The Brickworks of Wales
The Brickworks of South Glamorgan
Cardiff City and suburbs, Penarth and Barry
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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
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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 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 in the Rhondda Valley 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 1881 map but marked 'old' by 1901.

East Moors - ST 2005 7609

A Fire Brick Works is shown in Lewis Road in 1881, it had become the '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 were operated by William Thorne & Sons. One is described as at Cowbridge Road, Ely, later known as 'Highland Park', but was about a quarter mile from Cowbridge Road. The other works was 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 known as 'West End' doesn't appear until the 1915 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. 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.

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! This may be the brickworks for sale in 1879.

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 Works Co Ltd by 1891 and a manager was needed 'at once' in 1909. It may have gone into receivership in 1915 and appears disused by 1938. By 1961 the site was listed as Powell Duffryn Ltd, Brick & Pipe Dept, Parkfield Place, Maindy, Cardiff. A 'Cardiff Brick Co Ltd' is also listed at Wernddu brickworks, Caerphilly in 1958.

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

The first of three brickworks running North-East along Newport Road. This Brick kiln is shown on the 1881 map only, the outline of the claypit is shown in 1899. It could be an earlier 'Heath' kiln or 'Billups Brick Co' before he went to Llandough?

Newport Road - ST 2093 7822

Heath Brickworks, Thomas Waring in 1884, Waring's Brick Works Co in 1906, gone by 1915

Newport Road - ST 2093 7834

Bridge Brickworks 1881 - 1901, gone by 1915

Newport Road - ST 2091 7796

A brick kiln is marked on the South side of the South Wales main line in 1881 only.

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

'D W Davies & Son Cardiff'
'Vachell Cardiff'

'D W Davies & Son Cardiff' was found in Cardiff but nothing is known about the company other than its shares were traded in 1899.

'Vachell Cardiff' 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 Brick Works Co Ltd' are first mentioned in 1884 with 'H Millward, Manager', the same as Cogan Pill brickworks. It later became 'Penarth Brick Works Co (1920) Ltd' with 'I Cardell' as manager. The brickworks is still shown on 1950s maps but without tramways to the claypits. Housing was built on the site in 1965.

Cogan, Penarth - ST 1749 7240

Cogan Pill brickworks is shown on the 1879 OS map and gone by 1900. Kellys list it in 1884 as the 'Cogan Pill Brick Works Co' with 'H Millward, Manager', the same as Penarth Brick Works Co, and in 1891 as 'Penarth Patent Press Brick Works' with Thomas Bevan as manager.

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 the output is imprinted 'Pentyrch' or 'Glamorgan Brick Co' but some other bricks found at the brickworks site include 'Booker & Co' 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 labelled 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.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

This page is particularly dedicated to 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) Anthony Akhurst, Graham Bennett, Mike Bennett, Ian Cooke, Roy Cooper, DanWillJam, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, Martyn Fretwell, Andrew Harvard, Tracey Hucker, Glen Johnson, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Frank Moore, Steve Nicholas, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Ian Suddaby, Mike Szura, Templeton Heritage Group, Gareth Thomas, David Wood amonst many others.

The 'Old Bricks' 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 :-

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

A Guide to the Website

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins