Monday, 15 December 2014

Cawarden Reclamation Yard, Rugeley, Staffs.

If you are after bricks this is the place to come, whether you are after bricks for that extension or a collector like me, there are possibly millions of bricks to search through here. Bricks of all kinds were stacked in all directions & I did not know which way to go next, in the end I photographed 63 bricks that day.

The bricks in this post covers the west of the country from Stoke in the north, to Bristol in the south. I have already posted the bricks found from the East Midlands on my other site & you can see those by clicking on this link.

So onto the bricks found that day. This first one Northcot, I photographed by chance as it was not one that was in the yard, but had been brought in by some builders to Cawarden to find more bricks to match to it, so this one was a Brucie bonus !

Northcot Brick Company (North Cotswold) was started in 1925 by Spencer Churchill & was taken over in 1962 by the Brown family. Michael Brown who is the second generation of the Brown family to run the company is the current Managing Director. The brickworks on Station Road, Blockley, Gloucestershire still uses the adjacent Wellacre quarry to produce their traditional hand made & wire cut bricks. Battersea Power Station was built using Northcot bricks & bricks from the company will be used again when a Malaysian company refurbishes the Power Station.
Two excellent videos of the works can be seen at this link below, one of the tour of the works & one by CNN.

Rufford & Co. Hungary Hill, Stourbridge, started in 1802 producing fire bricks & fire clay products, which was later followed by the opening of a second larger works to produce glazed bricks & porcelain baths. The company owned four coal & clay pits to meet the demand to produce it's wares & employed 300 workers at it's peak of production. Francis junior Rufford is recorded at Stepping Stones,Stourbridge as the owner of the works in Pigot's 1829 Directory, which is followed by many entries in Kelly's Trade Directory. The company is recorded as F. T. Rufford in Kelly's 1860 & 1872 editions, then in 1876 as Rufford & Co. with Limited being added in the 1900 edition.  Stamper Mill replaces Hungary Hill as the address in the 1908 edition. After 134 years of producing it's wares the company went into voluntary liquidation in 1936, due to the lack of good quality clay reserves.

This Pressard brick & the Utopia red brick below were both made by the Aldridge Brick & Tile Company, Brickyard Road, Aldridge, Walsall. I have also found blue bricks stamped Utopia which were known for their extreme hardness & were used in the construction of air raid shelters. The company is recorded as starting in 1874 & they produced three types of brick, blue, engineering & hand mades. The company is first recorded in Kelly's 1892 edition as the Aldridge Colliery Co. Ltd. & in the 1896 edition William Fredrick Clark is listed as Secretary. William is then recorded as General Manager in the 1900 edition, followed by the 1912 edition to 1928 edition listing him as Managing Director. The 1932 edition now records the company as the Aldridge Brick, Tile & Coal Co. Ltd with William Fredrick Clark as Managing Director. The last available directory in 1940 just records the works new name. The Company closed in 1965 when the brickworks was taken over by Ibstock.

This is a wall copping of which many examples can be found in the Hanley area of Stoke on Trent. It was made by Woolliscroft Tiles, which was founded by George Woolliscroft (1825 -1906) & he is listed in a 1865 Trade Directory as beer seller / brick & tile manufacturer at the Eagle & Child Inn, Chesterton, Newcastle under Lyme. The next directory entry in 1868, records George as builder, manufacturer of blue bricks, chimney tops, drain pipes, roofing ridges & pressed floor tiles at Chesterton. Kelly's 1876 edition now records the company as George Woolliscroft & Son at Chesterton same as this brick. The 1880 edition of Kelly's records that the company has opened another works, Canal Tileries at Etruria in Stoke, with further expansion in 1884 & 1889 adding the Patent Tile Works, Hanley & the Joiners Square Works. This is followed by the works on Melville Street, Hanley in 1904. From 1910 the company concentrated on producing floor tiles only at it's Canal Tileries & Melville Street works, this being recorded in several editions of Kelly's Directory up to the last available directory in 1940. The Melville Street Works continued to produced tiles up to the year 2000 when Pilkington Tiles took over the Company & this works was closed. 
Link to photos & maps of the Melville Street Works.

The Haunchwood Brick Co. was established in 1875 in Nuneaton by the partnership of George Fowler, William Mattby & John W. Fowler. 1878 sees the Company become a Limited Company. There were three brickworks, No.1 Yard was on Haunchwood Road, Stockingford, No.2 Yard was on Hall End Road & No.3 Yard was on Bermuda Road. In 1896 James Knox was employed as Works Manager & later on with the help of some partners he became the owner of the Company.
Haunchwood Brick Co. is recorded in Kelly's 1876 edition at Stockingford, Nuneaton, followed by the 1880 edition recording the Company as Haunchwood Brick & Tile. The 1888 edition records James Knox as Managing Director. The 1900 edition now lists new works at Heath End & Griff, Chilvers Coton as well as Stockingford. The Company carries on to listed in Kelly's until the last available directory in 1940. 
In 1968 Haunchwood merged with G.W. Lewis Tileries forming Haunchwood Lewis Brick & Tile Company, however this new company did not last long with it going into voluntary liquidation in 1973. Haunchwood's No.1 Works closed in 1970 with the works being demolished the following year & is now Whittleford Country Park, the site being transformed by the local & county councils. No.2 works was demolished in 1970/72 is now an housing estate & the No.3 Works closed in 1969.

You can read more detail about the company at this link on page 11. 

This excellent link contains many photos of the works & is about a third way down this very long post.

This link contains an ariel photograph & a map of the No. 1 Works before it was transformed into a Country Park. If you click on the images, they are enlarged.

The Lilleshall Company which was mainly an engineering company, was founded in 1802 by the Marquess of Stafford with four local capitalists, John Bishton the elder, James Birch, John Onions & William Phillips  at Oakgates, Shropshire. The company were also coal & iron merchants, iron founders & steel producers. The company opened it's mechanised Donnington Wood Brickworks on Pain's Lane, Lilleshall in 1876. By 1908 the company was producing 3 to 4 million high quality bricks per year, but the company declined during the 1960's & the works closed in 1972. Glazed bricks, like the example above were in production in 1961.
A photo of the works can be seen at this link.


The Cattybrook Brickworks came about when Charles Richardson an engineer working for the Bristol & South Wales Railway, realised the potential of the local clay when he was visiting the excavations for the Patchway Tunnel. So in 1865 Charles leased a few acres of land at Cattybrook to produce engineering bricks. In 1871 he went into partnership with Ernest Street & Edward Grover, creating the Cattybrook Brick Company Ltd. in 1877. It is reported that Charles's company made 30 million engineering bricks to line the Severn Tunnel in 1872. Portishead Power Station, Fry's factory at Keynsham & Imperial Tobacco at Bristol all used Charles's bricks in the construction of their buildings. 
The Cattybrook Brick Works at Almondsbury, Bristol is recorded in Kelly's 1897 edition with E.E. Street as Manager & in 1900 the company is now run by Frank Richardson, employing 300 workers. In Kelly's 1906 Directory there is the addition of another brick works at Shortwood, Bristol. Then in Kelly's 1914 entry, Mr E. Gwynne Vevers is recorded as Managing Director, with Mr. Thomas Walker recorded as Manager of the two brickworks. The company was taken over by Ibstock in 1969 & by 1973 the company was fully absorbed into Ibstock Building Products Ltd. & the Cattybrook name was lost. Ibstock is still making bricks there today, at it's Over Lane Works.

The Stonehouse Brick & Tile Co. Ltd was formed in 1890 with small scale production starting in 1891. The company had been formed by M.P. Hayward, E. Jenner-Davies & J.F. Hayward, who after inviting Arthur W. Anderson, manager of the Bracknell Brick & Tile Co. to survey land in Stonehouse with the possibility of starting a brickworks, was then given the job as Manager of the works. The works was situated next to the railway line owned by the Great Western Railway in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. Recorded in Kelly's as the Stonehouse B. & T. Co. Ltd. with Arthur W. Anderson as manager in it's 1897 edition, I then have another three entries for the company up to 1910 edition. The company produced bricks until the late 1960's & due to several problems, the works closed in 1968 with the company then concentrating on it's other brickworks.
More can be read about the Company on these two excellent pages.

This brick was made at Dumbleton Hall in Gloucestershire, at it's own brickworks on the estate, which was on the western edge of Dumbleton village next to Brickyard Cottages.
Update 26.4.15. William Taylor was employed as brickmaker by Edward Holland owner of Dumbleton Hall in 1851. By 1860 William was manager of the yard & then in the 1880's he was followed by his son, James. The works had closed by 1901.
More can be read at this link.

This very ornate brick (one of my favourites) was made by Francis Harry Gordon who was an entrepreneur with business interests in North Staffordshire. He opened his brickworks in the 1870's & it was located adjacent to the Daw End Canal just south-west of Clayhanger Bridge, Brownhills. The works covered seven acres & the clay measures were recorded as being 30ft. thick. There were 3 drying sheds, 3 seven holed kilns, 2 dwelling houses, an engine house & a mill house on the site. Francis Harry Gordon is recorded in Kelly's 1896 edition at Clayhanger, Walsall Wood, Walsall. The works closed in 1896 due to stiff competition & undercutting by the neighbouring Walsall Wood Colliery Brickworks. The parapets on Anchor Bridge at Catshill had been repaired using Francis's bricks, but they were replaced when the bridge was restored in 1988. A large modern housing estate now occupies the site of the brickworks.
The majority of this information was gathered from this website. 
© Wolverhampton Arts and Museums Service,

W.H. Parton & Son is recorded at High Street & works at Kings Heath, Birmingham in Kelly’s 1899 & 1900 editions & then there is a gap in directory entries until Kelly's 1913 & 15 editions at the same address.

Henry Lakin is recorded as brickmaker in Kelly’s 1857 Trade Directory at Stapenhill near Burton on Trent.

Found two bits of Information relating to Hall Green, which may be connected. The first is from a 1908 list of mines in the South Stafford area & it records F.W. Boone as the owner of the Hall Green Brickworks at Wednesbury operating the Moorland Colliery with 3 men below & 2 men above. 
The second is a planning application dated 20th February 1905 for Brick Burning Kilns, Drying Shed, Machine House & Offices at The Aqueduct Brickworks, Crankhall Lane by the Hall Green Brick & Ironstone Co. with the applicants residence recorded as Stafford Street, Wednesbury. 

The Castle Brick Works, Birchills, Walsall is first listed in Kelly's 1900 edition & this entry is repeated in the 1904 & 1908 editions. Kelly's 1912 edition now reads J. Griffin Jones & Company, Castle Brick Works, Upper Green Road, Birchills, Walsall. This entry continues until the 1921 edition, but I have found on the web that this company was still in operation in 1924. Kelly's 1928 edition now reads The Castle Brick Co. Upper Green Road, Birchills, Walsall & this entry is repeated in Kelly's 1932, 36 & 40 editions together with a second brickworks at Bloxwich, Walsall. The Company closed in the 1950’s.

P. G. & R. - Partridge, Guest & Raybould (Blue & Red) Old Hill, Rowley Regis are listed in Kelly's 1860 to 1872 editions. After Raybould had left this partnership, the company continued as Partridge & Guest Ltd. until 1936 & this is the last entry in Kelly's directory recording the works at Powke Lane, Old Hill making blue bricks, stable bricks & garden tiles.

Update 28.4.18.
I can now reveal what happened next to Marshall Raybould & some earlier info for P. G. & R. 
In White's 1873 edition Marshall Frederick Raybould is listed brickmaking at Mill Lane, Harborne & at Powke Lane, Oldhill near Rowley Regis. At this Powke Lane works Raybould was in partnership with Samuel Partridge & Joseph Guest with whom he had worked with since 1856, but Raybould was to shortly leave this partnership to concentrate on brickmaking at his new works at Harborne. The break up of this partnership must have taken place by 1875 as Raybould is only listed at Harborne in Kelly's 1875 Birmingham edition & Partridge & Guest are only listed together in Kelly's 1876 Staffs. edition.

So with Raybould from 1873 at his Mill Lane, Harborne brickworks we find he continues to make bricks at this works until Kelly's 1897 edition. We then find in Kelly's 1899 to 1905 editions the listing is Walter Raybould at Harborne Park Road (previously named Mill Lane), Harborne. So I am taking it that Walter was Marshall's son.

I have also found in a London Gazette Notice that in 1856 Partridge, Guest & Raybould were also in partnership with John Tranter, brickmaking at Powke Lane, Oldhill operating under the company name of S. Partridge & Co. This notice records that Tranter then left the company on the 23rd September 1856. I have also found S. Partridge is listed at Oldhill in White's 1851 edition, so Raybould may have joined Partridge as early as say 1854/5. I estimate that Marshall Frederick Raybould was brickmaking for around 44 years & he would have been in his 60's when he retired. I have now added bricks below made by Marshall & Walter Raybould which where found at Cawarden.

Swindell & Collis are listed in Jones Mercantile Directory 1865 edition as Coalmasters / Brick & Tile Manufacturers at Granville & Gorsty Hill Collieries, Old Hill, Cradley Heath. The company is then recorded in Kelly's 1868 edition at Granville Colliery, Rowley Regis, Dudley. This is followed by many entries until 1908, listing the company with variations of the name & address as Old Hill, Dudley - Granville Brick Works & in the last entry as S & C, (blue) Granville Brick Works, Station Road, Old Hill.

Jacob Sames is listed in Kelly’s Birmingham 1878 & 1879 editions at Garrison Lane. The 1893 edition now records his works as the Atlas Brickworks, Garrison Lane. 

The Atlas & Crown Brick Co. Birmingham is listed in Kelly’s 1890 edition at Garrison Lane, Small Heath & Bordesley Green Road, Saltley with Evan Thomas as Managing Partner. Then in the 1892 to 1900 editions the works are now recorded as Bordesley Green, Small Heath & Bordesley Green Road, Saltley. 

John Bond is recorded as making bricks at his Watery Lane brickworks, Birmingham in Kelly's Directory from 1867 to 1905 editions.

This brick from Berry Hill Brickworks Ltd. was made after 1947, but the brickworks had it's origins in 1870 when it was owned by William Bowers. I cannot find any trade directory entries for William, either under his own name or company name. After William's death the company was owned by Henry Warrington & Son & the first entry for the new owners in Kelly's is 1896 with the works listed as the Berry Hill Works, Fenton, Stoke. This entry is repeated until the 1908 edition. There is then a gap in directory entries for the works, but I have found on the web that the brickworks which was adjacent to Berry Hill Colliery was purchased by John Slater in 1914. John then formed John Slater Ltd. in 1918 owning New Haden Colliery at Cheadle as well. We next find that Berry Hill Collieries Ltd. are the next owners & this company is recorded in Kelly's 1928 & 1932 editions at the Berry Hill Brickworks, Stoke. In the 1920's it is recorded that the brickworks was the largest in North Staffordshire. 1947 sees the Nationalisation of the collieries & the company changed it's name to Berry Hill Brickworks Ltd. In the 1960's the Company added two more brickworks to the group, Clanway in Tunstall & Kingsley in Cheadle. Berry Hill Brickworks Ltd. is recorded as closing in the 1970's.

David Carthy is recorded at Brereton Road, Rugeley in Kelly’s 1892 to 1900 editions. The Brereton Road works is then listed as being owned by Carthy Brothers in the 1904 & 1908 editions.

So if you wish to visit Cawarden Reclamation I have pasted their link below. It's well worth a visit.

Many Thanks to Cawarden Reclamation for allowing me to go round the yard & photograph your bricks. Many new names have now been recorded on Penmorfa brick web site.

1 comment:

  1. This a comment I have received via email from Carwarden.
    Hi Martyn,
    Thanks for the post I really enjoyed your post.
    I have posted it on our web page (hope you are ok with this).
    It’s fascinating to see such in depth information.
    Thanks for sharing it with us. Regards Russell.


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