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The Brickworks of Wales
West Wales
Llanelly, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire
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Llanelly

Quick link to :-     Llanelly     Carmarthenshire     Pembrokeshire

Bigyn - SN 5104 0002

Bigyn Brickworks ('Bigin' on old maps) was owned by T Williams & Co. Bricks marked 'T Williams & Co', 'Williams & Co' or 'Llanelly' come from this brickworks.

Cae - SN 5174 0044

Cae Brick Co on the site of Cae Colliery

Carreg Llwyn Quarry

A brickworks may have operated here some time between 1926 and c1950 using quarry shale. The location of the quarry is uncertain.

Copper Works - SS 5080 9915

Copper Works Brickworks, later Penrhos Pottery

Dafen - SN 5286 0131

The Dafen Brick Works Co (later the Dafen Brick Co Ltd) was opened in 1890 though it doesn't appear on OS maps until 1915. it was for sale in 1899 and extended in 1910, using colliery shale from the Bryngwyn tip for brick-making. Later, high-grade shale was found in Capel Quarry, and in 1927 an aerial ropeway, of varying heights between 20 and 50 feet high, stretched over half a mile from the quarry to bring huge buckets of shale down to the kilns. It appears to have been working into the 1950s and possibly later.

Furnace - SN 5048 0127

'Coflein' record a brickyard here in 1809, owned by 'Mr Bowen' in 1830. A second brickworks in the area used clay from Cwmddyche Colliery to make bricks. This was owned by David Charles & Sons from c1860 to c1870

Machynys - SS 5118 9835 and SS 5104 9821

Machynys Brick & Tile Co Ltd, Llanelly

Morfa - SS 5196 9881
Morfa Patent - SS 5183 9876

The two adjacent Morfa brickworks were opened c1872, one by the 'Morfa Brick & Tile Co', the other by the 'Burry Brick & Tile Co' but which was which is unknown. Morfa brickwork closed in c1919, having been owned by a later 'Morfa Brick & Tile Co', 'William Thomas', 'Henry James & Son' and 'William Waddle Coombs'.
Morfa Patent Brick Works was working until c1905 under the ownerships of 'Frederick Pinn' and 'W Bowen & Son'.

Penygaer - SS 5178 0105

Penygaer brickworks operated from c1865 to 1883 by the Gough family from an adjacent clay mine.

Pwll - SN 4770 0090

Pwll brickworks was opened by 'Mason & Elkington' in c1870 as part of Pwll Colliery. Later owners include the 'Cwmparc Silica Brick Co Ltd' and finally the 'Pwll Coal & Brick Co Ltd'. It was also known as the 'Star Brickworks' using the imprint 'Star Pwll'. Clay was obtained from a number of local levels and had a tramway running alongside the BPGVR line to its own coal and clay level. The works closed in 1962.

Sandy - SN 4998 0067 (1880), SN 4985 0052 (1907)

Sandy Brickworks, Llanelly.

Stradey Brickworks - SN 4855 0069

Stradey Brickworks, Llanelly also used the imprint 'Stradd' plus an 'F' for 'Fire' or 'L' for 'Ladle'.

Stanley Brickworks - SS 5080 9920

Stanley Brickworks, Llanelly

Other Brickworks and Brickmakers

William Webb senior & William Webb junior manufactured bricks probably using clay from local collieries. The location of works is not known. William F.Webb senior may have manufactured bricks from pre 1839 to post 1840. His son W.F.Webb definitely manufactured bricks pre 1851 – (1851-56).

Samuel Howell Bevan, later proprietor of Bryn Chemical Works, was stated in the 1881 Census to be a brick manufacturer; the identity of his works is not known.

The rest of Carmarthenshire

Quick link to :-     Llanelly     Carmarthenshire     Pembrokeshire

Ammanford - SN 6377 1244

Ammanford Colliery and Brickworks, The colliery is on the 1905 map with the brickworks next to it in 1915 and still there in 1962. It was part of British Anthracite Co in the late 1940s / early 1950s.

Ammanford, Pont-y-clerc Brickworks - SN 6200 1150

Pont-y-clerc Brickworks, Pantyffynnon was opened around 1835 and owned by John Lloyd c1860 but he was bankrupt by 1871. It became the Pontyclerc Fire Brick Works & Anthracite Coal Co but they failed too and the works was auctoned in 1885. John and Joshua Lloyd took over in 1886, a different John Lloyd I assume, under a number of diffent company names. Finally the colliery became part of Amalgamated Anthracite Ltd and closed in 1934. The brickworks is shown on the 1938 map but marked 'disused' by 1948.

Blaenau, near Pen-y-groes - SN 6015 1310

A 'Brick Field' and what appears to be a block of kilns is shown on the 1878 map. it was adjacent to Blaenau-Saron Colliery but both colliery and kilns had gone by 1905. The whole area has been subject to open-cast mining and landscaped.

Brynamman, Amman Brick Works - SN 7150 1394

Amman Brick Co Ltd, Brynamman, occupied the site of the Amman Ironworks some time after 1905 when the ironworks closed. It had disappeared by 1948.

Burry Port - SN 4603 0116

New Lodge colliery and brickworks was opened c1850 by Mason & Elkington, becoming the New Lodge Colliery & Fire Brick Co Ltd in 1882, William Watkeys Ltd in c1907 and the Achddu Colliery Co Ltd in 1911. Both colliery and brickworks are shown as 'disused' in 1913 and seem to have closed completely by 1932.

Burry Port - SN 4493 0162

Achddu Brickworks was open from the late 1920s to 1948 on the site of Achddu Colliery which had closed in 1917.

Bynea

Bynea - SS 5524 9903

The Bynea Silica Brick Co was working before 1879 but was marked 'disused' by 1938 and doesn't appear on the 1949 map. I've not come across an example of a proper 'Bynea' brick but the 'BD' bricks were found in Bynea.

Bynea - SS 5483 9915

The Glynea Pit was opened c1863 by the Neville's of Llanelly and closed c1926. The brickworks appears on the 1907 and 1916 maps. It was later owned by The Glynea Coal and Brick Co in 1896 when they were advertising for a manager and The Glynea and Castle Coal and Brick Co by 1908.

Carmarthen - SN 4060 1960

Brickworks under the A40 Carmarthen By-pass roundabout

Carmarthen - SN 4303 2165

Dol-Gwili Brick and Tile Works, Carmarthen Brick Co. also under a different A40 roundabout

Cynghordy - SN 7985 4105

The Cynghordy brickworks was developed by British Anthracite Co Ltd from the late 1950s/early 1960s. British Fuel Co (South Wales) Ltd had acquired the business by 1975 but it is not known if it was still operating at that time. The site was cleared by 1978.

Horeb, Eclipse Brickworks - SN 5009 0529

Blackthorn Brick Works Co was founded in 1907 becoming the Eclipse Brick Co Ltd by 1914 and The Horeb Brick Co Ltd by 1926. It was said to have closed in 1967. Mike Stokes visited the derelict site on 3rd April 1995 and reported "the stack was still standing and most of a Hoffman kiln. Access was only possible down the abandoned railway line. Many bricks were scattered around with 'OB' on them, also some white/yellow with 'ATLAS' stamped on them". Some 'OB' and 'Atlas' bricks have been found in the area which might well be from Horeb but I haven't found any photos of 'Eclipse' or 'Horeb' bricks.

Kidwelly - SN 4025 0642

This location was the first site of Kidwelly Brickworks, to the north of Kidwelly station, in operation from 1858 to c.1903. It was opened c.1858 by William Edwards of Swansea. Later Frederick & Jenner, possibly of Glenneath were running it and by c.1895 the works may have been owned by Daniel Stephens. An 'F J Stephens' was manager of Abernant Dinas Silica Brick Co, Glyn Neath in 1891 and may have been related. The works was not working in 1908.

Kidwelly - SN 4020 0637

The second site of Kidwelly Brickworks, to the south of of the railway station, was working from 1903 to 1965 having been opened by Alderman Daniel Stephens. In 1904 a siding was built to the GWR. Twenty kilns were built at the works over various periods with at least 18 available for use at one period. Stephens worked silica from Mynydd-y-Garreg and this was brought into the works via the Gwendraeth Valley Railway (GVR) over the GWR at Kidwelly. In 1910 a locomotive was acquired to work this traffic, with another acquired in 1917 and a third in 1947, all built by Pecketts of Bristol. In addition, 2ft 6in gauge locomotives worked the quarries at SN 432083 from 1925 until the mid 1950s. The 1915 map shows a considerable number of sidings at the Brick Works. Up to 1927 the firm was known as Stephens & Co, but later as Stephens Silica Brick Co Ltd and closed in 1965.

Kidwelly - SN 3991 0614

A brick kiln and brickfield are shown here just below Kidwelly brickworks in 1880 only, beside the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway and old canal.

Kidwelly - SN 4100 0622

Dinas Brickworks was working from 1865 to 1950s, opened by 'Redford & Harris' and by 1884 the firm were trading as 'G Redford & Co'. By 1899 it was in the hands of 'H & HE Smart', possibly involved with the tinplate trade, producing fire bricks under the name of brand 'R Dinas'. According to a 1915 map there were six kilns on the site at that time. Two sidings connected the works to the GVR. The firm remained in existence until at least the 1950s as 'Smarts Dinas Silica Co Ltd' Quay Road, Kidwelly. It seems that Smart amalgamated with both Stephens and Penwyllt Dinas Silica Co as all three had offices at Quay Road, Kidwelly. It is also possible that Smart took over the operation of Young’s railway and locomotive after the demise of the latter’s business.

Kidwelly, Mynydd-y-Garreg - SN 4354 0930

Alexander Young's Brickworks worked from 1900 to c.1927. In 1877 Alexander Young built a bank of lime kilns at Penymynydd Farm, Four Roads. These stood adjacent to Young’s standard gauge railway, presumably built at the same time as the kilns, which ran to a junction with the GVR at Mynydd-y-Garreg. The bank of kilns was said to be massive, being 120ft wide and 60ft high. A 0-4-0ST locomotive by the name of 'Duxbury' worked the line c1905. In 1900 Alexander Young built a silica brickworks on land near Graig, north of Mynydd-y-Garreg. Alexander Young died in c1903-04 and the business was carried on by William Young, possibly his son, trading as 'A Y Dinas Silica Brick & Lime Co'. By 1917 there were plans to enlarge the works from four kilns to six with additional machinery, and to be powered by a stationary gas engine which would replace an old steam engine. Bricks used in the construction came from Trimsaran and Hancocks(?) brickworks as their own silica bricks were not suitable for general construction works as they deteriorate quickly in wet weather. At the same time as the extension was built a new siding was laid on Young’s railway alongside the works. An inclined narrow gauge tramway was also installed in the winter of 1917, but because of operating difficulties this was probably not used much. By 1922 the works were said to be in the hands of the 'Amalgamated Dinas Silica Brick Co Ltd'. The works probably closed in 1921 but kept intact with the hope of re-opening. The company was wound up in 1927 and most of the equipment sold. Some buildings may have remained up to the time of WW2.

Llandeilo

Llandeilo Brick and Tile Co are listed by 'Coflein' here with a general reference but I can't find any exact location, could they be merchants?

Llangennech - SN 5555 0120

Llangennech Brick and Tile Co

Llangennech, Talyclyn - SN 5747 0348

The brickworks and colliery at Talyclyn were opened c1850 becoming the 'Talyclyn Colliery and Brickworks Co' from 1885 to 1900. It was then owned by Thomas Williams and Sons, Llangennech (TW&S) and closed by the NCB in 1952. The site is now buried beneath the M4 motorway.

Llanybyther - SN 5038 4226

I'm assuming that Llanybyther Brickworks is the brickworks shown on the map at Highmead. I'm told that a large walled garden was built there in the 1860s for which the brickworks may have been built. The brickworks only appears on the 1887 map and is already marked as 'disused'.

Pen-y-groes, Emlyn Brickworks - SN 5841 1351

Emlyn Brick Company Limited was formed on 22/12/1920, previously Emlyn Anthracite Collieries Ltd and latterly owned by Aeron Thomas. The kiln was built in 1911, a 16 chamber Hoffman type built by Manchester Kiln who supplied the lining and Emlyn supplied the bricks at a cost of £536. Previously, beehive kilns had been used on site. Two vintage presses made by Bradley & Craven of Wakefield were said to be 80 and 100 years old and are now in Swansea Museum. The brick making capacity was 70,000 per week, rising to 90,000 per week when a new draught improver was installed on 3rd April 1995. Castle Brick Co. was formed in 9/2/1994. In the office were photos of the anthracite colliery, 1901, 1906 and 1931. (as reported by Mike Stokes in April 1995)

Pontyates - SN 4779 0863

Ynys-Hafren Brickworks

St Clears

Up to four brickworks existed at St Clears - Upper, Lower and Victoria Brickworks and possibly one other.

Trimsaran - SN 4657 0527

The 'Trimsaran Brick Co' had been operating at the Trimsaran Upper Colliery since around 1900, mentioned as the 'Trimsaran Colliery and Brickworks Co' in 1915. The colliery passed to the NCB and the brickworks to the 'British Anthracite Co' and seems to have closed in 1967. Gareth Hugh Davies visited the site in 2008 and recorded the ruins.


Pembrokeshire

Quick link to :-     Llanelly     Carmarthenshire     Pembrokeshire

Angle - SM 8541 0311

The Angle Brick Works was established in the 1880′s by the Angle Estate. At that time there were 3 kilns. The products included bricks of several varieties, roof and quarry tiles, ridge tiles, and drain pipes. Later, blocks of simulated stone were produced.

Goodwick, Fishguard - SM 9406 3764

Goodwick Brickworks Co Ltd, Open by 1907 as Fishguard Harbour Brickworks Co Ltd until 1910 when it became Goodwick Brickworks Co Ltd. In 1946 it was part of the British Anthracite Co Ltd and closed c1969. The quarry used RH 193973, purchased new in 1938 and scrapped in 1970.

Hean Castle, Saundersfoot - SN 1433 0598

The brickworks adjacent to the iron foundry at Hean Castle was founded in 1845 by Thomas Stokes and closed in c1887. It traded as Tenby Silica Co in c1860, Hean Castle Brick Co in c1864 and Woolston Firebrick Works c1867. Bricks were originally imprinted 'Stokes Saundersfoot Pembroke' and from c1864 'Hean Castle Tenby Patent'. The imprint 'Stokes Anthracite Firebrick' probably refers to clay found under the seams of anthracite in the Pembrokeshire coalfiled.

Johnston, Haverfordwest - SM 9332 1113

Johnston Brick and Tile Co, owned by G E Carrow & Co, mentioned in Kellys Directory from 1895 to 1920

Landshipping - SN 0041 1001

A brick kiln is shown on the 1865 OS Map and a brickyard close by in 1907.

Pen-y-cwm, near Newgale - SM 8439 2290

A brickworks and tramway are shown as 'disused' on the 1907 OS Map in Cwm Mawr

Porthgain - SM 8145 3253

Porthgain Quarries Ltd

Slebech - SN 0356 1446

'Coflein' identify the area around 'Brickfield Bottom' as a likely site for a brickworks.

Templeton - SN 1129 1094

Templeton Brickworks opened circa 1868 and was known as Templeton Silica Works. The bricks produced were a specialised fire brick invented by the Quaker Entrepreneur William Weston Young. The rock used to make the bricks was sourced from 3 local Templeton quarries, Cleggars, North Hill and Whitehouse. They ceased making bricks in the 1920’s. Gary Davies has found some bricks imprinted on the sides and says :- "They seem to come in two colours which I have discovered over the years. The yellow ones are possibly fireclay from Bonvilles Court Colliery in Saundersfoot as (it has been said that’s where the fireclay was sourced) they are the same colour as the bricks that come from Wisemans Bridge, Woodside Brickworks which definitely used the Collieries fireclay deposits."


Dedicated to the work of Mike Stokes

The 'Brickworks of South Wales' was the work of the late Mike Stokes on his excellent website, The Brickworks of South Wales. Following Mike's untimely death his website is inaccessible and may suddenly go offline so I have transcribed it here and am expanding it as time allows.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

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, Gareth Hugh Davies, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, 'Fforestfach History', Martyn Fretwell, Andrew Harvard, Thomas Henderson, Tracey Hucker, Glen Johnson, Kes Jones, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Norman Lowe, Frank Moore, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Glyn Roberts, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Ian Suddaby, Templeton Heritage Group, Gareth Thomas, Stephanie Thomas, David Wood amonst many others.

The brickworks of Llanelly are well documented in 'The Industrial and Maritime History of Llanelli and Burry Port, 1750 to 2000' by R.S.Craig, R.Protheroe Jones & M.V.Symons was published by Carmarthenshire County Council in 2002. It runs to 672 pages with 61 plates, 24 figures and maps, ISBN 0906 821 584, £15.00

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