Wednesday 21 January 2015

Ripley & Alfreton Brickworks

Ripley was once the home of the mighty Butterley Brick Company which had operated the Waingroves Brickworks in the town & the Codnor Park Brickworks nearby. With the high demand for bricks in the late 19th & early 20th centuries, I have found that there were many smaller brickmakers, who had also operated in this area. So here are the bricks that I have found so far with information about their makers.

C. Shelton, Ripley

I have found two separate entries for Charles Shelton at Ripley in Kelly's Directories. The 1864 entry records him as Chas. Shelton (a shortened version of Charles) brickmaking in Greenwich, Ripley, then a second set of listings from 1891 onwards as Charles Shelton brickmaking in nearby Waingroves. It appears from several newspaper articles this was the same man.

Kelly's 1864 entry lists Chas. Shelton as brickmaker at Greenwich, Ripley. We next find Chas. Shelton is listed in Kelly's 1876 edition as brickmaker & auctioneer. The 1900 OS map below shows two brickworks in the Greenwich area with Charles Shelton owning one & George Watson owning the other. It is unknown which brickmaker owned which works. The 1881 edition now records him as brickmaker/auctioneer plus Inspector of nuisances to the Local Board. This job was an early form of Environmental Health Inspector looking after street drains etc. Entries in Kelly's 1887 & 1891 editions only records Chas. Shelton as an Inspector of nuisances to the Local Board. So it appears by the early 1880's Charles had ceased brickmaking & the Greenwich works closed. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

It appears Charles Shelton returned to running a brickworks with Kelly's 1891 edition listing Charles Shelton & Son at a brickworks in nearby Waingroves. Newspaper articles then reveal Charles Shelton had passed away by April 1897 with his executors advertising the sale of his Greenwich home at auction along with other properties he rented out in Greenwich. The Waingroves Brickworks was also advertised to be sold at auction by the executors of Charles' Will with this article stating the brickworks was presently being operated by Jno. J. Shelton who also lived in the house which adjoined the brickworks & was also being sold. I am assuming Jno. J. Shelton was Charles' son as per entry in Kelly's 1891. Jno is a shorted version of John or Jonathan. Kelly's 1899 edition then lists JJ Shelton as brickmaker at Waingroves. This entry for JJ Shelton is repeated in Kelly's 1900 edition, but it is also the last. This begs the question did JJ purchase the brickworks from his father's estate or was he just the lease holder operating the works & with no one purchasing the brickworks at auction, did it then close ? You would naturally think the brickworks would have passed from father to son, but this appears not to have happened. The only other option with the brickworks not staying open is that Jno. J. Shelton benefitted from his father's estate & no longer needed to work.  

Ripley, reverse of C. Shelton brick above.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

1900 map showing location of Charles Shelton & then his son's works situated in Waingroves village (coloured blue) from 1891 to 1900. The brickworks marked in yellow was Butterley's Waingroves works. The red road though the village was the only access to Butterley's brickworks & colliery until this 1900 OS map shows a road (green) had been extended from Station Road to the works. A much later road was built from Peasehill (red dotted line) along the course of the old railway into the works. 

Shelton, Ripley

The maker of this Shelton brick has also got two options. It could have been made by J.J. Shelton as just wrote above, but I am drawn to it being made by Mrs. Mary Shelton who is recorded as brickmaker at Upper Street Lane, Ripley in Kelly's 1891 edition through to it's 1904 edition. This brickworks was situated to the south-west of the town on Street Lane & from the directory entries of Upper Street Lane for this works it was at the top end of Street Lane & is coloured yellow on the 1900 OS map below with Street Lane coloured red. In 1900 this brickworks was situated surrounded by open farm land, but today Ripley has extended nearly right up to Street Lane. It will be only a matter of time before they are building something right up to the A38 & these fields will be gone forever. 

  © Left map reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.
 Right map © Microsoft 2023.

Slack, Ripley

I have two options for the maker of this Slack brick. My best option is Thomas Slack who is listed as owning a brick works in the Green Hillocks area of Ripley in Kelly's 1860 & 1864 editions. With not having a map from this date it is unknown exactly were his yard was in Green Hillocks, but there is the option that it was on land next to the Gas Works on Pease Hill Lane (now Road) & it being the same land purchased by Samuel Fletcher to establish his brick works on in 1875. A web article about Agnes Slack says she lived at Greenhill House, Station Road (now Peasehill Road) in Green Hillocks with her father who owned a brick making business & this house was a short distance from the land mentioned next to the Gas Works. Please see the Fletcher entry at the end of this post for the map showing the brickworks which more than likely was site of Slack's brickworks in the 1860's.

Then the second option is Alexander Slack who I have found in a 1879 newspaper article that he had been brickmaking since 1849 & his yard was situated next to some proposed land to were a Sewage Farm was going to be built on land owned by a Mr. Walker & was three quarters of a mile from the town's railway station. Now a search of the 1889 map has revealed there is a Slack Lane to the west of the town's railway station & it shows a Water Works just off Slack Lane, so I strongly believe Alexander Slack's brickworks was situated on Slack Lane near to this Water Works.

Watson, Ripley

George Watson b.1829 is listed as a brickmaker in Greenwich, Ripley in the 1861 census through to the 1901 census when he listed as a retired brickmaker, so George was brickmaking for at least 40 years. However we find Kelly's 1881 is the first directory recording brickmaker George Watson at Alfred Street, Ripley & this was his home address. In Kelly's 1899 edition Greenwich is recorded after his name, so this is more than likely the address of his yard. Kelly's 1900 edition is the last entry for George & this ties in with the census. With the death of George Watson sometime after the census in 1901 his house on Albert Street was put into Auction in Februrary 1902, then another notice in July 1902 records his brickworks was also to be sold at Auction.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

1900 map of the Greenwich area of Ripley. I have two brickmakers listed as working in the Greenwich area & one of these two marked brickworks will have been owned by George Watson 1861 to 1900 & the other one will have been worked by Chas. Shelton 1864 to 1881. 

Today Dannah Street Primary School is now built on the yellow marked brickworks & Porterhouse Road now occupies the former brickworks site marked in blue.

G. Roe, Ripley

George Roe is listed as brickmaker on Cromford Road, Ripley in White's Directory for 1857 & his works is shown on the 1879 OS map below marked as Old Brick Kiln. It appears George was only brickmaking around 1857 with newspaper articles in 1866 & 1895 recording him as a builder & contractor. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1879.

Bowman, Ripley

Henry Bowman, brickmaker at Marehay, Ripley is listed in Kelly's 1881 to 1904 editions. An 1879 newspaper article records Ripley brickmaker Henry Bowman had previously worked for the Ambergate Brick Co. then the original Derby Brick Co. (operating on Slack Lane, Derby as per Kelly's 1876 edition), before setting up his own works in Marehay between 1876 & 1879. The 1900 OS map below shows the location of Henry's brickworks in Marehay. The 1934 OS map shows this brickworks as disused & with not finding anymore brickmakers at Marehay after 1904 I am assuming that Bowman was the only brickmaker at this works. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

Codnor Ville

Updated 2.1.17.
Stuart Saint has just sent me a newspaper advertisement dated 1858 which now reveals that this brickworks was called Codnor Ville Brick Yard & not Codnor Mill as first thought. So I have re-written this entry.

When initially researching this brick my searches on the web had drawn a blank, even visiting Ripley Library produced no clues to it's maker or the works location. It was suggested that I should contact Stuart Saint at his Codnor Info website to see if he knew anything about this brickyard. I asked him if there had been a mill in Codnor & from the information sent by Stuart I came to the conclusion that the brickyard had been named after a nearby flour mill which had been situated on Coppice Road. This road is now called Mill Lane & the mill is shown on the left hand 1792 map below. I also concluded that the brickmaker had stamped his bricks Vill instead of Mill. The finding of this auction advert by Stuart has now revealed otherwise.

So this auction notice dated 22nd June 1858 has revealed that Lot 4 was for the sale of 'One Half Share in Codnor Ville Brick Yard'. There is no name of the owner of this yard in the auction notice, it only states that "The Tennant's will show the Premises". Theadore Hickling was the owner of the land on which this brick yard had been established, so he may have been the person who was selling the half share in the yard. Research of the word Ville has revealed that this is a French word for town, thus resulting in Codnor Ville (town) being stamped in the brick above without the e.  

With the ever expanding population of Codnor in the mid 1800's, the need for more houses resulted in establishing this brickworks in the centre of a housing development to make the bricks on site, as shown on the right hand 1854 map above. In 1848 Theadore Hickling owner of this land on Codnor Common came an agreement with the Ironville Benefit Building Society (formed by William & George Jessop owners of the Butterley Co. together with William Needham) to provide building plots for these new houses & the Ironville Freehold Land Society was formed to undertake this task of planning this new estate. The map above also shows the layout of the house plots & the new streets which were named Jessop Street, Needham Street & Wright Street after the directors of the Butterley Company. It was to be the workers who came to work at collieries owned by the Butterley Co. who would live in these houses. I have to note that the Butterley Co. could have also had a say in the naming this brick yard as the Codnor Ville Brick Yard because two miles away from Codnor in 1830 the Butterley Co. had built an ironworks & a "model village" for it's workers which they had named Ironville. Hence the use of the word ville in the two names.

The brickmaker/s who made these bricks is unknown, but my best option are brothers Robert & Charles Taylor, who are recorded in Kelly's 1857 Trade Directory as brickmakers in Codnor, but no works address is given. This leads me to believe that they move to the works for this one contract. Also with the auction notice saying 'The Tennant's will show the Premises', this also points to Robert & Charles Taylor being the brick makers at this yard.
Producing bricks over a number of years for all these houses may have resulted in more brick makers working at this Yard & Stuart has provided me with this information from the 1881 Census - Thomas Allcock & his two sons are all recorded as brickmakers & living at nearby Prospect Place in Codnor. So either of these two brickmaking families could have made these bricks.

Many Thanks to Stuart for providing me with most of the information for this brick & if you wish to read more about the history of Codnor, you can do so on Stuart's website.

W. Shelton, Upper Hartshay

William Shelton of Upper Hartshay, near Ripley is listed in Kelly’s 1876 & 1881 editions. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1878.

1878 OS map showing the location of William's yard in Upper Hartshay. The village of Heage is to the left of Upper Hartshay & Ripley is to it's right, just off this map.

Update 13.11.16.

Photo courtesy of the Silk Mill Museum, Derby.

I originally listed this brick as being made by the Butterley Brick Co. at either of their collieries at Upper or Lower Hartshay, but with now being given the Shelton/Hartshay brick below it has revealed that more than likely William Shelton was the maker of this Hartshay brick with the lettering being the same.

Alfreton Brick Co.

The Alfreton Brick Company is listed in Kelly's 1895 edition with J.J. Simpson as secretary & offices at 51 High Street, Alfreton. The 1899 edition now sees F. Broadhurst as secretary & this entry continues up to the 1916 edition. Finding the location of this brick works has only been found by asking around Alfreton & then later finding the 1913 OS map below. The works was situated off Alma Street on land which is now partly industrial & part Alfreton Town's football ground & is shown on the the 1913 OS map below. The same site was worked by Luke Evans in 1876 & you can find this entry further down the post. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1913.

Two more examples from the company found in Somercotes.

Kelly's 1922 edition now records A.B. Co. as the Alfreton Brick & Tile Co. Mansfield Road, Alfreton. This entry is repeated in Kelly's 1925 edition & the last entry for the company in Kelly's 1928 edition. I have established that the Alfreton Brick & Tile Co. relocated to James Lawrence's Meadow Lane works situated just off Mansfield Road sometime between 1916 & 1922. It may have been slightly earlier as I do not have the precise date when James Lawrence finished brickmaking & I write about James Lawrence later. The 1913 OS map below shows the location of A. B. & T's works coloured yellow, Meadow Lane green & Mansfield Road red. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1913. 

This brickworks is still shown on the 1937 OS map & I have found from the 1943 Ministry of War list of brickworks that Harry Gaunt of the Loscoe brickworks was operating this Mansfield Road works. Gaunt operated his Loscoe works until 1976, but it's unknown if this Mansfield Road works was still open in 1976.

J. Bakewell & Sons

With new info turning up I have updated this entry on the 19th of June 2021. The census has revealed there were at least 15 Bakewell's over three generations involved in brickmaking in the Somercotes area. I am assuming they all worked at the family's four brickworks, but there is the option that some may have worked for Luke Evans or the Alfreton Brick Co. So after I have written about John Bakewell b.1797, his son John b.1831 & then his seven sons (not all were brickmakers), I then list the other Bakewell's who were brickmakers in the family. There were other sons & grandsons of John b.1797 who I have not wrote about & these were mainly miners, with others being drapers, bakers or confectioners. So in theory there should still be many Bakewell's living in the Alfreton area who are descended from John b.1797.

So I start with John Bakewell born 1797 in Coleorton, Leics. & in the 1841 & 1851 census John is recorded as a brickmaker living at Greenhill-lane, Alfreton. Now the area called Greenhill-lane in 1841 & 1851 census is recorded as a hamlet within the Parish of Alfreton, however today Greenhill Lane is in Riddings. 

White's 1857 edition lists John Bakewell & Co. at Birchwood, Somercotes. The only brickworks that I can put forward as being this Birchwood works is the one which I have coloured green on the 1879 OS map below. Lower & Upper Birchwood are just off the right hand side of this map & Somercotes village is the one at the bottom of this map, so the location of this brick yard does match to certain degree if the land it was on was classed as being in Birchwood back then. With John living in Greenhill-lane just south of Somercotes village I found the distance between the two is one mile, so the journey to & from this yard was feasible way back in 1857. The brickworks which I have coloured yellow on this 1879 map was to be owned by the Bakewell family at a later date & I write more about this works soon. Who owned this yellow works in 1879 is unknown.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1879.

The next trade directory entry for John, Kelly's 1864 edition lists him with a new works address of Lea brooks, Somercotes, Alfreton & I believe this works was one in Greenhill-lane where he lived. This Greenhill-lane works is shown on the 1877 OS map below coloured green. Lea brooks would have been used to describe the brickworks location in trade directories with it being the nearest notable place just north of Greenhill-lane. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1877.

John had four brickmaking sons, but I next write about the third eldest of these sons, John Bakewell born 1831 who took over the running of the company from his father. I will cover the other three sons later. 

The listing of John Bakewell, Lea brooks, Somercotes, Alfreton appears in Kelly's 1876 & 1881 editions, however father, John born 1797 died in 1875 & these entries will be for his son John born in 1831. In the 1851 census John junior was living with his father at Greenhill-lane & listed as a brickmaker. 

John b.1831 in the 1861 census was now married to Mary with three children & living at Greenhill-lane. In total John & Mary were to go on to have seven sons of which four became brickmakers most of their lives & I write about these sons soon, however son John junior b.1862 was a Draper most of his life, then son Alfred b.1864 was a Confectioner most of his life, but in between in the 1891 he is listed as a Brickmaker before returning as a Confectioner in the 1901 census. Finally son Frederick b.1876 was a Joiner/Carpenter all his life. 

The 1871 census records John had moved his family to Swanwick Road, Leabrooks. For the next twenty to thirty years John combined the running of his brickworks with being a grocer. The 1881 census records John as a Widower with wife Mary passing away in June 1877 aged 44. Also in the 1881 census John's eldest son Joseph b.1857 is listed as a brickmaker & living with his wife Eliza on Nottingham Road, Alfreton, so with Joseph being listed in the census as a brickmaker for most of his life I am assuming Joseph was working alongside his father. 

In Kelly's 1887 edition John b.1831 is now listed as John Bakewell senior with the works address now given as the Somercotes Works, Alfreton, so sometime after 1881 John moved to a new brickworks which was closer to Alfreton & I have coloured this brickworks yellow on the 1900 OS map below. The 1900 OS map of Greenhill-lane area no longer shows a brickworks there, only open fields & a pond. My only theory regarding why John was now listed as John senior in trade directories is that it was to distinguish him in these directories from his son John junior b.1862 who was a Draper.

John's new brickworks is listed in Kelly's directories as, Somercotes Brickworks, Parkcotes Brickworks & Cotes Brickworks, but these are all the same works as per 1900 OS map below & is the one which I mentioned earlier regarding the 1879 map.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

1900 map showing the location of John's brickworks situated on Nottingham Road, Somercotes. The road which runs at the side of the works down to Cotespark Farm is today called Cotes Park Lane & is one of the entrances into the very large Cotes Park Industrial Estate which covers most of the land on this map.

By the 1891 census John & Joseph (son) were joined by three more of John's sons, Alfred b.1864, James b.1867 & Henry b.1869 as brickmakers at the works & youngest son William b.1876 was to join them by the 1901 census. 

The 1901 census records that son Alfred had retuned to being a Confectioner & son Joseph was now a Brickmaker / Manager, so with John now being 70, I am assuming Joseph was in charge of the day to day running of the brickworks, however the 1911 census now records Joseph as a Bricklayers Labourer aged 53 & working for a firm of Building Contractors. I just mention that in the 1901 census Joseph's two sons Arthur aged 16 & Walter aged 14 were Brickmakers Labourers, so I am assuming they were working alongside their father. Both Arthur & Walter had taken up new trades by the 1911 census.

Kelly's 1904 edition now records the addition of John's sons at the works with the entry of John Bakewell & Sons, Lea brooks, Somercotes, same as the brick that I have found. 

There is also a second entry in Kelly's 1904 edition for the Bakewell Bros. brickmaking at South Normanton, Alfreton & with the 1901 census recording James & Henry as Employers, I am taking it they were running this South Normanton works as a separate enterprise as well as assisting their father to run his Coates Park Works. In the 1901 census youngest son William is listed as a brickmaker & living with his father, so he will have been brickmaking at his father's at Cotes Park brickworks.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1914.

The Bakewell Brothers had purchased this brickworks which was on The Common (Mansfield to Alfreton turnpike road) at an Auction which took place on the 2nd of April 1901 at the White Hart Inn, South Normanton. This well established brickworks had been put up for sale with the death of it's previous owner & brickmaker, John Gelsthorpe. All the brickmaking machinery, plant & clay reserves came with the sale, but not the coal reserves which lay underground. As a footnote, John Gelsthorpe & Sons are recorded in Kelly's 1866 to 1900 editions & as yet no bricks have turned up stamped Gelsthorpe.

Kelly's 1908 entries for John Bakewell & Bakewell Brothers are the same as the 1904 entries. The 1912 edition is the next big change as it only records the Bakewell Bros. at South Normanton & Somercotes, Alfreton. 

The 1911 census records John Bakewell as a Retired Brickmaker aged 80, living in Leabrooks, meanwhile son William is now listed as an Employer in this census, so the company was now being run by his three sons James, Henry & William. As previously wrote the 1911 census records that eldest son Joseph at the age of 53 had become a Bricklayers Labourer, so this begs the question why he had left the brickworks after becoming the Works Manager ? 

John Bakewell born 1831 died on the 16th of December 1911 leaving effects of £725 1s & 10d to sons John, draper; Alfred, baker & James, brickmaker.

Kelly's 1916, 1922 & the last entry in the 1925 edition just records the Bakewell Brothers as only operating the Somercotes Works, so it appears the South Normanton Works had closed by 1916 & the Somercotes Works closed shortly after 1925. 

Now on to the other brickmaking sons & grandsons of John Bakewell b.1797.

Son William b.1826 d.1870, brickmaker in the 1851 & 61 census. William's son John b.1852, brickmaker in the 1871 census & living with his grandfather with him losing his father the year before. The 1881 census records John as a brickworks labourer in Rotherby, Melton Mowbray. However by the 1891 census John was back in Alfreton as a brickmaker & living with his Uncle Levi.

Son George b.1830, brickmaker in the 1851 & 61 census. However the 1871 census lists George as a miner. All his sons became miners.

Son John b.1831 & his sons I have already wrote about.

Son Levi b.1834 in the 1861 census was a Railway Labourer, but had become a brickmaker in Alfreton by the 1871 census. Levi continues to be listed as a brickmaker in the 1881 & 1891 census. Levi's son Charles b.1861 is listed in the 1881 census as a brickmaker, but had become a coal miner by the 1891 census. Levi's son Henry b.17th August 1874 was brickmaker in the 1891 census aged 17. The 1901 census records Henry as a brickmaker (worker), but we find in the 1911 census Henry is recorded as a Brickworks Manager (worker), living at "The Gables" Nottingham Road, Alfreton. There are two options where Henry was a Brickworks Manager at, first he could have been a manager at his Uncle's Cotes Park Works with John Bakewell b.1831 being listed as a Retired Brickmaker in the 1911 census & his two of his cousins (Bakewell Brothers) running their South Normanton Works in 1911. Then option two is that Henry worked as a Brickworks Manager for the Alfreton Brick Co. at their Alma Street Works. I have put this Alfreton Brick Co. option forward because where Henry lived "The Gables" on Nottingham Road, this house may have been very close to the Alma Street Works which was also situated just off Nottingham Road. There is also the option that "The Gables" may have been owned by the Alfreton Brick Co. with Henry only being listed as a worker in the census. If I get the answer to where Henry worked I will update the post. Whether "The Gables" is still standing today is unknown, so I'll have to have a wander down Nottingham Road at some point. 

I conclude this entry in telling you there were two more brickworks in South Normanton & I have established from the web that the brickworks which I have coloured blue on the 1900 OS map below which was on Water Lane & at the bottom of Ball Hill was owned by Samuel Jacques & he is listed in Kelly's 1904 & 1908 editions. This works may have still been in operation in 1952 & today the former brickworks site is in the process of having 50 houses built upon it. It is unknown who operated the yellow works at the top of Ball Hill. To give you an indication of the location of this yellow works, it was just behind the present day Pit Stop Cafe on Carter Lane East. The M1 motorway now runs to the left of this former brickworks & the whole of this area is now covered in industrial units.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

Luke Evans

Luke Evans is listed as brickmaker at Alma Street, Alfreton in Kelly's 1876 edition. The 1881 to 1891 editions records Luke at Alma Street & Green Hill Lane, Alfreton, but I think the second address is his home address, because in 1804 possibly the same Evans family had established a bakery business on Green Hill Lane. Today Green Hill Lane is in the village of Leabrooks near Alfreton & the Luke Evans bakery is still there today & still belonging to the Evans family. So I inquired if they knew if the brick maker & baker were the same Luke. The reply I received, was that the family believed Luke had been a brickmaker as well. Please see map in the Alfreton Brick Co. entry for the location of Luke Evans' brickworks. 


Finding & photographing a Pinxton brick had always eluded me, but it wasn't for the lack of trying. I must have scoured every inch of Pinxton on several occasions. It wasn't until I came across this one in a private collection that my quest had ended, but I am still on the look out for one for myself, so it can take centre stage in my display. Now on to the history of the yard.
Around 1890, the small Pinxton brickyard was situated between Pinxton No. 1 Colliery & Langton Colliery. Mr. Cotterill was the brickmaker, pressing the Pinxton name in every one of them. The firing up was very primitive & the bricks were sold for as low as 16/- (shillings) per 1000. Piece rates were also very poor. After the brickyard had closed, the site was then used for Brookhill Colliery, but now that has gone, to be replaced by an industrial site. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

Update 4.11.15.

I have now found the exact location of Pinxton Brickworks on this 1900 map which I have marked in yellow & is in a different location to where I had originally wrote it was, with it being on the other side of Beaufit Road.
Pinxton No. 1 Colliery was just off to the left of this map & the area which I have coloured blue became the site of Brookhill Colliery, my original location of the brickworks. 
The site of the former brickworks in recent years has been used to sort & wash coal which has been extracted out of the pit tip, which is on the other side of the M1 with the coal coming to the site via the works private road under the motorway. 

J. Lawrence

James Lawrence b.1857 in Cosgrove, Northampton is recorded in the 1911 census aged 54 as a brickmaker - employer in Alfreton, previously he had been a coal miner all his working life & I have established he owned the Mansfield Road Brickworks (actually on Meadow Lane & next to the colliery) from the mid 1890's to possibly the early 1920's when the Alfreton Brick Company relocated to this works from Alma Street as recorded in Kelly's 1922 edition. The move by the A.B. Co. to Meadow Lane may have taken place before 1922 as there are no trade directory listings for James Lawrence & with David Taylor letting me know that his house was built in 1909 using Lawrence bricks I have now estimated James Lawrence was brickmaking between 1905 & 1920. There is the option that James Lawrence may have finished brickmaking as early as 1916 or even by the start of WW1 in 1914. The 1911 census also reveals James' sons Frank aged 21 & Stanley aged 16 & both born in Alfreton are listed as Assistant Brickmakers. Below is the 1913 OS map showing James Lawrence's works coloured yellow, Meadow Lane green & Mansfield Road red. As a footnote James Lawrence died in December 1934 leaving £2872 to his son Frank, a boarding house proprietor & Frank Broadhurst, a rating & valuation officer. Now Frank Broadhurst between 1899 & 1916 had been the secretary at the Alfreton Brick Co. I also found he was the registrar of births, marriages & deaths in Alfreton, so had Frank Broadhurst helped James Lawrence in establishing his brickmaking business with Lawrence only being a coal miner at the time ? Lawrence may have made most of his money from the sale of his brickworks to the Alfreton Brick Co. ?

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1913.


I have found two entries for Kemp in Kelly's Trade Directories. Thomas Kemp is recorded as brickmaker at Greenwich, Ripley in Kelly's 1876 edition & William Kemp is listed at Commonside, Heanor in the 1888 edition. So either of these two men could have made this brick, with me finding it at a reclamation yard at Pye Bridge, Derbyshire.

F & W. R

Frank Lawson found both these examples in Ripley, so there is a strong case for the R to be Ripley. A search of trade directories has returned a blank for a partnership with the surnames beginning with F & W, however I have found a Samuel Fletcher b.1841 who is listed in the 1881 census as a builder, farmer of 19 acres & brickmaker at the Coppice Lane (now Pease Hill Road) brickworks, employing 3 men & 2 boys. A 1879 newspaper article reveals Samuel gave 1 shilling & 3 pence per yard for the land on which he established his brick yard on, next to Gas Works in 1875. Below is the 1879 OS map showing Samuel's works. Samuel Fletcher is listed as brickmaker at Pease Hill, Ripley in Kelly's 1876 & 1881 editions. Samuel is not listed in the 1887 edition & the 1891 Canadian census reveals he had emigrated to Canada with his wife. The previous census in 1871 records Samuel Fletcher as a bricklayer at this date.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1879.

As to the W on these bricks I found George Watson b.1829 is listed as brickmaker in Greenwich, Ripley in the 1861 census through to the 1901 census when he listed as a retired brickmaker, so George was brickmaking for at least 40 years. So my thought's are with Samuel Fletcher being recorded as a brickmaker in Kelly's 1876 & 1881 editions at Pease Hill, he may have first been in a partnership with George Watson at Greenwich as per these bricks between 1871 & 1875. I am assuming Samuel had trained as a brickmaker under George Watson with the 1871 census recording him as a bricklayer. I have also found Samuel's father John Fletcher was a Joiner/Builder & Samuel's brothers were all joiners, so I am assuming Samuel & his brothers all worked for their father at some point.

Also to note on the 1879 map above is that on the opposite side of the road from the brick works were the railway lines are marked, this is where in later years the new Whiteley Road was built to access Butterley's Waingroves Brickworks. The Butterley Company had originally used the narrow Pit Lane from the village of Waingroves to access their works.

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