cwmbwergwm
The Brickworks of Wales
The Brickworks of North Wales
The Counties of Anglesey, Caernarvon and Denbigh
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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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Anglesey

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Cemaes - SH 3734 9309

Cemaes brickworks, or Afon Wygyr brickworks, is known to have been open from 1907 to 1914 but a smaller brickworks is shown on the 1899 OS map with the tramway running down to the harbour and the brickworks still appears on the 1922 map. The Hoffman kiln certainly dates from 1907 as the date is on the 92 foot chimney stack. The kiln had the capacity to produce 50,000 bricks per week, but probably seldom reached. The brickworks site was partially restored by Anglesey County Council in 1998. The chimney is clearly visible from the A5025 just east of Cemaes Bay and a path leads down to the works. The 2' gauge tramway was built from the harbour to the works to bring in coal and take out the finished bricks. Much of it was made into a footpath in 1976 and about 50yds of track can still be seen here. The tramway was man or horse powered and in 1926 had 7 coal trucks and 6 brick trucks.

Church Bay, Swtan - SH 3004 8914

A modern bungalow now stands on the site of this former brick and tile works which was situated at the end of the road which goes down to Church Bay (Swtan). Coal for the firing of the kilns was delivered to the works via barges and ships and then moved by horse and cart up the slipway from the beach. A local farmer was employed with his team of horses to bring the coal up this steep slipway and his payment for delivering the coal was that he received the last load from each delivery for himself. He then sold this coal locally at 4 and a half old pennies per cwt. The works closed in 1908 after only being in production for a few short years due to the poor quality of the clay. Info and photo by Martyn Fretwell courtesy of Swtan Museum where the tile is on display.

Holyhead - SH 2265 8325

The Breakwater Quarries opened in c1860 and William Wild and Sons opened a silica brickworks in 1901. The quarry ceased working in 1974 and the buildings have been conserved. The area is now a country park and open to visitors. Donna Louise visited the site and has kindly provided her photos.

Porth Wen - SH 4020 9460

This very well-known and quite remarkable survivor began life some time before the 1880s as it's on the 1888 OS map as 'Porth Wen Silica Brick Works' but shown as 'disused' by the 1889 revision, published in 1901. By 1906 it was owned by a German named Stiebel who seems to have expanded it and by 1908 Charles Tidy was the owner trading as the 'Tidy Brick and Tile Co'. All goods inward and outward had to be by sea from the works quay, which was quite difficult to navigate. Unfortunately the quality of the bricks seems to have gone downhill and, coupled with the poor transport links, the works closed just before WW1 and any decent machinery was later tranferred to a brickworks near Caernarvon.


Caernarvonshire

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Caernarvon, Parkia - SH 4978 6558

Parkia (or Parciau) brickworks was built before 1888 and the Parkia Brickfields of Carnarvon Ltd was liquidated on 5 May 1896. The New Parkia Brick Co Ltd was formed in 1908 but it too went into receivership, in 1930. The works were sold and the company liquidated in 1934. It passed to John Summers of Shotton and was shown as 'disused' in 1948 with a concrete works next door.

Caernarvon, Peblig - SH 4910 6200

The brickworks at Peblig Bridge, opened in the 19th century, was latterly closely connected with the Seiont brickworks. In various trade directories it is recorded as being owned by John Jones in 1874, Thomas Hughes & Co in 1880, Oldfield & Co in 1889 to 1903 and the 'Arvon Brick & Tile Co Ltd' of the 'Peblic brickworks' until 1915 when they were dissolved. There is also a 'Peblig and Seiont Brick Co' recorded as brickmakers in 1895. The Peblig Briickworks also passed to John Summers of Shotton, trading as the 'Castle Brick Co'. It appears to have closed around 1947.

Caernarvon, Seiont - SH 4890 6130

A long-established brickworks opened in c1850 but marked 'disused' in 1889. During it's existence it was owned by William Hayward in 1874 andin 1931 by John Summers of Shotton, trading as the 'Castle Brick Co'. By 1972 it was part of the Butterley group, then Hanson group and moved to the other side of the river, finally closed in 2008.

Caernarvon, Slate Quay - SH

Thomas Owen in the 1870s and the 'Caernarvon Brick Works Co' from 1917 to 1936 are recorded as being brickmakers at the Slate Quay. There's no sign of a brickworks there though.

Llandudno - SH 7799 8120

A brickworks is shown opposite the fever Hospital in 1898/99 but the area is 'old claypits' by 1911

Llandudno - SH 7853 8125

This brickworks opposite the gasworks is on the maps for 1875 and 1898 but is a vacant site in 1911.

Llandudno, Penrhyn Bay - SH 8232 8167

Not on the 1898 map but shown as 'disused' in 1911

Llandudno Junction 1 - SH 7965 7795

The first brickworks at Llandudno Junction was working from before 1875 to at least 1898 but the site was vacant in 1911 and subsequently built over. A 'Conway and District Brick Manufacturing Co Ltd' was struck off the register in 1895 which may or may not be connected.

Llandudno Junction 2 - SH 7965 7795

Junction Brickworks was the second brickworks at Llandudno Junction and appears to be well-established by 1898. It was the longest-lasting of the junction brickworks, not closing until 1958 when the claypits were exhausted. The chimneys were demolished in the 1970s and the site is now a small industrial estate.

Llandudno Junction 3 - SH 7965 7795

The third brickworks at Llandudno Junction was next door to the Junction Brickworks and only appears on the 1911 map. it had a tramway running down to the estuary but the site was rough ground in 1938.

Morfa Cwta, Llanfaglan, near Caernarvon - SH 4600 5980

The Llwyn-yn Brick Works was in operation on the 1888 and 1898 maps but only shown as a claypit in 1913.

Morfa Nefyn - SH 2818 4072

The brickworks here was open from c1865 to closure in 1906, its products were transported by sea from the nearby jetty.

Penmaenmawr - SH 704760

The 'Penmaenmawr and Welsh Granite Co' made bricks from granite waste at least from 1937 to 1952. I've not been able to locate the site of the brickworks yet, Penmaenmawr quarries were a large and complex area.

Porth Neigwl, Abersoch - SH 2584 2821

A very remote brickworks operating around between 1890 and 1900 when it was marked 'disused', desperately looking for a partner in 1897. A bankrupcy court hearing of John Hunter on 29 July 1898 describes him as a partner of 'Hunter and Howell's Brickworks, Porth Neigiol'. He claimed his bankrupcy was due to his inability to sell the brickworks due to the actions of one creditor.

Pwllheli - SH 3654 3657

A brickworks is shown near Bryn Hynnog from 1899 to 1938 which may well be it. This may be a second venture of Messrs 'Hunter and Howell' as it appears to have opened after the closure of Porth Neigwl brickworks though no evidence of this has been found yet.
There is also a clay pit shown in 1900 at SH 3650 3415 but no sign of any buildings.


North and South Denbighshire

Denbighshire was a huge brick producer centred on Ruabon and Wrexham, featuring such famous names as 'Dennis' and 'JC Edwards'. A suberb book entitled 'Life in the Victorian brickworks of Flintshire and Denbighshire', written by Andrew Connolly, has a vast amount of information on the bricks and brickworks of these counties along with chapters on the brickmaking process itself. There are nearly 300 large pages of text, photos and maps and it is available from the usual bookseller websites.
The numbers in brackets are cross-references to those used by Andrew in his book.

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

North Denbighshire

Having seen a brick with 'W M Rhyl' imprinted and wondering where was a brickworks in Rhyl, I find four in close proximity. I haven't traced the 'W M Rhyl' yet, though.

Cefndy, Rhyl - SJ 0127 8054

Cefndy isn't shown in 1877 but on the go before 1898 when an 'old brickworks' is also shown next to the railway station less then half a mile away. They were in receivership c1897 but back in business by 1900. By 1910 it has been joined by a third brickworks just across the road but that works isn't seen again. The brickworks is shown as 'disused' in 1948.

Ty'n Rhyl, Rhyl - SJ 0174 8093

An old brick kiln is shown here in 1871 but vanished by 1898.

Ty Newydd, Rhyl - SJ 0216 8156

The Tynewydd Brick Works Co Ltd was established after 1871 and was involved in a rates appeal in 1899. it isn't shown on the 1938 map.

Meliden, Prestatyn - SJ 0568 8176

Prestatyn Brickworks or Meliden Brickworks was working by 1898 but is shown as 'disused' by 1938.

South Denbighshire

Llangollen - SJ 2131 4297

A single kiln and brickworks building appear on the 1899 and 1912 OS maps. By 1938 the kiln has gone leaving the building but this oo had gone by 1949.

Ruthin - SJ 1169 5940

Info from the Ruthin Local History Society :- "The Myddletons opened a brickyard to the north of Ruthin in the 17C, using the glacial boulder clay. This is marked by Brickfields Lane and Cae Bricks today. The bricks were an attractive red but of poor quality. At first the fuel must have been wood or charcoal. The bricks themselves were hand-made. A railway connection in 1862 led to a degree of mass-production, coal now being available for the kilns, and the bricks were more regularly shaped and the frog was branded 'RUTHIN'. However the inferior clay and competition from the better quality, cheaper, and more varied bricks from the North-East Wales coalfield led to the demise of the works in, probably, the 1880s."


Acrefair and Cefn-mawr (South of Ruabon)

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Acrefair

Cambrian Brickworks, Acrefair (115) - SJ 2767 4328

T W Cowan founded the Trefynant Colliery & Fireclay Works in 1865, passing it to Hall & Jackson in 1874 as the Cambrian Sanitary Pipe & Terracotta Co which failed in 1875 and the assets were auctioned off in 1876. It doesn't appear on any OS map of the time.

Delph Brick and Fireclay Works, Acrefair (118) - SJ 2801 4359

T H Seacome and Wyndham & Phillips
Thomas Seacome founded the brickworks at Delph Quarry in 1868 and purchased by Henry Wyndham in 1883, joined in 1902 by the manager, R T Phillips, becoming Wyndham and Phillips in 1906. The brickworks closed in 1958, to be used to make concrete blocks and tipping, finally opencast mining which destroyed the site.

Penbedw Brickworks, Acrefair (114) - SJ 2742 4391

H R Bowers owned Penbedw Brickworks, shown as a brickyard in 1843 and well-known as a producer of quality bricks by 1854, having 11 kilns in 1879. The works went into liquidation in 1912 and remained derelict for years until destroyed by opencast clay mining in the 1970s. See also Tatham brickworks, Ruabon (112).

Plas Isa Coal, Iron & Brick Works, Acrefair (116) - SJ 2805 4442

Plas Isa Coal, Coke & Brick Works appears to have begun work around 1856 under Samual Giller & Co, imprinted 'G & Co'. The works were auctioned in 1866 and by 1879 had been disused for two years. The site was cleared in 1924.

Plas Ucha Brickworks, Acrefair (117) - SJ 2828 4386

Plas Ucha Brickworks is mentioned in 1878 as owned by Messrs Smith and Thomas, probably having opened c1876 on the site of Plasucha Colliery. The works was auctioned off in 1879, passing to Messrs Colman and Boustead, but closed before 1900.

Plas Yn Wern Brickworks, Acrefair (119) - SJ 2820 4310

The brickworks at Plas Yn Wern had a long and involved history so this is just the barest of bones! Chapter and verse are in Andrew Connolly's excellent book. The brickworks appears to have been built in the early 1840s and operated under various names and ownerships, closely tied to the adjacent collieries and ironworks until the Wynnstay Colliery closed in 1927 along with the brickworks.

Cefn-mawr

James Davies brickyard, Cefn-mawr (122) - SJ 2780 4224

An early brickworks from around 1800, owned by Robert Jones until he died in 1818. It passed to his son, James Davies, then to E Pickering in 1842 by which time it seems to have shut. The derelict site remained until at least 1900.

Dolydd Road brickworks, Cefn-mawr (121) - SJ 2776 4201

Between 1896 and 1899 a Mr Brogden appears to have been operating a 'Cefn Brickworks' and possibly a colliery on this site.

Edward Evans and Evan Roberts brickyard, Cefn-mawr (125A, 125B) - SJ 2715 4305, SJ 2710 4310

Edward Evans was listed as a brickmaker in an 1844 directory, possibly working at Trefynant House which had a brickyard working from c1830 to 1851. An 1858 railway map shows a brick kiln nearby occupied by Evan Roberts but it was not shown in 1864.

Garth Brickworks, Trevor (124) - SJ 2651 4254

The Garth Brickworks or 'Australia' works opened between 1858 and 1862 by John Wright and was named after the nearby 'Australia Arms', the lodgings of its next owner, Moses Evans. Following J H & T Roberts and Charles Mason, it became the property of Roberts & Maginnis from c1882. At some time the works was known as the 'Trevor Firebricks Works and Colliery' They ceased making house bricks in c1914 and made silica bricks, the silica being supplied by aerial ropeway from Garth mountain. It operated under the name 'Romag' in 1970 untl closure in 1979.

Ben Hughes brickyard, Cefn-mawr (123) - SJ 2785 4273

Piercey (Ben) Hughes of 'Cefn Brickworks' is listed as a brick manufacturere in trade directories from 1874 to 1876.

Newbridge brickworks, Cefn-mawr (127) - SJ 2878 4171

Shown on the 1839 Tithe Map as occupied by John Thomas, who was advertising his business to let in 1852.

Penybont Brickworks, Cefn-mawr (128) - SJ 2924 4155

The early history and ownership of Pentbont is very obscure but it appears to have begun production c1861, possibly by Mr T E Ward amongst others. At some time between 1865 and 1868 it became the property of J C Edwards of Trefynant. Following R H Gibbs & Son takeover in 1956 renewed the machinery but without much success. Finally in 1961 the Castle Firebrick Co of Buckley, Flintshire, purchased the company but only with the intention of closing it immediately.

Plaskynaston Potteries, Cefn-mawr (120) - SJ 2767 4239

This small pottery works started life in c1856 making terracotta products rather than bricks but it was acquired by J C Edwards in 1872. It continued as a pottery until 1892 when it may have closed. Certainly by 1899 it is marked 'disused'. The site became part of Monsanto's Plas Kynaston Chemical Works.

Trefynant, Cefn-mawr (126) - SJ 270426
J C Edwards & Co Ltd

According to a railway map of 1852 William Edwards had a brickworks at SJ 2699 4301. His son, Jame Coster Edwards, had his own brickworks in the vicinity by 1856. His fathere's brickworks was swallowed up in 1865 by the ever-expanding works of J C Edwards, James died in 1896, being succeeded by his sons, James d.1934 and Edward d.1954. The company was acquired by R H Gibbs & Son but was already in decline, closing in 1959 when the adjacent Monsanto Chemicals took over the site.

'J C E'

'J C E Ruabon'

'J C E' with measurements

'J C Edwards Ruabon'

Tiles etc.

including the wonderful mis-spelling of 'Waels'.


Brymbo and Coedpoeth (West of Wrexham)

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Brymbo

Brymbo Brick, Tile & Pot Works, Brymbo (73) - SJ 2975 5391

The Brymbo Brick, Tile & Pot Works was at work here by 1860 when it was put up to auction. By 1863 it appears on the other side of the road at SJ 2974 5398 but neither site is shown on the 1871 OS map.

Brynmally, Brymbo (69) - SJ 3045 5440

As early as 1761 Brynmally Colliery had brickmaking facilities, in the hands of Thomas Clayton by c1850. Brick-making seems to have ceased by the time of Clayton's death in 1896 though the colliery struggled on until1935.

Caello, 'The Brymbo Co' (72) - SJ 2870 5424

The Brymbo Co invested in a new purpose-built brickworks with a Hoffmann kiln here in 1869, which was expanded in 1884-5. The Brymbo Co failed in 1931 and all operations stopped. Revival came in 1933 with the formation of Brymbo Steel Co. Later the brickworks was taken over by the Castle Firebrick Co of Buckley, part of British Steel, but the works was closed at the end of 1971.

Ffos-y-Go, Brymbo (70) - SJ 3068 5455

The 'Ffos-y-Go Salt Glazed Brick Co' was established next to the Ffos-y-Go colliery in 1896, later owned by a Mr Corkling. The works was disused by 1912 and the colliery closed in 1917 .

Ffrith, Brymbo (71) - SJ 2868 5462

'Ffrith Fireclay Co' was set up in 1872 to work the clay from the adjacent Ffrith Colliery and drift mine. It was working in 1901 but isn't shown on the 1914 OS map. A new company, the 'Valley Brick and Tile Co', appeared in 1925 becoming the new 'Ffrith Fireclay Co' in 1928. They don't seem to have actually made bricks, just selling on the clay to the Brymbo Steel Co. The clay level was worked out by 1973 and operations ceased.

Ffrwd, Brymbo (68) - SJ 3048 5526

There was a colliery and later, an ironworks, on this site from 1796. It appears that small-scale brick-making dates from c1850 but by 1867 more serious brick-making had begun. By 1879 the OS map shows two kilns at work. The company was run primarily by James Sparrow (with various partners) but when he died in 1902, the company company foundered. The brickworks may have carried on as the 'Windy Hill Brickworks' for a few years but by 1914 the site had disappeared.

Pentre Saeson, Brymbo (74) - SJ 2784 5340

The Pentre Saeson Colliery partnership was dissolved in 1863 and then traded as the 'Pentre Saeson Colliery & Brickworks' until 1871 when the company's liquidators auctioned off the property.

Coedpoeth

Coedpoeth Brick and Tile Works (81) - SJ 2863 5137

G C and W Pattinson were advertising their wares in 1866. They had previously been involved with Pentre Saeson in 1864. After an attempt to sell the business in 1869, it disappeared some time between 1877 and 1914.

Coedpoeth brickyard (82) - SJ 2835 5115

Liitle is known about this site other than a brick and tile works was sold between 1865 and 1867.

Vron Colliery and Brickworks, Coedpoeth (80) - SJ 2904 5220

Vron Colliery was sunk in 1805 and bricks were made here from c1860 to c1870. In 1873 a new brickworks was built close to the colliery. The company was in liquidation in 1882 and appear to have been separated, the brickworks becoming the 'Vron Brick Co'. The colliery closed in 1907 but was taken over, along with the brickworks and had become the 'Vron Brick and Coal Co' by 1911. Unfortunately the brickworks was not a success and closed in 1912 with an auction of the assets. The colliery lasted until 1930.

Gresford (North of Wrexham)

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Golley Brickworks, Hope (67) - SJ 3360 5842

A small rural brickworks is shown close to Golley Farm in 1871 and 1881 but it had gone by 1891, It was operated by William Davies and then William Kendrick.

Gresford Brickworks, Gresford, Wrexham (79) - SJ 3540 5425

An early brickworks shown on the 1843 Tithe map and was closed soon after 1881.

Wilderness Brickworks, Gresford, Wrexham (78) - SJ 3344 5339

Clark and Rea Ltd was created in 1888 and by 1900 had 8 round kilns for red bricks and 7 square kilns for blue bricks. The clay was found to be of poor quality in later years and the works ran at a loss, closing in 1924.


Rhosllanerchrugog ( or simply Rhos - South-West of Wrexham )

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Coppy brickworks, Rhos (103) - SJ 2876 4674

Works started on the 'Rhos Brick Works Co' in 1872 and it soon had 3 small kilns at work. With its own colliery it became the 'Albert Birick and Coal Co' in 1877 but not too successfully. J C Edwards stepped in in 1882-4 and formed the 'Rhos Glazed & Enamelled Brick Co' in 1886. Tastes changed and by 1914 and normal brick-making resumed until 1956. The company, along with the rest of J C Edwards was sold to R H Gibbs & Son who closed the works in 1963

Hafod Colliery and Brickworks (107) - SJ 3115 4625

'Dennis Ruabon' is probably the most well-known name associated with this large brickworks, the 'Red Works' at Hafod. The works began with the 'Ruabon Coal Co' in 1866 which had become the 'Hafod-y-Bwch Colliery & Brickworks' when liquidated in 1879. It was purchased by Henry Dennis who promptly built the large 'Red Works' on the site. In 1934 the brickworks was separated from the colliery and 'Dennis Ruabon Ltd'. Brickmaking ceased in the 1970s but tile production was continued and enhanced with new kilns in 1979. A mangement buy-out in 1997 ended the Dennis family connection but the company went into receivership in 2008.

Llwyneinion, Rhos (100, 101, 102) - SJ 286 474 to SJ 288 477

There were three adjacent brickworks in Llwyneinion, the oldest (100) at SJ 2869 4743 being 'old' in 1873 and possibly the Rhos Hall Iron Co, liquidated in 1869. The second works was the Llwyneinion Pipe, Tile and Fireclay Co (101) of Hayes & Atkins at SJ 2878 4778, probably in business by 1852 but closed c1880. The most recent brickworks is Powell Bros (102) at SJ 2885 4751, who expanded the kilns shown on the 1873 map to a sizeable brickworks. In 1924 it became the Llwyneinion Shale Brick Co. It became the property of the Hartleys in 1927, who also owned the Ruby brickworks in Mold and the Hoole Bank, Chester brickworks, finally closing in 1957.

Pant brickworks, Rhos (106) - SJ 2864 4588

The largest of the Rhos brickworks, it was originally a colliery and ironworks until it became the 'North Wales Coal & Fireclay Co' around 1860, later the 'Pant Coal, Brick & Fireclay Co', c1874, and later still, c1879, the 'Pant Brick and Sanitary Pipe Works'. It was taken over by the industrialist Henry Dennis in 1886 and produced glazed firebricks, under the 'Ruabon Glazed Brick and Fireclay Co', becoming one of Britain's most important producers. The 'Gwersyllt Silica Brick Co' bought the works in 1921 after glazed bricks went out of fashion and closure finally came in 1971.

Ponkey brickworks, Rhos (105) - SJ 2985 4652

In the village of Ponciau, the brickworks opened c1866 as the Ponkey Brick & Tile Co, often known as Aberderfyn Brickworks. Brickmaking cease in 1889 as the clay beds were poor quality. The works was bought by Walter Pen Dennis (son of Henry Dennis) who turned it into a pottery but this was disused by 1900.

Rhos brickworks (Kaye Hirst Ltd), Rhos (104) - SJ 2891 4652

First shown on a railway map of 1860, the works was for sale from 1872 to 1875 and believed to have been acquired by 'Kaye Hirst Co' by at least 1883. It had disappeared by the end of the 19th century.


Ruabon (South of Wrexham)

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Brandy Pits, Ruabon (108) - SJ 2974 4568

Monk & Newell, Ruabon (111) - SJ 3040 4463

Monk and Newell opened their brickworks in 1883, being sold in 1919 to T D Stubbs of the Caernarvon brickworks. He traded as the 'North Wales Brick & Tile Co' using the trade name 'Rubric'. He was in financial trouble by 1929 and the works closed in 1930 but still standing in 1939, the clayhole now being an angling centre.

Offa Cottages brickworks, Ruabon (113) - SJ 2980 4443

A tiny brickfield in amongst the giants, believed to be working c1885 and possibly also c1930.

Ruabon Brick and Terra Cotta Co (110)

From 1875 vto 1884 the 'Gardden Lodge Coal, Coke & Firebrick Co' ran the Gardden Lodge Colliery of 1851 but went into liquidation in 1884. The site became the 'Ruabon Brick & Terra Cotta Co' in 1887 and they carried on until 1960 when it was sold to 'Dennis Ruabon Ltd'. The Gardden Works closed in 1975.
Frank Lawson says :- "In July 1937 the Ravenhead Brick Co Ltd took the Ruabon Brick & Terra Cotta Co Ltd to the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division to challenge their use of the trade mark "Sandrus" as the trade mark "Rus" was already being used by the Ravenhead Company. The Ravenhead Company were successful in their challenge and so I suspect that the Ruabon Company changed the name of their product to "Sandrust" in order to solve their problem."

Tatham brickworks, Ruabon (112) - SJ 3019 4455

This brickworks is believed to have been established by 1862 by Daniel Owen becoming H R Bowers property in 1868. At some time, possibly c1900, it became part of the Ruabon Brick & Tile Co. It appears to have closed in WW2 and the chimney was felled in 1961. See also Penbedw Brickworks, Acrefair (114).

Vauxhall Colliery, Ruabon (109) - SJ 3050 4534

Vauxhall Colliery was reported to have a brickworks in trade directories of c1875. The colliery itself opened in 1857, closing in 1928. Little else is known about its brickmaking activities.

Wynnstay Estate brickyard, Ruabon (98) - SJ 3195 4315

This brickworks served the estate of Wynnstay Hall, home of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1820 - 1885) the 5th Baronet. The Hall was destroyed by fire in 1858 and was rebuilt from 1859 to 1865. The first recorded use of the brickworks was in 1855 and it may have closed in 1914. However it still existed, though abandoned, in 1937.


Wrexham and Gwersyllt

Quick links to :-     Anglesey     Caernarvonshire     North & South Denbighshire     Acrefair & Cefn-mawr
Brymbo & Coedpoeth     Gresford     Rhosllanerchrugog     Ruabon     Wrexham

Abenbury Brickworks, Wrexham (92) - SJ 2584 2821

Construction of Abenbury Brickworks began in 1892 with the first bricks being produced in the following year. It was owned by brothers Llewellyn and Howel Davies until bankrupcy in 1909. The works closed, to be re-opened in 1912 and by 1921 it was in the hands of 'Oughtbridge Silica Co' of Sheffield. After the war it was owned by the 'Thomas Marshall Co', final closure coming in 1981.

Bersham Colliery, Wrexham (99) - SJ 3149 4830

Bersham Colliery was sold in 1867, the machinery on offer included brick moulds etc. Fireclay was found in 1872 and a new brickworks built. The proprietor, Mr Barnes, died in 1899 when brickmaking may have ceased. There is no mention of the brickworks in a 1932 description of the colliery. This 'Berham HGA' is unlikely to be from Bersham Colliery but it may be from one of the other Wrexham works.

Richard Birchs brickyard, Wrexham (95) - SJ 3375 4655

A small and probably intemittent kiln is shown on a railway plan of 1861, owned by Richard Birch. The 1840 Tithe Map shows 'Kiln Farm' to be at the same location, though possibly a malt kiln then.

Clays Brickyard, Gwersyllt, Wrexham (93) - SJ 3713 5137

This brickyard is shown on the c1840 Tithe Map and in 1851 held a sale of 27,000 bricks. It was still in operation in 1871.

Gwersyllt Silica Brickworks, Gwersyllt, Wrexham (77) - SJ 3210 5295

The 1840 Tithe Map shows an old 'Brick Kiln Field' at SJ 3222 5290. This brickworks, originally known as the Wheatsheaf Brickworks of Thomas Clayton, appears to have opened after 1875 and was advertised for sale in 1898. By 1916 it was re-started by the 'Gwersyllt Silica Brick Co Ltd', who obtained their silica from the Bwlchgwyn quarries, the 'Bwlchgwyn Silica Co' seems to have shared directors. The company traded steadily until the works closed in 1958 and used the tradename 'Gwersyll' rather than 'Gwersyllt'.

Kings Mills, Wrexham (91) - SJ 3486 4930

The Kings Mills Brickworks, owned by E M Jones, was established c1886 and sold to the 'Wrexham Brick & Tile Co' in 1895. It was sold again to W & G R Oates of the Abenbury Brickworks on the other side of the Road. Abenbury and Kinds Mills finally closed in 1981.

Llay Hall, Gwersyllt, Wrexham (75) - SJ 3172 5509

Llay Hall Colliery opened c1845 and the brickworks followed in c1850. Originally the Gwersyllt Brick & Tile Works, by 1873 it was the Llay Hall Coal Iron & Firebrick Co and later, the Llay Hall Brick Co Ltd which closed in 1975.

Marchweil brickyard, Wrexham (94) - SJ 3599 4750

A small brickyard is shown on the 1871 OS map, owned by Joseph and Daniel Collins, which closed c1894. It was resurrected in 1905 for only 4 years, closing finally in 1909.

George Mercers Colliery brickyard, Wrexham (84) - SJ 3288 5207

A small brickworks and colliery, shown on a railway plan of 1861 but not on the 1871 OS map. George Mercer was the son of Thomas Mercer.

Thomas Mercers brickyard, Wrexham (86) - SJ 3285 5196

A small brickworks, shown on a railway plan of 1861 but not on the 1871 OS map

Moreton brickyard, Wrexham (96) - SJ 3225 4550

A small brickworks, shown on the Tithe Map of 1840, up for auction in 1856 but not shown on the 1871 OS map.

Old Hall brickyard, Wrexham (97) - SJ 3392 4300

A small brickworks, shown on the 1879 OS map but not afterwards.

Rhosddu brickworks, Wrexham (87) - SJ 3344 5149

Another venture of George Mercer from 1868. It was up for auction in 1871 shown on the 1872 OS map.

John Roberts brickfield, Wrexham (90) - SJ 3240 4956

Shown on the c1840 Tithe Map only.

William Rowe's brickworks, Wrexham (89) - SJ 3218 4959

Not shown on the 1840 Tithe Map but documented in 1846, 1862 and 1867. It had disappeared by the time of the 1874 OS map.

Ruabon Road brickworks, Wrexham (88, 88A) - SJ 3293 4949

Owned by E M Jones (see Kings Mill, Wrexham) from 1863 though the brickworks may date from the 1850s. The quality of the clay was irregular from 1884 but the works continued until 1895 when it became part of the 'Wrexham Brick & Tile Co'. The works was finally sold off in 1905. Also in the area was a brickworks owned by Edward Bramley, c1852-1864, the location and details of which are not known.

Stansty brickyard, Wrexham (83) - SJ 3264 5244

Stansty brickyard, also known as 'Rhosrobin brickyard' and 'Rhostansty brickyard', is on the 1840 Tithe Map. It was auctioned in1864, possibly coming into the hands of Stansty Forge, who may have used it occasionally until 1889. Another small 'brick kiln field' was at SJ 3270 5275. in 1843.

Westminster Colliery and Brickworks, Gwersyllt, Wrexham (76) - SJ 3096 5360

A brickworks was established after 1871 and listed in trade directories in 1898. The colliery closed in 1925 and assumedly the brickworks with it.

Wrexham Colliery, Wrexham (85) - SJ 3286 5224

It seems likely that the colliery made bricks for its own use in the 1860s as they advertised 200,000 surplus bricks for sale in 1860.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

A great many people have supplied information and photos to add to the story, so many thanks to (alphabetically) David Bell, Graham Bennett, Mike Bennett, Lyn Bostock, John Bromley, Ian Cooke, Gary Davies, Steve Davies, Paul Dobson, Donna Louise, Hamish Fenton, Russ Firth, Leslie Francis, Martyn Fretwell, Ken Griffths, Andrew Harvard, Tracey Hucker, Stuart Hughes, Catherine James, Glen Johnson, Kes Jones, Mike Kilner, David Kitching, Frank Lawson, Henry Lisowski, Norman Lowe, Steve Milner, Frank Moore, Stephen Parry, Richard Paterson, Ian Pickford, Kevin Prince, Eileen Ellis Pritchard, Phil Pritchard, Glyn Roberts, Dave Sallery, Lawrence Skuse, Jason Stott, Ian Suddaby, Eric Taylor, Gareth Thomas, David Wood, D Wright amonst many others.

A suberb book entitled 'Life in the Victorian brickworks of Flintshire and Denbighshire', written by Andrew Connolly, has a vast amount of information on the bricks and brickworks along with chapters on the brickmaking process itself. There are nearly 300 large pages of text, photos and maps and it is available from the publishers for just £6.00 :- Carreg Gwalch

Messrs Sallery and Kitchings 'Old Bricks' website is the best source of info on bricks and brickworks in the UK :- Old Bricks - history at your feet. Denbighshire and Flintshire are extremely well covered by individual pages on 'Old Bricks', which are linked below.

    Ruabon     Wrexham     Other NE Wales     Life in Victorian brickworks

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


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