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The Brickworks of Wales
Mid Glamorgan
Bridgend and the Taff, Rhondda and Cynon Valleys
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The Bricks and Brickworks of Mid Glamorgan

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    The Taff Vale

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Mid Glamorgan

Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley     The Rhondda Valley
    The Taff Vale

Aberkenfig - SS 8802 8334

Bridgend Dinas Brick Co, Fountain, Aberkenfig is mentioned in 1880 trade directories and appears on the 1897 OS map but is shown as 'disused' by 1914. The photos of the site were taken in 1990 by Mike Stokes.

Aberkenfig - SS 8886 8358

The 1914 and 1941 maps show an 'old brickworks' with two kilns at this location. There is nothing on the 1897 map at all. In 1941 the clay pits were connected by an aerial ropeway to Tondu brickworks so possibly it was part of the Tondu company.

Bryncethin - SS 9168 8447

Bryncethin Brick Co Ltd first appears in Kellys directory in 1895 becoming Bryncethin Brick Works Ltd around 1920. It is believed to have closed in 1960. In 1930 a Sentinel steam lorry No 6773 of 1926 was sold to Charles Jenkins (Bryncethin Brick Works) Ltd. The brickworks converted it to a railway loco and it was presumed scrapped by 1938. A Lister 2ft gauge railtruck No 9969 of 1938 was purchased to work in the claypits.

Brynmenyn - SS 9066 8502

Brynmenyn Brickworks, Bridgend, appears on the 1877 map but there are no kilns shown so it may be under construction. The 1899 map shows it as fully operational but no sign of Brymenyn Colliery. By 1919 it seems to have gone and Brymenyn Colliery is shown as 'disused'.

Coedely - ST 0144 8593

Coedely Colliery was sunk in 1901 by the 'Welsh Navigaton Steam Coal Co' with the first coal being raised in 1906. This large colliery complex had a full by-products plant and a brickworks which is shown on the 1914 OS map, The main brickworks building is still shown on the 1960 map bu not labelled. The colliery didn't close untill 1985 but I suspect the brickworks ceased production in the 1960s.

Llanharan, South Rhondda - SS 9913 8442

The 'South Rhondda Colliery Co (1898) Ltd' re-opened the South Rhondda Colliery in 1898. One of the shafts produced clay which was used in their adjacent brickworks. Both colliery and brickworks closed in 1927. It appears that the buildings were still there in 1948.

Llantrisant, Beddau - ST 0649 8522

This brickworks near the site of Ty'n-y-Nant Colliery only appears on the 1914 OS map. It's at the end of a tramway from the old 'Ida Colliery' which may have been a source of clay.

Llantrisant, Mwyndy - ST 0560 8177

Hudson Bros (Llantrisant) Ltd, Mwyndy Sawmills and Brickworks, Mwyndy, Llantrisant. The company is believed to have started c1905 as I'm told they are not mentioned in the 1904 RCH Handbook. They seem to have been quite short-lived as the company was dissolved in 1911 but the brickworks are still shown on the 1948 map but as 'disused'. Around this time the site became a coal brickette manufacturer. I've not discovered any bricks with a 'Hudson' imprint.

Llantrisant, Pontyclun - ST 0330 8150

A brick kiln and clay pit are shown here on the 1875 OS map. Only the clay pit and 'old coal pit' remains by 1898.

Llantrisant, Pontyclun - ST 0275 8215

Noel Bros & Co Ltd of Pontyclun, Llantrisant, were in business by 1897 but the works was up for sale in 1907. The works is shown on the 1919 OS map but the site is vacant in 1948.

Maesteg - SS 8493 9147

Llynfi Ironworks was founded in 1837 and had closed by 1899. A fine engine eouse still stands as does part of one of the blast furnaces but the brickworks site has been built over.

Maesteg, Llwydarth - SS 8604 9019

The brickworks at Llwydarth may well have been owned by William Davis of Bridgend, who opened the adjacent Maesteg Merthyr Colliery in 1868. The brickworks and claypit feature on the 1877 OS map but have gone by 1899 and the claypit tramway marked 'old'.

Pencoed, Hendre - SS 9464 8170

Hendre Brickworks, Pencoed, opened between 1875 and 1899 when it appears to be well-established with a long tramway connecting it to Pencoed Ironworks. By 1919 both brickworks and tramway have gone. On 11 October 1889 the 'Hendra Estate and Building Material Co Ltd' was dissolved. By one of those strange coincidences a 'Hendra Brick Works' opened in Brisbane, Queensland on 31 October 1884 but no relation !!

Pencoed - SS 9578 8176

Pencoed Terra Cotta Brick & Tile Co Ltd, Pencoed and Powis Brick & Tile Co Ltd, Pencoed Brick & Tile Co Ltd

Porthcawl Brickworks by Mike Stokes.

A place name impressed on a brick doesn’t necessarily indicate that there was a brickworks at that location, at least that’s the conclusion to which I’m rapidly thinking may be so with a brick that has recently been discovered. Shown as BEDFORD at Briton Ferry & Porthcawl I can find very little evidence of a works at the latter location although some documentation exists which suggests a brickworks had been planned.

Research has shown that George Bedford owned a brickworks at Briton Ferry and he is first noted on the 1851 census as a brick maker. By 1858 he is shown in the Slater’s Directory with an entry thus: Bedford, George, (firebricks), Briton Ferry. Further directories and census returns follow George through to 1881 where he is shown as a brick manufacturer with his home address now as Pyle, Glamorgan where he died in 1884.

The aforementioned George Bedford (1811-1884) was the grandson of John Bedford (1725-1791) who founded the Ironworks and brickworks at Cefn Cribwr and whose life is well documented elsewhere. Brick making obviously ran in the family as George’s brother Stephen (1813-1876) also operated a brickworks in the Neath area, shown in the 1852 Scammell & Co directory as at The Green, Neath. George’s eldest son (John) is shown on various censuses as being a brick maker but we turn our attention to the second son, also named George (b.1843) who is shown on the 1871 census as a firebrick manufacturer employing 14 men; at this point in the story it is unclear whether this is the same works as that owned by his father. By 1881 George the younger is shown as a Commission Agent and living at New Road, Porthcawl. A further complication to the story is that another brother David (1845-1884) is shown on the 1881 census as a brick manufacturer employing three men and two boys, quite a small concern but no indication of where this operation might have been.

In 1910 various newspaper reports show that a brickworks was proposed to open at Porthcawl. A clip from the Glamorgan Gazette of 10th November that year is reproduced here. However, despite spending hours searching through newspapers following that date, in particular The Glamorgan Gazette which would most likely be the source of such information, I can find no further mention of the brickworks. In addition, I have studied every available map, 6” and 25” and can see no evidence that there was ever a brickworks in Porthcawl.

It is now that mention must be made of a short street in the village of Newton (Porthcawl) which goes by the name of “The Brickyard”. A curiosity it must be agreed, but again I can find no evidence of bricks being produced here. The name of this street predates any of the Bedford’s activities and the tithe map of 1846 does show one of the properties marked as “Yard”, but with no further details. It is possible that bricks may have been produced here at one time early in the 19th century, possibly in a clamp-style operation, but once again can come up with no firm evidence.

So we return to the question of the brick; we know that George Bedford the younger was dealing in building materials, this is shown in the town directories of the period. Is it a possibility that he had the name Porthcawl impressed into bricks made at Briton Ferry in order to pursue a market locally in Porthcawl? At any rate, the Bedford era predates the 1910 venture mentioned previously by some twenty to thirty years so are unlikely to be connected.

I’m sure one day some further information will come to light, in the meantime I’m hoping someone will read this who will be able to provide a little more knowledge of the subject. Until then, the Briton Ferry & Porthcawl brick must remain an unsolved mystery.

Pyle, Cefn Cribbwr - SS 8536 8340

Cefn Cribbwr Brick Co

Pyle, Stormy - SS 8531 8166

Stormy Stone and Brick Co

Quarella - SS 9031 8074

Quarella Brickworks, Bridgend, owned by William McGaul

Tondu, Evanstown - SS 8925 8402

Tondu Brickworks is first mentioned in Kellys in 1891 as the Evanstown Brick Works, owned by Robert Evans, the owner of the kilns on the other side of Tondu Ironworks. It appears on the 1899 OS map becoming the Evanstown & Tondu Brick Works Co (l910) and the Tondu Brickworks Co Ltd by 1926, finally closing c1974.


Tondu Brickworks was demolished in the late 1970s and luckily someone took these photos to record it.

Tondu, Ferguson's - SS 8939 8451

John Ferguson's Brickworks adjacent to Tondu station was advertised for sale in various south Wales news publications from January to March 1878. This brickworks is on the 1877 and 1899 OS maps but the kilns had gone by 1919. The land was leased to Robert Evans who went on to build the Evanstown brickworks.

Tondu, Ynysawdre - SS 8997 8425

Ynysawdre Coke, Coal and Brick Co Ltd, part of Ynysawdre (Adare) Colliery. No separate brick kilns are shown on any maps but local knowledge says they were part of the colliery complex. The colliery is on 1877 OS map and expanded on the 1899 map with coke ovens. Adare Colliery and the coke ovens were marked 'disused' by 1919.

Waterton, Bridgend - SS 8939 8451

Durus Cast Stone Co, Cowbridge Road, Waterton is shown as a brickworks on the 1941 map, but appears from the company name may have been making cast concrete products.

The Cynon Valley

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley     The Rhondda Valley
    The Taff Vale

Aberaman - SO 0176 0034

Aberaman brickworks, opened after 1884 next to Aberaman Colliery, were owned by the Duffryn & Llanishen Brick, Tile, Sanitary Pipe & Terra Cotta Co Ltd in 1891, who also owned the works at Llanishen in cardiff. Later it became part of Powell Duffryn & Co and closed in the 1960s. The site was originally the unsuccessful Aberaman Ironworks, opened in 1845 by Crawshay Bailey and closing in 1864, which is reoprted to have had a brickworks on site.

Aberaman, Blaengwawr - SO 0065 0205

Blaengwawr Brickworks, Aberaman was opened c 1843 as part of Blaengwawr Colliery, owned by David Davis. The colliery closed in 1885 but was re-opened by Powell Duffryn from 1914 to 1926. It's likely that the brickworks didn't re-open as Powell Duffryn had their own brickworks by then.

Aberdare, Gadlys - SO 0005 0317

Gadlys Brickworks, Aberdare appears to have been working between 1901 and 1914 but there is mention of it being dismantled and auctioned off in 1903. More information needed.

Aberdare, Llwydcoed - SN 9924 0444

Aberdare Brickworks was open by 1898 in the ruins of Aberdare Iron Co, Llwydcoed, It was owned by the Duffryn & Llanishen Brick, Tile, Sanitary Pipe & Terra Cotta Co Ltd in 1891, Aberdare Brick Co in 1920 and Tanybryn Brickworks Co Ltd in 1931. The chimney was felled in 1982. I assume that the 'Crown Brickworks' is the same company but I can't find any details of it.

Cwmdare, Bwllfa Dare - SN 9735 0230

Bwllfa Dare Brickworks, Cwmdare, possibly opened with the colliery in 1856 and is on the 1868-78 map. It's still shown on the 1948 map but appears quite isolated. In 1884 the company is listed as 'Bwllfa and Merthyr Dare Colliereies and Brickworks' in Kellys Directory.

Cwmdare, Nantmelyn - SN 9730 0285

Nantmelyn Brickworks, Cwmdare, first appears on the 1897 map and is still there in 1948.

Hirwaun - SN 9605 0605

Hirwaun Brickworks. From Richard Paterson and Mike Stokes :- The firm was founded in 1853 as Allen & Younger and became N B Allen in 1871. According to Nansi Selwood's excellent 'History of the Villages of Hirwaun and Rhigos', the firm made bricks from silica brought via a dedicated mineral line from two quarries, Yr Eithin and Y Foel, in Penderyn. The bricks were reputedly of high quality and won a prize at the 1880 Paris Exhibition, though a flourishing export trade ended with the outbreak of WW1 as the bricks were required for use on the home front. I remember 'the Quarry Line' being in use and I know that, eventually, Allens were taken over by General Refractories, later GR Stein, before closure in 1973.

Hirwaun, Rhydywaen - SN 9725 0455

Rhydywaen Brickworks, Hirwaun

Hirwaun, Tir Herbert - SN 9435 0605

Tir Herbert Brickworks, Hirwaun, opened after 1878 but is marked 'disused' in 1914.

Mountain Ash, Miskin - ST 0490 9815

'Coflein' record a brickworks on Windsor Street here. There are a number of quarries in the area but no sign of a brickworks as such.

Rhigos - SN 9142 0604

This area is known as 'Brickyard' with a 'Brickyard Farm' and a 'Brickyard Mire'. The 1843 Tithe Map has no reference to a brickyard but it appears in the 1875 OS map along with a possible claypit.


The Rhondda Valley

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley     The Rhondda Valley
    The Taff Vale

Blaenrhondda - SS 9248 0054

Part of Blaen-Rhondda Colliery by 1877, they were marked 'old' in 1899. Blaen-Rhondda Colliery had become part of the Fernhill Collieries by 1919 and the kilns had gone.

Hopkinstown - ST 0588 9077

Great Western Colliery, Tymawr Brickworks, Hopkinstown

Llwynypia - SS 9956 9268

Part of the Glamorgan Colliery, Llwynypia which opened in 1863. Brick production had probably ceased by 1938 when the colliery was greatly reduced, closing finally in 1945.

Pentre - ST

Pentre Colliery brickworks

Tonypandy - SS 9943 9362

A brickworks is shown on the site of Brith-Weunydd Colliery but it is only shown on the 1900 OS map.

The Taff Vale

Quick links to :-     Bridgend and Ely, Garw and Ogwr Valleys     The Cynon Valley     The Rhondda Valley
    The Taff Vale

Taffs Well - ST 1206 8462

Bryncoch Brickworks, Taffs Well worked from before 1873 to c1900. The 1914 map shows the works still standing but unmarked and all the tramways lifted.

Pontypridd, Sardis Road - ST 0695 8988

Sardis Road brickworks, Pontypridd, was open by 1873 and is shown on OS maps up to 1948.

Pontypridd, Pwllgwaun - ST 0638 9014

The Victoria Brick Works Co Ltd at Pwllgwaun isn't shown on the 1875 map but was listed in 1895 and for sale in 1897. It's shown as the 'Victoria Works' on maps until 1948 but may have ceased brickmaking at the end of WW1 when the Victoria Colliery closed. A 'Pwllgwaun Brick & Tile Co Ltd' is listed in 1952.

Merthyr Tydfil, Cyfarthfa - SO 0379 0707

Cyfarthfa Ironworks had a brickworks next to the Pont-y-Cafnau Bridge, shown on the 1875 1:500 town plan, with two kilns. They are still shown on the 1919 edition.

Merthyr Tydfil, Dowlais - SO 0697 0737

Dowlais Ironworks had a very large brickworks next to their iron and steelworks, shown on the 1875 1:500 town plan, with many kilns. They are all shown as 'disused' on the 1949 edition

Merthyr Tydfil, Heolgerrig - SO 0368 0653

A post WW2 brickworks of the Butterley Co probably re-processing slag heaps, appearing on the 1958 map and closed c1992.

Merthyr Tydfil, Sarn Helen, Merthyr Common - SO 0768 0605

'Old Brick kilns' are shown on the 1876 OS map only. They had gone by 1900.

Merthyr Tydfil, Pen-y-darran - SO 0600 0567

Pen-y-darran Ironworks had a brickworks, shown on the 1875 1:500 town plan, with two kilns. They had gone on the 1900 edition as had Pen-y-darran Ironworks itself.

Merthyr Tydfil, Thomastown - SO 0508 0597

A brickworks in Thomastown, owned by John Jenkins (1884), Mrs Elizabeth Jenkins (1891), Thomas Price Jenkins (1895) and John Jenkins (1914), was in existance from 1877 to 1921 at least.

Merthyr Tydfil, Trebeddau - SO 0524 0675

A brickworks is shown on the 1876 OS map only. It had gone by 1900.

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) Graham Bennett, Mike Bennett, Ian Cooke, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, Martyn Fretwell, Andrew Harvard, Tracey Hucker, Glen Johnson, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Frank Moore, 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 :- 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


A Guide to the Website


All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins