworks on Wharf Road, Parson's Hill, Kings Norton (marked as Wharf Lane on this map) was first owned jointly by John Hough the elder & John Hough the younger. Father & son are listed in Kelly's 1899 & 1900 editions as John Hough & Son, Wharf Road, Kings Norton. The London Gazette dated 13th of November 1900 gives notice that the partnership of John Hough the elder & John Hough the younger carrying on the business of the Kings Norton Brick & Building Co. had been dissolved by mutual consent on the 16th of October 1900. All debts due to & owing by the said firm would be received & payed by John Hough the younger, who was then going into partnership with Thomas Cooper to operate the Kings Norton Brick & Building Co. 

Albert Stephenson writes in his book "that soon after the war (WW 1) Hough & Cooper sold their works to a London firm of house builders who formed it into a limited liability company with Mr. John Hough becoming Manager."

The Kings Norton Brick Co. is listed in Kelly's 1903 to 1921 editions with the address of Wharf Road, Kings Norton. Kelly's 1932 to 1940 editions gives the works address as Parson's Hill, Kings Norton.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1936.

I have added this 1936 map to show how the brickworks had expanded into the neighbouring fields. The works closed in 1959. Today, some industrial units occupy this former brickworks site, but the majority of this land (ex filled-in clay pit) is still undeveloped. 

Before I go on to my next brickworks there is another brickworks owned by the Hough family to tell you about which was situated in Staffordshire. Kelly's 1900 edition lists John Hough & Sons, Heath End, Goscote, Walsall. This is the only entry for Hough family at this works as we find a Notice in the London Gazette dated 13th November 1900 reports that the partnership of John Hough the elder, John Hough the younger & Frederick Rowley Hough, carrying on the business of Colliery Proprietors at the Forrest Collieries, Walsall & as Brickmakers at the Heath End Brickworks, Pelsall, operating under the style or firm of John Hough & Sons had been dissolved by mutual consent on the 16th of October 1900. All debts due to & owing by the said firm would be received & payed by John Hough the elder & Frederick Rowley Hough who will carry on the said business at the above addresses, under the style or firm of John Hough & Son. With this new partnership of father & one son not being listed in Kelly's 1904 edition, I am assuming they had either closed or sold this Heath End brickworks by 1904. 

W.H. Parton, Kings Heath

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1902.

I kick off this entry with information about the first owner of this yellow coloured brickworks situated just off Grove Road, Kings Heath (orange) as shown on the 1883 OS map above. Kelly's 1876 edition lists John Gardiner at Grove Road, Kings Heath & this entry continues until Kelly's 1892 edition. I have found that this works closed in 1892 or 1893. The reason why is unknown, unless John Gardiner had passed away ? What we do known from my next account of this works is that it stood derelict for several years.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1902.

So on to Albert Stephenson's account on what happened next at this Grove Road works, coloured yellow on the 1902 map above, which now includes the land on which another brickworks had occupied in 1879 on the other side of the green coloured lane. Albert writes in his 1933 book that Mr. Parton a Birmingham builder who had regularly purchased his bricks made at his Globe Brickworks, first came to him to seek his advice on re-opening a brickworks which had stood derelict for many years at Kings Heath. Mr. Parton then offered Albert an equal share in this brickworks if he reorganised & then worked the plant for him with Mr. Parton raising the necessary capital for the venture. Albert then writes - "Things were very bad at the time & I saw no "market" in the near future at Kings Heath & I was foolish enough to decline the offer. Mr Parton had faith in this venture, found a good manager, vastly improved the plant & for many years did a really capital trade." Albert continues to write that he later regretted this decision. Apparently it was in the early 1900's that Kings Heath started to expand & bricks were needed for the many houses being built at this time.      

The 1881 census records William Henry Parton as a Builder & Contractor aged 46, his wife Sarah aged 33 & son William Henry junior aged 6 living at 160, Mary Street, Balsall Heath. The 1891 census records William Henry Parton aged 55 & now a farmer, living with his wife Sarah aged 43 & son William Henry junior aged 16 at Alcester Road, Kings Norton.

Then from Stephenson's account, William Henry Parton purchases & re-starts the brickworks at Kings Heath last owned by John Gardiner in 1892. This appears to have been around 1897/8 as we find that the first trade directory entry listing William as a brickmaker is in Kelly's 1899 edition & the entry reads, W.H. Parton & Son, High Street, Kings Heath (office or home). The same entry is then listed in the Kelly's 1900 & 1903 editions. Although the works address is not listed in trade directories, William's works was the one which I have coloured yellow on the 1902 map above, just off Grove Road.

There is gap in trade directory entries for W.H. Parton & Son at High Street, Kings Heath, with their next entry being found in Kelly's 1912 edition. The answer to this gap may be found in Albert Stephenson book in which he writes - "As long as he lived, the yard was very prosperous, but after his death, his son found it impossible to carry on successfully & the yard was not opened after the war (1st World War). So it appears W.H. Parton died sometime between 1903 & 1912. There are two more trade directory entries for W.H. Parton & Son at High Street, Kings Heath & they appear in Kelly's 1913 & 1915 editions & it will have been William Henry junior running the works at these dates. With the last trade directory entry being dated 1915, this confirms Stephenson's account that the works did not reopen after the war. The 1937 OS map in the Hough entry, now shows Parton's former brickworks site as a Corporation Yard & the claypit was in the process of being filled in.  

The green coloured road on the 1902 OS map above which was a lane between Kings Road & Grove Road back then was later named Partons Road & today houses are built on both sides of this road. 

James Pidgeon, Sparkbrook

Before I write about James Pidgeon, I tell you about his father Samuel Pidgeon who was a brickmaker, brewer & beer seller. From my research I have found that many brickmakers combined the making of bricks in the summer months with beer making/selling in the winter time. Samuel Pidgeon was born in Wellington, Shropshire & the 1841 census records his age as 35. The listing continues with his wife, Mary, aged 30, son James aged 11 & four more boys & three girls, living at Balsall Heath. Kelly's 1849 & 1850 editions record Samuel as a brickmaker on Alcester Road, Balsall Heath (the location of this works is unknown) & brewer/beer seller on Bristol Road/Balsall Heath Road, Balsall Heath. The 1851 census gives Samuel's home address as The Balsall Heath Tavern, Balsall Heath Road; occupation, brickmaker & beer seller, employing 12 men & 4 boys. The listing continues with his wife, Mary; son James aged 20 & listed as brickmaker; & the addition of three more children, numbering eleven in total. Slater's 1852, White's 1855 & Dix's 1858 trade directories record Samuel as a brickmaker & retail brewer with the addresses of Balsall Heath Road (Inn/home address) & Balsall Heath. 

We next find that the entry in the 1862 Corporation of Birmingham directory reads Samuel Pidgeon, brickmaker, Ladypool Lane. So it appears Samuel at some point after 1858 had moved to a new brickworks on Ladypool Lane, Sparkbrook. The 1887 OS map below is the earliest map that I have for this area, so I am taking it that the brickworks was situated next to the marked old clay pit in the area which I have coloured yellow.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1887.

Samuel's son James Pidgeon is listed as a brickmaker in the 1851 census aged 20 & then again in the 1861 census, so it appears that James was working alongside his father. We next find that James is listed as the brickmaker/owner of the Ladypool Lane works in Kelly's 1867 edition. I am assuming James had taken over the running of the brickworks from his father some time between 1862 & 1867. So had Samuel retired from brickmaking or had he passed away ? The 1851 census gives Samuel's age as 51 & not 45 as one would expect ten years on from the 1841 census, therefore he would have been born in 1800. This has got me thinking that Samuel had died in the mid 1860's with there not being a 1871 census listing for him ?

James Pidgeon is listed in Kelly's 1867 to 1879 editions at Ladypool Lane, Sparkbrook (today, Road). 

We next find in the 1881 census that James aged 50, is now listed as a builder, with his eldest son, James Arthur being listed as a carpenter, so were father & son in partnership together after the brickworks had closed ? The 1887 map shows no remains of the brickworks, so it appears this Ladypool works closed not long after James' last trade directory entry of 1879. Today Taunton Road runs through the centre of the area which I have coloured yellow on this 1887 map & Balsall Heath Park is to the south of this road, so with this park being at this location it's a good indication that it occupies the filled-in clay pit.

The 1891 census now records James Pidgeon, aged 60, as a brickmaker again & in employment; born in Winchcombe, Gloucs, living with his wife, Mary aged 51 & eight children ranging from 31 to 17 at 49, Wyndcliff Road, Small Heath. James & Mary had a total of ten children in all. With this census recording James as employed, it is unknown who James was brickmaking for at this date, but it may have been at one of the many brickworks in the Garrison Lane area which where on his door step.

Herbert Leamon, Greet

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1887.

Before I write about Herbert Leamon at this green coloured works in Greet, Kelly's 1876 to 1879 editions records John L. Denston as brickmaker at Greet, Yardley with the 1878 & 1879 editions actually listing the works as being on Warwick Road (coloured red), Greet. The 1887 OS map above & all future maps show that the works entrance was on Weston Lane (brown). 

Herbert Leamon only owned this works for a short time with him being listed in Kelly's 1880 & 1882 editions with the address of Greet Brickworks, Warwick Road, Greet, Yardley. Albert Stephenson in his 1933 Birmingham Brickmakers book writes about Leamon, saying "he seemed to make bricks by riding on horseback all day long !" I can only assume Stephenson did not think too highly of Leamon, apparently Leamon lived at Greet House (dark green on the map above). 

We next find William Evans is listed at this brickworks in Kelly's 1883 edition & Evans' Warwick Road entries continue until Kelly's 1888 edition. Again Stephenson makes a remark about Evans in his book, saying "this yard was run by a friend of mine named William Evans, who was just about as well fitted to make bricks as to fill the position of Prime Minister ! But then there is a popular superstition that any fool can make bricks !" Mrs. Hannah Evans is next listed at this works in Kelly's 1890 edition, so had William passed away ? Hannah Evans continues to be recorded as brickmaker at this Warwick Road works until Kelly's 1896 edition.

Kelly's 1897 edition now lists Arthur Lewis had taken over this Warwick Road works & with Lewis recorded in Kelly's 1896 edition as owning the neighbouring brickworks which was accessed off Percy Road, I continue with story on both these two works in the next entry titled Arthur Lewis, Greet.

Arthur Lewis, Greet

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1887.

I start this Lewis entry with some info on two brickworks which were operational in the 1860's & 1870's. The first was on Burbury Street in Aston/Lozells & the second is the yellow coloured yard on the 1887 OS map above which was accessed via Bridge Road from Percy Road in Greet. 

With the demand for bricks to build the many terraced houses in the Aston / Lozells areas of Birmingham in the 1860's, John Lewis & Son established a temporary brickworks on Burbury Street to extract the onsite clay to make the bricks needed for the building of these houses in this area. The 1861 census records Brick Manufacturer John Lewis was born in Erdington in 1810 & aged 51, married to Elizabeth aged 54 & son James aged 23, born in 1838, unmarried & also recorded as a Brick Manufacturer, with the family all living on Great King Street. John Lewis & Son are listed as brick manufacturers in Kelly's 1867 & 1868 editions on Burbury Street, then James Lewis (son) is next listed on Burbury Street in Kelly's 1872 & White's 1873 editions, so it appears James was now running the Burbury Street brickworks. The 1871 census records Brick Manufacturer, James Lewis now aged 33, was married to Elizabeth, aged 37 & they had a three year old boy named Arthur who was born in 1868 in Aston Juxta, Birmingham & the family where living at Aston Manor, Aston. So it appears James was making good living from brickmaking with the family living at such a prestigious address. We then find that James Lewis is listed in Kelly's 1876, 78 & 79 editions at Burbury Street & Greet (coloured yellow on the 1887 OS map above). There are no more listings for James Lewis at either Burbury Street or Greet after 1879, so it appears that James had finished brickmaking & both works had closed after this date with the Greet works standing idle & more than likely derelict until 1895/6. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1902.

We then find in 1895/6 Arthur Lewis son of James Lewis & grandson to John Lewis built a new brickworks on the site of his father's small brickworks in Greet (coloured yellow on the 1902 map above). Arthur named his new works, The Burbury Brick Works, which more than likely was named after Burbury Street in honour of his family's brickmaking past. 

The 1891 census records that Arthur Lewis aged 23 was born in 1868 & a Brick Manufacturer. Married to Lillian aged 27 ; abode, Newton Road, Sparkhill & they had a son called James who is listed as being 10 months old. 

Kelly's 1896 edition lists Arthur Lewis at The Burbury Brick Works, Percy Road, Greet. The 1902 map above shows that a new Staffordshire Mill & various drying sheds had been built. The works was still accessed via Bridge Road from Percy Road (coloured turquoise), but by this 1902 OS map a new access road from Warwick Road (red) had been built into the works. From Stephenson's account of this works he says, "at first, bricks were still being hand moulded until a wire-cut machine was installed in the early 1900's & this was quickly followed by the installation of a second wire-cutting machine. "

An example of a Arthur Lewis brick made at the Burbury Brick Works, Percy Road, Greet.

Kelly's 1897 edition now lists Arthur Lewis with two brickworks, Burbury Brick Works, Percy Road & Warwick Road brickworks, so Arthur had taken over the "Greet Brickworks" on Warwick Road previously owned by Mrs. Hannah Evans. The 1901 census records Arthur & Lillian where now living at a house called Willoughby on Stoney Lane, Sparkhill. We then find in the 1911 census Arthur & Lillian had moved again & where living at The Grange, Tyseley. So the move to the "Grange" indicates Arthur was doing well out of making bricks. Today this grand house does not exist, but if you ever go into the Nissan car showrooms on Warwick Road, you are walking over where this house once stood in the car park. Back to Arthur Lewis & he continues to be listed as owning two brickworks at Greet until Kelly's 1912 edition. 

Kelly's 1913 edition only lists Arthur Lewis at the Burbury Brickworks, Percy Road. So it appears the Warwick Road works (coloured green on the 1913 OS map below) had closed sometime in 1913 with this map still showing it operational at this date. From studying this map it's closure may have been due to the clay pits being exhausted of workable clay or it may have been with the advent of WW1 ? 

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1913.

Kelly's 1915 edition again records Arthur Lewis at the Burbury Works, but we find that Stephenson writes in his book, "at the start of the Great War (1914) the whole plant stopped working & the first consequence of this complete stoppage was, with the pumps not working, the claypit soon filled up with water & the yard became derelict." So was the closure of this works in 1914 or was it still operational as per Kelly's directory in 1915 & closed sometime in 1915 ?

It's at this point that I tell you that Arthur Lewis died on the 14th of June 1917. His Probate Notice dated 31st August 1917, found on Ancestry, records his abode as Rugged Elm Cottage, Yardley Wood, Moseley. A sum of £12,696 pounds 6 shillings was left to his wife, Lillian. Today (9.3.2019), this equates to around £880,000 pounds or for my readers on the other side of the Pond, it equates to 1 million,1 hundred & 45 thousand dollars. Wow !   

A "For Sale by Private Contract Notice" in the Birmingham Daily Post dated 4th of October 1917 advertises that the Executors of the Estate of Mr. Arthur Lewis deceased, had instructed the Auctioneers to sell both the Burbury Brickworks & the Greet Brickworks as one Lot & as a going concern. This newspaper article & the following two newspaper notices in this entry were found on this website, British Newspaper Archive. 

We then find that Albert H. Stephenson, owner of the Globe Brickworks & writer of the later 1933 Birmingham Brickmakers book, purchases the Burbury Brickworks off Arthur Lewis's Executors in 1917. This information came from Stephenson's 1933 book. 

With this For Sale Notice saying both works would be sold as one Lot, it is unknown if Stephenson purchased both works with him saying in his book that he purchased the Burbury Brick Works. What I can tell you that another For Sale Notice in the Birmingham Daily Post dated nearly a year later on the 6th of August 1918, advertises the "Sale of Ripe Valuable Freehold Land suitable for large factories, known as the Greet Brickworks Estate of about 15 acres, an excellent site with good main road frontage. Special attention to buyers, there is a large marlhole with 30 years free tip. Would sell in Lots to suit Purchasers." Apply Fred Screen, Bancroft House, Dudley Road, Oldbury. So was this Fred Screen selling the Greet Brickworks on behalf of Albert Stephenson or had he purchased the works directly from Arthur Lewis' Executors ?    

We then find that a Notice in the Birmingham Daily Mail dated 31st October 1918 advertises that on the 20th of November 1918 there was to be a "Dismantling Sale" at the Greet Brickworks on Weston Lane off Warwick Road, Greet & everything was to be sold. There is a long list of items for sale & it included, two horizontal steam engines, plugmill, a Lancaster boiler, a Grinding Machine & four 150 feet long drying sheds. I have to note that this works had stood idle since 1914/15, so I don't think that some of the Lots up for sale would have been in tip-top condition.

Back to the Burbury Brick Works & Stephenson writes in his book, "At that time (1917) the water in the clay workings, which were sixty feet deep, was overflowing into the adjoining river !"

In early 1919 Mr. C.H. Barrows & Mr. Ernest Swain, both of the Midland Brick Co. joined Albert Stephenson at this Percy Road brickworks to form the concern into a private limited company called The Burbury Brick Company, with the aforementioned taking up rolls of Directors & Managers. 

Stephenson recollects in his book that "The big task of freeing the clay hole from the enormous quantity of water was tackled with energy; the whole of the "open" kilns were pulled down; a large continuous kiln was erected, & in a few months time the plant was running again.   
The clay is well ground & pugged & delivered to the machine by a travelling belt. The bricks are cut off by a Bennett and Sayer cutter, which delivers them straight into zinc-covered and rubber-tyred barrows, to the floors of the drying sheds, which are heated solely by the exhaust steam from the engines. From thence they are conveyed, after some forty-eight hours, to the kiln - one of sixteen chambers of 25,000 each. 
The whole plant - clay hole included - is now lighted by electricity, and shelters are provided for the clay "getters" in case of bad weather, thus ensuring the same quantity of bricks being produced, summer and winter alike.
The motive power is steam, provided by a range of three large boilers. 
The grinding mill and machinery are by Messrs. Brookes, Ltd., Oldbury.
The Works Manager is Mr. Thomas Smith, who has had a long experience in the production of red bricks, both in Birmingham & Leicestershire."

The first trade directory entry listing the Burbury Brick Co. appears in Kelly's 1921 edition with the address of Warwick Road, Greet & the 1938 OS map below shows that the works was now only accessed from Warwick Road.  

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1938.

Kelly's 1932 to 1940 editions continue to record the Burbury Brick Co. at this Warwick Road, address. The brickworks closed in the 1950's when the clay ran out & the site was taken over by Langley's the builders. In 1962 the brickworks was demolished & the clay pit was then filled in with rubbish & capped with clay. Today, industrial units & open green spaces occupy both the former Burbury & Greet brickworks sites. Also to note on this 1938 map is that Greet House had been demolished since it was last shown on the 1913 map & the 1912 Electoral Register records Ernest Robert Bridgens was living at Greet House. Finding Mr. Bridgens at Greet House was a "Brucie Bonus" with me finding this entry when looking for Arthur Lewis's home address.

The Tyesley Brick Co.

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1887.

Kelly's 1878 & 1879 editions first list Doody & Co. as the owners of this Warwick Road, Tyseley brickworks & is coloured yellow on the 1887 OS map above. We next find that in late 1879 / early 1880 Henry Doody goes into partnership with Silas Lees & Ebenezer Trueman & they form the Tyseley Brick Co. & this company is recorded in Kelly's 1880 edition with the address of Warwick Road, Tyseley, Acocks Green.

This partnership had a very short existence as a notice in the London Gazette dated 26th October, 1880 records that on the 29th of June 1880 the partnership of Henry Doody, Silas Lees & Ebenezer Trueman trading as the Tyseley Brick Co. had been dissolved & the said company, The Tyseley Brick Co. would then be carried on by Silas Lees & Ebenezer Trueman alone, by whom all debts due & owing to & from the said late firm will be paid & received. Dated 13th of October 1880.

Kelly's 1882 & 1883 editions list Lees & Trueman at Warwick Road, Tyseley, Acocks Green. Again this new partnership was short lived & the London Gazette dated 14th August 1883 records that the partnership of Silas Lees & Ebenezer Trueman, brick manufacturers of Warwick Road, Tyseley & operating under the style or firm of the Tyseley Brick Co. then  as Lees & Trueman was dissolved on the 9th of August 1883 by mutual consent. The business from this day would be then run by Ebenezer Trueman who will pay all moneys owing by & receive all moneys owing to the late partnership. 

How long Trueman continued to run this Warwick Road works is unknown as we find in Kelly's 1888 edition that it now records Jesse Smith at this works with the address of Tyseley, Acocks Green. Kelly's 1890 edition now records Mrs. Catherine Smith previously recorded as brickmaking on Stockfield Road, Acocks Green is listed with Jesse Smith at this Tyseley works. Mother & son continue to be listed brickmaking together until Kelly's 1900 edition & it appears that soon after 1900, this Warwick Road works closed, as it is shown as disused on the 1902 OS map. Today, the sports fields of Yardleys School occupy this former brickworks site.

I wish to thank the following :- 
National Library/Ordnance Survey - maps
The London Gazette & Kelly's Trade Directories.
Chris Thornburn & John Baylis - for allowing me to photograph their brick collections. 
I have gathered some information from a book called Workshop of the World - Birmingham's Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill to whom I am indebted.
Acocks Green History Society - who's articles have pointed me in the right direction in finding the necessary information.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Henry Clayton & Co. - Manufacturers of Patented Brick Making Machines

The Practical Brick and Tile book, 1880 by Edward Dobson.

In this post as well as giving you a little background info to Henry Clayton's company & family life, I concentrate on listing the brickmakers & companies by the way of photos & info from many sources who used Clayton's patented brick-making machines. Clayton's machines where shipped all round the world as well as being used in the UK, but so far I have only procured 21 images of bricks stamped with Clayton's name on one side & the brickmaker's/company's name on the other. Myself & fellow brick collectors have found many examples with only the Clayton stamp mark & no name on the reverse & web articles report the same, so out there in the wide-wide world these Clayton stamped bricks are waiting to be found. 

If you do have photos of company/brick maker names not already in this post, please send them along with any info to my e-mail address on the contacts tab page & I will gladly add them to the post with your name. Thanks.

To save any confusion in this article we have 3 Henry Clayton's, Henry senior b.1871, Henry our brick-machine inventor b.1814 & then his son referred to as Henry junior, b.1849. 

Henry Clayton was born in Marylebone on the 20th September 1814 & was christened on the 13th October 1814 at St. Mary's Church, Marylebone, his parents are listed as Henry & Sarah Clayton.  

The first record of Henry Clayton manufacturing his Patented hand-driven brick & tile making machines made at 21, Upper Park Place, Marylebone can be found in the form of an advert which appeared in the 1845 July edition of the Hereford Times newspaper & it records Henry was displaying his brick machines at the Royal Agricultural Show, Shrewsbury. 

Two later adverts for Clayton's state that Henry Clayton & Co. had been established in 1821, but with Henry Clayton being only 7 in 1821, the engineering company appears to have been started by his father also named Henry. Although I do not have any proof of this fact yet, I believe Henry's father had started the company in 1821 & manufactured agricultural tools & equipment because the 1845 & 1849 Royal Agricultural Show adverts for Henry, our brick machine inventor records Clayton's were producing horticultural & agricultural tools as well as brick making machines. The year Henry senior passed over the running of his company to his son is unknown, but I am thinking this may have been around 1839 & although I do not have any written proof, Henry would have been 25 in that year & would have acquired the experience by then to being able to run a company especially with his business acumen & inventive mind that we later read about. We do know that Henry was running the company by 1845 because of the 1845 advert is clearly Henry Clayton our brick machine inventor born 1814. This 1839 change over date also matches up to the 1841 census entry for Henry Clayton senior aged 50, born 1791 & his wife Sarah aged 45, born 1796 with Henry listed as an estate agent. This may have been someone who looks after an estate of land or buildings rather than today's meaning of an estate agent who sells property. The census records Henry & Sarah were living at Southampton Buildings, St. Andrews, Holborn together with Phillip Lamb aged 55, who is recorded as being "of independent means". So could Phillip Lamb be the owner of Southampton Buildings & Henry was working for him ?

I have also found the burial record for Henry senior. This burial document records Henry was born in 1791 & died in January 1848 aged 57 & was buried on the 31st January 1848 at St. Mary's Church, Paddington Green. Henry Clayton senior's abode is given as Upper Park Place, Dorset Square, St. Marylebone. So it appears Henry senior was living with his son Henry at Upper Park Place (ref. 1851 census) when he passed away, hence me being certain that I have the right details for Henry senior from this burial record. I have not been able find the whereabouts of Henry's wife Sarah because there is no entry for Sarah at Southampton Buildings or anywhere else in the 1851 census & she wasn't living with her son at Upper Park Place, so had she also passed away ? 

The 1851 census records Henry, aged 36, married to Emma aged 27, together with their son, Henry junior, aged 18 months, living at 21, Upper Park Place, Marylebone & working as a machinist, employing 10. Please note the Atlas Works address is also given as 21, Upper Park Place, so Henry's house was next to the works.

Going back to the newspaper adverts dated between 1845 & 1854 from around the country & Ireland, records Henry was visiting Agricultural Shows selling his patented brick making machines which he was manufacturing at his Atlas Works, Upper Park Place & this road is coloured yellow on the map below & I am taking it that the marked warehouse was his Atlas Works. The 1849 advert records that the company name was now Henry Clayton & Co. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1870.

In 1851 Henry was awarded the 1st-class prize for his patented brick machinery at London's Great Exhibition in Hyde Park & his advert which appeared in the exhibition's catalogue can be see at this link, Marlborough Books - item 9. 

On the 2nd of July 1853 the trial of Clayton vrs Percy took place at the Guildhall in the City of London before Lord Chief Baron Pollock & a special jury regarding the infringements of Mr. Clayton's "Screening Apparatus" patents. The resulting verdict of this infringement was proven in the favour of Mr. Clayton on all accounts, therefore stopping Mr. Percy from continuing to use his screening process. The court action did not end there & on the 15th of February 1854, Henry Clayton took Mr. W.C.S. Percy of the Albert Works, Trafford Street, Manchester, maker of the Champion Brick Pressing Machines to court for infringing another one of his Patents & the resulting injunction refrained Mr. Percy from selling any of his modified machines & for Mr. Percy to account for any profits made from these re-designed machines which infringed Clayton's Patent. This latest infringement bankrupted Mr. Percy & he spent part of 1854 in Lancaster Gaol after this action, but the inventive Mr. Percy soon bounced back & he is recorded as patenting his redesigned mechanisms & apparatus for producing bricks in 1858 & again in 1861.  

In June 1855 Henry Clayton took out an United States Patent for one of his machines & this patent can be viewed at this Link

The Mechanics' magazine Dec. 1857 edition records that Henry Clayton had just completed 12 of his Patented Machines for works run by the Government of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The article continues to report that a few weeks earlier several machines where at the docks ready to be shipped to Paraguay, South America, to be used for producing bricks in the construction of a railway in Paraguay.

The baptism of Henry & Emma's daughter, Julia took place on the 15th of March 1857 & this document records the Clayton's were still living at 21, Upper Park Place. 

The 1861 census records the Clayton's as now living at Woodfield House, Woodfield Road, Paddington with Henry listed as an Engineer & Iron Founder. On the 8th of August 1864 Henry advertised that he had relocated his business to his "New Atlas Engineering Works" on Woodfield Road, situated on land which ran south from Woodfield Road to the canal (see map below). With the works buildings having a 170ft frontage to the Grand Central Canal, Henry effectively used this canal to despatch his machinery via barge. Henry may have also transported his machines via the railway with his works being very close to Paddington Goods Station on Harrow Road, which is just off to the right on this map. Harrow Road is coloured red. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1913.

An 1862 advert for Henry Clayton & Co. in Google books at this Link.

In 1868 Francis Howlett joins Henry Clayton as a partner in the business. Henry's son, Henry junior is also recorded as a partner with the company recorded as Henry Clayton, Son & Howlett. In the 1871 census Henry aged 57 is listed as an engineer & Henry junior aged 21 (born 30.12.1849 - died June 1938 in Wandsworth) is listed as an engineer/merchant, living with Emma & the rest of the family on Woodfield Road, Paddington. Also in this 1871 census Francis Howlett aged 26, an engineer is listed as living next door to Henry at Atlas House, Woodfield Road, Paddington.

It appears that in 1879 Henry junior leaves the partnership as the company is just named as Clayton & Howlett unless it was Henry the father who had retired & left the partnership. There is no firm evidence to which of the two Henry's had left the partnership. 1883 sees the next change in the structure of the company with Henry Clayton (the one which was left, father b.1814 or junior b.1849 ?) leaving the company & the partnership of Francis Howlett & William Henry Venables is recorded as carrying on the business under the style of Clayton, Howlett & Venables. In 1884 Henry Clayton (born 1814) our brick machine inventor dies in Kensington aged 70. We then find in 1890 the partnership of Howlett & Venables was dissolved & Francis Howlett carried on to run the business on Woodfield Road as Clayton, Howlett & Co.   

The next major change at the Atlas Works was in 1902 when Brightside Foundry & Engineering Co. of Sheffield acquired the business & duly moved production of Clayton Howlett Patented Machinery to Sheffield. The exact date of this move is unknown, but it may have been by 1909. Searching the web has revealed the 1909 advert below for Brightside/Clayton selling their machinery from their Sheffield works. 

Reproduced with the permission of music-ad-world

With Brightside reorganising their three Sheffield works, of which one closed in June 1926, I am assuming that this was when the production of Clayton's brick & tile machines ceased as there is no mention of them being produced by the company in Grace's Guide after this date.  

More adverts, newspaper reports & photos of the various machines made by Clayton's can be seen at this link.

I conclude the history of Clayton's with two footnotes.
Today Upper Park Place is now named Ivor Place & the Francis Holland School for Girls was built on the site of Henry's first Atlas Works in 1915 & then the site of Henry's New Atlas Works on Woodfield Road, Paddington is now occupied by a NHS Nursing Home.

It has crossed my mind to what happened to Clayton's sales ledgers, did they get transferred to Sheffield in 1902 with the Brightside takeover or did they end up at the refuse tip, never to be seen again. On the other hand they may be in an archive department, somewhere ?  These ledgers would have been a great source of information, enabling me to track down which brickworks purchased Clayton's machines.

Now onto the bricks found. Up to yet two different Clayton stamp die marks have been found & listed under each are the bricks which bear the makers name on it's reverse. However there are two "one offs" which are slightly different to the two main stamp marks & are shown with their corresponding named bricks. With finding many bricks with only the Clayton name stamped in them, I have come to the conclusion that it was Clayton's who produced the makers stamp die at extra cost & at the time of supplying their machines, hence the finding of the many no company named bricks, especially the ones found abroad. 

All the brick images not credited to, have been taken by me & the ones which are credited, the owners have given me their full permission to reproduce them in this post.

I believe this was the first Clayton stamp mark to be used & can be found on the reverse of the bricks listed below.

This brick was found in Lancashire & it's maker, B. M. has not been identified. Photo by Frank Lawson.

J.E.D. stands for John Evelyn Denison, 1st Viscount Ossington, who owned Ossington Hall in the village of Ossington near Newark, Notts. from 1820 to 1873. His estate brickworks is shown as disused on a map dated 1875 & a "& Co." version is shown later. 

Images reproduced with the permission of the Violity Auction site. I have added the Claytons Patent image as it is a variation to the first one shown, with it not having the apostrophe between the N & S. Russian brick collector Vladimir Smirnov supplied me with these two images, to which he added this info - "Prince Kotschoubey meaning, it was produced in Dikan'ka village of Poltava Province of Russia in the third quarter of XIX Century by the owner of this land."

Several Russian Prince's are recorded as purchasing Clayton's machines in a newspaper article & an entry in the Mechanics' magazine, but Prince Kotschoubey is not listed in either, but I am taking it that this Prince purchased his machine at the same time. First the 6th of June 1859 edition of the Bedford Mercury newspaper reports that Henry Clayton had obtained special privileges from the Russian Government to introduce his well known & highly successful patented brick-making machinery to brick manufactories in St. Petersburg & Moscow & that Henry had sent out his first class staff to supervise the erection of buildings & his machinery. Second, the December 1859 edition of the Mechanics' magazine tells us that it's reporters had been invited to view Mr. Clayton's machines at an exhibition in Baker Street which was showing his smaller hand powered brick making machines & his larger machines could be viewed at his nearby Atlas Works. The article goes on to say the working machines on display at his Atlas Works where bound for Russia & one had been sold to Prince Bariatinsky, one to Prince Potemkin & a third was being sent to the Siberian mines owned by Prince Demidoff. The article continues to report that another machine was bound for Venice & an order of 20 machines where close to completion & would soon be on their way to Bombay.  

The following bricks bear this 2nd back stamp which now includes the words "& Co's". On saying that I have just one brick which is stamped Clayton & C. - Patent & it is shown in the Cocking entry.

From several sources including info from Jon Allen, a descendant of the works owners, I have found that the Grove Brick Works, Ballington near Sudbury, Suffolk was owned by Robert Allen from 1812, then Robert Alfred Allen is listed between 1844 to 1858, then R.A. Allen & Sons 1865 to 1909. The company was dissolved by Robert Basil Allen on the 22nd April 1909. Allen & Boggis re-opened the works in 1922 & ran it until it's closure in 1939. NLS map showing location of the works. The Allen's operated a second works at Bures Hamlet between 1886 & 1906. More Allen info can be read at  these links - Historic England  Bures-online

Photo by Andrew Wood.
Tile photo by Mark Cranston.

Operational from 1863 to around 1900, info on the Alva brickworks can read on Mark Cranston's Scottish Brick History website.

Photo by Frank Lawson courtesy of PRBCO who has also supplied the info. S. Balm & Sons, Denholme, West Yorkshire was operational c1875. 

This brick is thought to have been made by William Bostock of Bath Street, Ilkeston who was  born in 1779 and is recorded as a brickmaker in the 1841 census. He had 3 sons & more can be read about William in my Ilkeston Brickworks post.

The Bulwell Brick Co. owned two works in Nottingham & were operational from the mid 1870's to 1940 & more can be read about this company in my Nottingham Brickworks - part 3 post.

William Nelson Bundy was first in partnership with James Anderson from 1868 to 1872 when the partnership was dissolved see London Gazette, Bundy then carried on the business on his own. Bundy & Anderson are listed in Kelly’s 1869 edition at Chatteris Road, Whittlesey. W.N. Bundy is then listed on his own at Station Road, Whittlesey in Kelly’s 1879 edition. Bundy was again in liquidation in 1882 with William Shepperson & William Henry Clarke listed as his trustees, see London Gazette. Bundy then goes into partnership with William Vergette & William Robert Wherry as Bundy & Co. & again the London Gazette records this partnership was dissolved in 1885 & the business in the future would be run by W.N. Bundy. Trade directory entries for Bundy up to the 1913 edition list the works at Lattersey Field, Whittlesey. All these locations for the works are the same site near to the railway station at Turningtree Bridge & can be seen on this NLS map. The works closed in 1913.

Photo by the late Mike Stokes & Mike's brick site has now been incorporated into Phil Jenkins' site who gave me permission to add this brick to the post. Information on this South Wales works at this link, listed under Llanishen. 

This Cocking example is the only example found stamped Clayton & C. Patent. Thomas Cocking started his Walkeringham, Notts. brick works around 1875 & was run by subsequent family members until at least 1941 (last recorded date found) & more info about this works can be read in my North Notts Brickworks post.

John Cooper is listed as owning his Misterton, Notts brickworks in Kelly's 1876 to 1891 editions & more than likely was the maker of this brick. John was followed at this works by George Cooper (possibly John's son) & this works is listed as still being in operation in Kelly's 1936 edition. Through the marriage of George Cooper & Thomas Cocking's daughter (entry above), George went on to run Cocking brickworks in Walkeringham as well. More info in my North Notts. Brickworks post. Photo by Frank Lawson. 

This E.D. brick was made by Edwin DuSautoy at his California Brickworks which was on Stockbrook Lane, Derby. For a short period of time around 1881 Edwin owned a second works on Parcel Terrace. Edwin had established his California Brickworks by 1880 & it appears his son, George took over around 1904. 1908 sees the Derby Brick Co. taking over the California Brickworks & a later trade directory entry lists George DuSautoy as manager at DBC, so I am assuming it was George who together with other (unknown) share holders formed the Derby Brick Co. More can be read about the DuSautoy brickworks in my Derby Brickworks part 1 post. Photo by me courtesy of the David Kitching collection.

This is the John Evelyn Denison example with "& Co's on it's reverse with I told you about earlier in the post.

The maker of this G.C. & S. (son/s) brick is unknown, but was photograph by David Kitching in Newent, Gloucester.

Who owned the Linby brickworks which was on Wighay Road, Linby, Notts. is unknown. Available trade directories have also drawn a blank to it's owners. The works is shown on a map dated 1875, but only the clay pit is shown on a map dated 1887. Today, the houses on Peverel Road have just been built on this former brickworks site & are situated next to the former clay pit & they occupy land which had not been used for brickmaking or the buildings of the works.  

Joseph Parkinson, Greens Lane, Helmshore, Haslingden, Lancs. Together with his father, William they owned a brickworks in the Flaxmoss area of Helmshore from 1865 to 1879. The 1891 OS map shows Brick House Farm was just north of Greens Lane, so the brickworks may have been in the two fields between the farm & Greens Lane. Some of William's family members were also brickmakers in Blackburn & Accrington & William & Joseph may have been brickmaking at these other works as well. Joseph went bankrupt in 1879 while running his Helmshore works. Photo by Frank Lawson & Info courtesy of Colin Driver with an addition by me.


Photo by Frank Lawson & info for the brickworks at Poynton can be read on David Kitching's Brocross website.

Around 1880 George Robinson (junior) established his brickworks next to his New Trent Brewery which where situated adjacent to the railway & canal & south of Crowle village, Lincolnshire. Both of George's enterprises can been seen on this 1895 O.S./NLS map In 1895 George was declared bankrupt, however it was not until 1906 that George Robinson's creditors managed to sell the brickworks & his family home, Tetley HallPhoto by Angus Townley & more can be read about this Brickworks & Brewery, both written by Angus on

William & Joseph Seal owned Attleborough Stone Quarries between 1863 & 1871 & it appears that it was the Seal Brothers who established the brickworks at the quarry because the following owners of the quarry are all recorded as quarry proprietors & brickmakers. A 1871 sales document lists the equipment at the quarry & brickyard the Seal Brothers were selling as;- Engine House, boiler shed, several drying sheds, three kilns capable of producing 18,000 bricks each, three circular ovens, shedding, 25 horse-powered horizontal steam engine, two boilers, brickmaking machines by Clayton & Shuttleworth, traveling crane, tramway & a lifting crane. Both the quarry & brickworks closed in the early 1930’s. Photo by Tim Lawton & Info by Tim Lawton & from Peter Lee’s book - Nuneaton & Bedworth Coal, Stone, Clay & Iron.

This XYZ brick is a bit of a mystery as several of these bricks have been found by different collectors in the Chesterfield & Renishall areas of Derbyshire. The colour & texture of this brick is similar to one made at Brampton, Chesterfield, but why did the maker stamp his bricks XYZ. If anyone has the answer, please get in touch, e-mail address on the Links & Contacts tab. Photo by Frank Lawson.

This USA brick was photographed by Kyle Katz.
O.S. Morse & Co. can be found listed in the 1868 edition of the New Hampshire Business Directory at Plaistow, New Hampshire. Another Morse/Clayton brick can be seen at this Link.

A Clayton brick with no makers mark on it's reverse can be seen on this New Zealand website. The brick is shown at the end of the article.

Another Clayton only example can be seen on this Australian site.

Many Thanks to -
Mark Cranston & to all of the other people who I have credited in this post for helping me in bringing this article to the web.

National Library of Scotland
Ordnance Survey
Grace's Guide
Google Books