Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Ashbourne, Buxton & Glossop Brickworks


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

Viewing maps of the area has revealed that in the late 1800's there were two brick works in Ashbourne Green, which is about a mile north-east from the centre of Ashbourne. On this first map dated 1879 the works was opposite Ashbourne Green Hall & the track which passes between the two is now the B5035 road to Carsington. 
I have found three entries for brickmakers who are listed at Ashbourne Green, Offcote, Ashbourne, Derbys. in Kelly's directories, with the first two working at this first site as shown on the 1879 map above. They are W.N. Archer, Kelly’s 1887 edition, then W. Mason, Kelly’s 1895 edition. The third listing is for the Ashbourne Brick, Tile & Pipe Works in Kelly’s 1899 to 1904 editions with William Hart as secretary & these dates then match up to the second site which was not very far from the first & can be seen on the second map dated 1898 below.  

  © Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1898.

 Photo by Dave Penney.

I photographed the Ashbourne Green & Grange bricks at the Silk Mill Museum Derby in October 2015, but since then Dave Penney has sent me a much better image of the Green brick. More than likely the Green brick was made at the first works & the Grange brick may have been made at the second. With the trade directory entries recording Offcote in the address, I have found that located near to the second works today there is a house called Offcote Grange, so there could be some connection to the naming of this Ashbourne Grange brick, but I have to note that on the 1898 map this large house is shown as The Grove. The Grove/Offcote Grange may have been where the owner of the Ashbourne Brick & Tile Co. lived ? If I get confirmation on this theory I will update the post. 

Photo taken at the Silk Mill Museum, Derby.


  Photo by David Kitching.

The Buxton Stone, Brick & Tile Co. Lim. is listed in Kelly's 1876 edition at Fairfield, Buxton with William F. Hill recorded as secretary. In the 1881 edition C.F. Wardley is now listed as the secretary at the works. The 1878 map below shows two brick yards on Brown Edge Lane (today this road is called Brown Edge Road) & the yellow coloured yard is marked as brick & tile, so I am taking it that this was the works operated by the Buxton Stone, Brick & Tile Co. There are no more listings in trade directories at this date so who owned the other yard is unknown. 

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

I now write about the two glazed fireclay bricks which are stamped Pioneer Co. Buxton, but as you will read these bricks were more than likely made in Lancashire.

  Photo by David Kitching.

The Pioneer Blue Brick & Fire Clay Co. Ltd. is listed in Kelly's 1904 edition with F. Cowley Smith as secretary & the central offices address of Terrace Road, Buxton. There is no address for the works & neither the 1898 or 1919 maps show any brickworks marked in or around Buxton, not even on Brown Edge Lane the previous location for two brick yards in Buxton. With the company name saying blue brick & fireclay this normally indicates that the clay is being found deep underground, but there are no fireclay mines shown on these Buxton maps either. 

I then found this information from a list of mines operating in Lancashire in 1908. The Pioneer Blue Brick & Fireclay Co. is listed as operating the Thornlee mine (fireclay) at Grotton, Lees near Oldham with Thomas Jones as manager. The entry then records the mine as discontinued. So if there is a connection to Buxton & these bricks were made in Lancashire, why stamp their bricks Buxton ??? The only connection with Buxton is the listing of it's Central Offices. 

The 1904 map below confirms that the Pioneer Glazed Brick Works was in Lancashire & the Pioneer Company only had it's head office at Buxton. We may never find out why they did not stamp their bricks Grotton or Oldham. So technically speaking they are not Derbyshire bricks unless I find new information which says that the company did have a brickworks in Buxton. Also to note is why the trade directory entry says Central Offices Buxton, did the company have another works in the West Midlands making it's blue bricks from the etruria marl clay which is found in that area & Buxton was the central location for it's offices between the two works ? I have not been able to find any reference to the Pioneer Co. in the West Midlands, but if I do I will update the post.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1904.

With Jason Stott photographing a Pioneer Co. Buxton, Works Lees, Oldham brick, I have now added it to the post with this brick confirming Pioneer glazed bricks were indisputably made in Lancashire. Many Thanks, Jason.

Photo by Jason Stott.

When originally studying maps of Buxton for brickworks I spotted a wooded area called Brickyard Plantation just off St. Johns Road (see map below) which I was unable to find any information about, but with now talking to Buxton local historian, Colin Wells I can now reveal the answer.
Colin tells me that the brickyard was owned in the 1860's by Robert Rippon-Duke, a Buxton architect who was in partnership with builder Samuel Turner, designing & building/re-building many properties in Buxton. So it appears that the duo made bricks for their own projects. Robert Rippon-Duke is first associated in the building of the Royal Hotel in 1851, then he designed the dome for the Concert Hall, Pavilion Gardens & then the dome for the Devonshire Royal Hospital. Whether Rippon-Duke stamped his bricks is unknown, so if you come across any please let me know.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1897.


© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1938.

My first reference to this brickworks comes from Kelly's 1936 & 41 editions when John Greenwood (Brickworks) Co. Ltd. is listed at Railway Street, Glossop & works Monslow, Dinting, Glossop. From other information found I have established that the brickworks was at Mouselow Quarry although not marked as such on the 1938 map above. The 1879 map just shows a quarry with no buildings, then the 1897 map shows one building then the 1919 & 38 maps show two buildings & a tramway to the quarry face. Could these buildings be the brickworks ?

Photo by Frank Lawson.

 Photo by MF courtesy of the Dave Penney Collection.

My second reference to a brickworks at Mouselow Quarry comes from a National Archives document which records an application by the Glossop Brickworks Ltd. to extract shale clay & brick earth from land adjoining Hounslow Quarry (this should read Mouselow) in 1958/9.

I expect this brick was made in the late 1950's/ early 60's by the Glossop Brickworks Co. Ltd. 

My next reference to this brickworks is in 1975 when J. & A. Jackson of Denton, Manchester are recorded as adding the Glossop works to their portfolio of owned brickworks. The brickworks may have closed under Jackson's ownership some time before 1994, as my final reference is the 2011 application by Wienerberger to continue extracting clay shale from their Mouselow Quarry until 2042 as originally approved in 1994. I have found that after Jackson's became the Chelwood Brick Co., this new company was later acquired/ taken over by Wienerberger resulting in Wienerberger owning the Mouselow Quarry today.

Many Thanks to
David Kitching
Frank Lawson
Dave Penney
Jason Stott
Derby Silk Mill Museum
National Library of Scotland/ Ordnance Survey

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

South Derbyshire Brickworks - part 2

In part 2 of South Derbyshire brickworks, I cover the works which where situated in Swadlincote, Woodville, Church Gresley, Newhall & Bretby. 


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

It appears from information found that the two areas which I have coloured yellow were both owned by James Woodward. The area marked Sanitary Works we know for certain belonged to Woodward because of the archeology excavation which took place on this site in 2010 & 2011. Today this Sanitary Works site is a retail park & Morrisons. As there are no clay pits shown within the Sanitary Works site this is where I have come to the conclusion together with other findings that the marked Brick Works site was Woodward brickworks. Coal for the kilns is recorded as coming from Granville Colliery & as you can see on this map a tramway is shown connecting the brickworks & it's clay pits to the colliery & the Sanitary Works site. I also have to add that the tramway shown on Common Road went to another works just off the bottom of this map on Gresley Common & may have also belonged to Woodward. 

I first start with some pre-James Woodward history for the site. In Glovers 1827 edition John Hunt is recorded as brickmaker & farmer producing firebricks at his Coppice Side works. This road is shown on the map above & it runs north /south between the two sites. Glover's 1838 entry only lists John Hunt as farmer. Then a valuation of Church Gresley dated 1838 records John Hunt as owner of the property, but occupied by Thomas Woodward. The property included a brick-yard, kilns & buildings, a house & garden occupying 12 perches & a croft occupying 2 acres, 1 rood & 20 perches. So it appears John Hunt had retired from brickmaking & rented his premises to Thomas Woodward. After John Hunt's death in 1839, Thomas Woodward then purchases the works off his widow Susannah Hunt in 1848. Then after Thomas Woodward's death the works is passed over to his son James.

Now on to James Woodward & info from the archeology report states that White's 1857 trade directory records Mr. Woodward as owning the largest works in Swadlincote producing bricks, tiles, firebricks & fire clay. This was up to 1859 when sewage pipes & terra cotta chimney pots & vases were made & the works was then known as the Swadlincote Fire Brick & Terra Cotta Works. The first two trade directory entries that I have for James Woodward is in Kelly's 1864 & 76 editions at Church Gresley, Burton upon Trent. 

So with all these pre-James Woodward entries giving Church Gresley as the address of the works, then with the 1879 map recording the same brickworks as the 1900 map, but as the Fire Brick & Terra Cotta Works & with the addition of the 1859 info this has lead me to the conclusion that James Woodward owned all the works & claypits that I have coloured yellow on the 1900 map above, with the marked Brick Works as being on Gresley Common. I then think at a latter date (around 1887) the brickworks was classed as being in Swadlincote.

A railway branch line was built in 1882 connecting the works to Swadlicote Station & this line brought coal in & finished goods out. Glazed bricks were produced by the company from 1899, of which many examples have been found same as the two examples above.
James Woodward continues to be listed in Kelly's trade directories & the 1887 edition now lists the works as being in Swadlincote. The next change comes in Kelly's 1904 edition when the company is listed as James Woodward Ltd & Kelly's 1908 & 12 editions are JW Ltd. (glazed). The 1912 edition is the last entry in the Brickmakers Section, but the company is then listed in the Fire Clay Goods Manufactures Section in Kelly's 1925, 32 & 41 edition. The 1941 edition is the last trade directory available.

The Architects Compendium 1911.

Woodward, Swadlincote fire-brick by Shane Harvey, courtesy of the "Old Bricks" website.

My next bit of information about Woodwards comes from two sources & they both say that T. Wragg & Sons took over Woodward's Anchor Works (the marked sanitary works). The first from the archeology report says this happen in 1904. The second article from the web says Wragg transferred his production to the Anchor Works from his adjacent works in the early 1900's & then closed his old yards. Wragg then sold the Anchor Works (marked as Sanitary Works on the 1900 map) to Hepworths (pipe producers) in 1976. The Anchor Works then appears to have closed in 1978. 

So it appears James Woodward Ltd. continued to operated the site shown as the Brick Works on the 1900 map above. The year this brickworks closed is unknown, but it may have been after 1951 as I have found that it is still shown as the Middle Works on a 1938 map, then there is the 1941 Kelly's entry for the company & then I found a 1951 advert for Sanitary Ware & Glazed bricks produced by James Woodward Ltd. This advert can be seen on Grace's Guide website & I have pasted the link to this page below & it features more adverts for James Woodward. 

So in conclusion James Woodward Ltd. was still producing goods to at least 1951 on the Brick Works site.

Photo courtesy of AOC Archaeology, London.

Found during the excavation of the Woodward's site before the building of a retail park, these fireclay bricks stamped Made in England, Elephant Brand came from a kiln that had been built post WW2. They were found on the kiln floor & some were built into the wall of the kiln. It is unknown if these Elephant Brand bricks were made on site or by another manufacturer.

Link to the excavation article of the Anchor Works site.

I have found several of these white glazed W bricks in Derbyshire & they are strongly thought to have been made James Woodward.

T. Wragg & Sons

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

The first trade directory entry that I have for Thomas Wragg & Sons at Swadlincote is in Kelly's 1876 edition in the Brick & Tile Makers section & it reads Thomas Wragg & Sons, Hill Top Fire Clay Works, Swadlincote, Burton on Trent. I have coloured the Hill Top Fire Clay Works yellow on the 1900 map above. The blue coloured works was Thomas' sanitary pipe works & this sanitary pipe works along with Thomas' fire brick works are listed in Kelly's 1881 edition.
The remaining trade directory entries that I have for Thomas all come from the Fire Brick Manufacturers listings, starting with the 1895 edition & they continue to the 1941 edition (last available). All these entries are listed as Thomas Wragg & Sons, Swadlincote with the exception of the 1895 & 1899 editions when there is the addition of a second works at Loxley near Sheffield.
Further research has revealed that Thomas may have started his business at Loxley first as I have found that in 1865 he is recorded as living at Storrs Hall, Loxley & owning a fire clay & fire brick works at Storrs Bridge. From a compensation insurance article in 1865, it states that Thomas received £560 pounds for the loss of brick moulds, bricks, dug clay etc after the Great Sheffield Flood in March 1864 which destroyed his works. Thomas may have just started out in 1864 as his listed as farmer, clay dealer & fire brick maker. Thomas Wragg & Sons are also listed in Kelly's Sheffield editions at Loxley in it's 1879 to 1919 editions with the addition of the Swadlincote works in the 1879 & 1901 editions.

As previously wrote in the Woodward entry Thomas Wragg & Sons took over Woodward's Anchor Works (marked Sanitary Works to the left of the blue coloured area) in 1904. Wragg's production was then transferred to the Anchor Works & the Sanitary Pipe works (blue) & possibly the Hill Top Fire Brick Works (yellow) were closed. Wragg & Sons sold their interests in the Anchor Works to Hepworth Pipe Co. in 1976 & this was more than likely the end of Wragg & Sons in Swadlincote.

Photo by Frank Lawson.

Front & Reverse of a Thomas Wragg & Sons glazed brick.

Photo by Frank Lawson.

Two more white glazed bricks from the company.

Joseph Walker Bourne, Church Gresley
Edward Ensor, Ensor Brothers, Ensor & Co. Ltd.

Photo by John Goodman.

Today Church Gresley is in Derbyshire, but in the 1830's this village is listed in many documents with a variety of places that it was a part of or was administered by. The main one was Ashby Wolds, Leicestershire, but this district today only goes as far as Albert Village. Another was Church Gresley, Parish of Ashby-de-la Zouch, Leicestershire. I also have to note Church Gresley is also spelt as Church Greasley. 

Now on to Joseph Walker Bourne who was born on the 1st of November 1800 in Burslem, Staffs. His father William was from Wollaston, Stoke & his mother Hannah (nee Walker) was from Duffield near Derby where the couple married in 1798. It appears naming a son with the mother's maiden name as a middle name was a common thing to do in the early 1800's & a another example is given later.

Joseph married Louisa England in Lyme Regis, Dorset in March 1828. Pigot's 1828 edition lists Joseph Walker Bourne as a Potter in Ashby Wolds, then in August 1829 at the time of the birth of his first daughter Emma Louisa, Joseph & Louisa were living at Church Gresley Cottage, no trade is given for Joseph, however from the document recording the birth of his second daughter, Adelaide Anne in 1830, Joseph is recorded as a Earthenware Manufacturer in Church Gresley, Parish of Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire. 

Pigot’s 1831 edition now lists Joseph Walker Bourne as a Fire Brick Maker in Church Gresley. At the time of his son’s birth, William England Bourne in December 1832, Joseph is again listed as a Fire Brick Maker in Church Gresley. It appears son William did not follow in his father’s footsteps & at the age of 21 emigrated to Australia were he became a Reverend. As previously mentioned on middle names, William England Bourne had been given his mothers maiden name as his middle name. Joseph Walker Bourne is again listed as a Fire Brick Maker in Pigot’s 1835 edition at Church Gresley. Also in December 1835 the document recording the birth of his third daughter, Ophelia Hannah, Joseph is still recorded as a Fire Brick Maker in Church Gresley.  

Joseph Walker Bourne died in June 1840 & the recorded place of his death is given as the Parish of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, but I am assuming he died in Church Gresley. I have come to the conclusion Bourne hand-made his bricks then used a hand stamp to mark his name in them because the earliest date that I have found that bricks stamped with a makers name & made by machinery first appeared in 1855. 

During my research several juicy bits of information have turned up. The July 1850 document recording the marriage of Joseph Walker Bourne's second daughter, Adelaide Anne Bourne of Woodville to William Henry Hooke of Lyme Regis, records Edward Ensor (senior) & son Henry Loader Ensor, both fire brick makers in Church Gresley were witnesses. I have now established why they were at this 1850 wedding. I first tell you that Joseph Bourne's wife Louisa nee England died in 1839 a year earlier than Joseph & Edward Ensor b.1798, a woollen manufacturer in Dorchester, after the loss of his wife married Louisa's mother Ann England of Lyme Regis, who's husband had also died. Ann's maiden name was Stanton. So through this July 1835 marriage to Ann England, Edward Ensor was Louisa's stepfather & Edward's sons Edward (junior) & Henry Loader Ensor became Louisa's half brothers. I next found after the death's of Louisa & Joseph Bourne the 1841 census records their son William England Bourne aged 7 & daughter Ophelia Hannah Bourne aged 5 went to live with Edward & Ann Ensor in Dorchester & the two eldest girls Emma Louisa Bourne aged 12 & Adelaide Anne Bourne aged 11 went to live with Louisa's sister Mary Ann Hooke (nee England) & her husband John Hooke, a Draper in Lyme Regis for a few years. It appears love later blossomed between Mary & John's son William Henry Hooke & Adelaide Bourne with them getting married in 1850. I briefly tell you as I write more later that Edward Ensor had moved to Church Gresley to run Joseph Bourne's Pool fire-brick works by 1846 & was living in Church Gresley Cottage, Joseph's former abode.

There is another Ensor connection with Joseph Bourne's third daughter Ophelia Hannah Bourne marrying Charles Ensor of Milborne Port, Somerset, a glove manufacturer in June 1862. I have not been able to make the full family connection of Charles Ensor, his father Thomas & Thomas' brother Edward, owners of the glove manufactory before Charles to Edward Ensor senior & his two sons, our fire brick makers in Church Gresley, but Edward & Thomas Ensor of Milborne Port may have been cousins to Edward Ensor of Dorchester/Church Gresley. 

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

There are no actual listings or trade directory entries naming Joseph Bourne's fire-brick works in Church Gresley, but with finding Edward Ensor & then the Ensor Brothers owned the Pool Works, coloured orange on the 1879 OS map above & knowing that Edward Ensor went to live in Joseph's home Gresley Cottage (green) in the early 1840's I think I can safely say Joseph Bourne operated the Pool Works which I expect will have been smaller in size in the 1830's. Also to note is the lane which I have coloured yellow which ran between Gresley Cottage & the Pool Works, so a quick walk to work each morning for Joseph Bourne then the Ensor's.  

With Edward Ensor b.1798 now running Joseph Bourne's brickworks by 1846 Edward is recorded in several trade directories as a fire brick maker, brick & tile maker, & clay dealer in Church Gresley, the first of which is Kelly's 1849 edition. Then in Wright's 1874 edition Edward is listed as a fireclay merchant, sewerage pipe, chimney pipe & firebrick manufacturer at the Pool Works, Church Gresley, home Gresley Cottage. We know from Bagshaws 1846 trade directory that Edward had moved into Joseph Bourne's Gresley Cottage when he took over Bourne' brickworks. The last trade directory entry for Edward Ensor is White's 1877 edition in which he is listed as a manufacturer of firebricks, sanitary tubes, chimney tops, white & coloured enamelled bricks at the Pool Works, Church Gresley. The 1881 census records Edward Ensor as still living at Gresley Cottage, but he is now listed as a Retired Manufacturer aged 83. Edward died in July 1884, aged 86.

Edward's sons, Edward junior & Henry Loader Ensor also worked alongside their father in the running of the Pool Works & the 1851 census records Henry Loader Ensor as Fire Brick Manufacturer & Clay Dealer. The earliest census I have found for Edward junior is the 1871 census in which he is listed as a Civil Engineer & Manufacturer. Wright's 1880 edition lists the Ensor Brothers as Patent Brick manufacturers in Gresley. So it appears the brothers took over the running of the Pool Works between 1877 & 1880. 

The 1881 census records Henry Loader Ensor as a "Manager" of a firebrick & terra cotta works living at Brook Villa, Pool Village, Church Gresley. I then found in the Leicestershire edition of Kelly's 1881 edition that the Pool Works was now being operated by Ensor & Co. Ltd. so Henry was only working for this new company. Meanwhile in the 1881 census Edward Ensor is now listed as a Commercial Traveler, Sanitary Ware & living in Derby, so I am assuming he was still working along side his brother at this new company, however this is were the trail goes cold on Edward. 

The 1891 census again records Henry Loader Ensor as a Manager of a Fire Brick Works with the additional listing of "Employed". Kelly's 1899 edition & the 1901 census records Henry Loader Ensor as the Secretary of Ensor & Co. Ltd. Henry died in May 1906. 

Kelly's 1899 edition.

Ensor & Co. Ltd. continue to be listed as Fire Brick Makers up to Kelly's 1925 edition. Kelly's 1932 edition only lists them as Fire Clay Merchants & we find that a new company was now running the Pool Fire Brick Works in 1932 operating as the Church Gresley Fire Brick & Fireclay Co.

Fireclay bricks stamped either Edward Ensor, the Ensor Brothers or Ensor & Co. Ltd have still yet to turn up, so if you have images of any of the above names please get in touch via email, the address of which is on the Contacts Tab at the top of this page. It was with John Goodman contacting me with his Bourne brick that it resulted me in adding Joseph Walker Bourne to this post. Many Thanks, John.

T. Redfern

 Photo by Frank Lawson.

Thomas Redfern is listed as brickmaker in Swadlincote in these directories - Slaters 1850, White's 1857 & Harrison's 1860. The location of Thomas' works in Swadlincote is unknown.

Thompson Brothers

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

The Thompson Brothers are first listed in White's 1857 edition as manufacturers of ironstone earthenware, Rockingham ware, brownstone ware, fire bricks, red quarries & dealers in fire clay at their Hartshorne Potteries in Woodville. Harrod & Co. 1860 directory then lists the names of the brothers as John, Richard & William Thompson, earthenware manufacturers, Hartshorne Potteries, Woodville (note Hartshorne is spelt without an e on the 1879 map). White's 1863 edition is just Thompson Brothers. The last directory entry for the Thompson Brothers is in Wright's 1874 edition & it now lists Richard & Willoughby as the brothers & manufacturing glazed pipes, earthenware & terra cotta.

Photo by Frank Lawson.

Earlier trade directory entries reveal that the Hartshorne Pottery works may have been started by Joseph Thompson in 1835, as Joseph is listed in Pigot's directory as ironstone & earthenware manufacturer in Hartshorne village & Woodville. Hence the pottery works in Woodville taking it's name from the village where the company was founded. Bagshaw's 1846 edition now lists Joseph senior & Joseph junior at Woodville as earthenware manufacturers. Slater's 1850 edition only lists Joseph junior as manufacturer of bricks & tiles, fire bricks, ironstone & coarse earthenware. The next entry for Thompson in White's 1857 edition is for Thompson Brothers as above, so I am taking it that all these Thompsons were the same family & producing earthenware which spanned three or four generations.

John Knowles

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

1900 OS map showing the size of the Mount Pleasant Works.

 Photo by Frank Lawson.

John Marsden Knowles established his Mount Pleasant Works in 1849 producing fire bricks & stoneware pipes. The twentieth century saw the introduction of ceramic products for the steel industry & ceramic radiants for gas fires.

Knowles who was a railway contractor originally came to the area working for Robert Stevenson who was constructing the Coalville to Burton Midland railway line & it was while Knowles was tunnelling between Castle Gresley & Moira, that he found a bed of fire clay. Knowles then purchased an acre of land from the Marquess of Hastings which contained this clay & this land was situated just over a mile east of the tunnel on Occupation Road. Then on the completion of his contract in 1849, Knowles erected a kiln on his land & fire clay was dug by primitive means. The fire bricks that were produced were then sold to the Midland Railway Company & steel producers in Sheffield. As the tunnel that Knowles had been digging was next to Mount Pleasant village, Knowles decided to call his works after this village, therefore, The Mount Pleasant Works.

With this success, Knowles then expanded his Company by leasing & buying more land to extract this rich source of fire clay which lay underground. Surface clay which is of a different composition was then used to produce stoneware pipes. New kilns were erected to keep pace with the demand for his products. 1863 saw Knowles open a London Office to take advantage of London's need to replace their crumbling sewer system. 

John Knowles died in 1869 & the works was run by his wife Sarah until her death in 1871. Sarah had made provisions in her will for the Company to be run by Trustees & the three main Trustees were Thomas Hassall Adcock, Henry Knowles & John Hassall. Many members of Sarah's family also had smaller shares in the Company & in later years this proved to have been a disastrous decision. I have pasted a link to the article at the end of this entry from which I have gathered some of the information for this works from & it gives a very detailed account of what happen next concerning the complex ownership of the Company. There is also another link to an article from the British Brick Society Journal on the Company which I have drawn information from.

So the three main Trustees ran the day to day running of the Company which was now trading as John Knowles & Co. with John Hassall as Chairman & between 1871 & 1928 the Company flourished under Hassall despite it's internal problems. 

A special Trustees meeting in 1874 saw Henry Knowles coming to an agreement to retire from the Company with the proviso not set up a rival company in the name of Knowles. Henry agreed & left the Company in 1876 to go into partnership with Hosea Tugby forming the Albion Clay Co. & I write about that works next.

John Hassell then took the Company forward by expanding the Mount Pleasant Works between 1883 & 1901 when 30 round kilns & 1 large tunnel kiln was built. The 1920's saw the introduction of producing ceramic radiants for gas fires & in later years this was to be the main stay product for the Company. After John Hassall's death in 1928, Harry James Taylor then took over as Company Chairman. This election of Taylor as Chairman also created much controversy from Hassall's son, John Knowles Hassall who though that he would follow in his father's footsteps in running the Company. More again can be read in article which I have posted at the end of the entry.

I now move on to the Kelly's trade directory entries for the Company & John Knowles & Co. are listed in the Fire Brick Manufacturers section at Woodville/Wooden Box in either the Derbyshire or Leicestershire editions at these dates 1876, 91, 95, 99 & 1912. The Company are next listed in the Fire Clay Manufacturers section in the 1925, 32 & 41 editions.  So this begs the question when fire brick production ceased. It may have been at some point after 1912, but before 1925 when the trade directory listings changed to Fire Clay Manufacturers section. As I do not have the 1916 or 1921 editions I am unable to give a precise date when Fire Brick production ceased. 
We do know that it was in 1969 when the manufacture of sewerage pipes cease & the pipe works department closed. As previously said the Company by this time was mainly focusing on the production of ceramic radiants. In 1970 J. & J. Dyson of Sheffield purchased the Mount Pleasant Works, thus ending 121 years of John Knowles & Co. The Mount Pleasant works under Dyson closed in 1997 & the site was demolished.

Photo by Frank Lawson.

Woodville was also known as Wooden Box same as on this brick & the name comes from the wooden toll booth which stood on the toll road which passed through the village from Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Burton-on-Trent. 

1949 aerial photo of Knowles' Mount Pleasant Works.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/882020  © Copyright Chris Allen

Photo & Info by Chris Allen. 
John Knowles. Mount Pleasant Works, Woodville in 1996, all of which is now demolished, A stationary steam engine from the works is in store at Snibston and the wood panelling from the building that it was in, is now on display at the side of another engine that is on show. A Lancashire boiler went to Pleasley Colliery and is on display in the compound. The site was largely disused, but a security man in a van found us and requested that we leave.

A more detailed account of John Knowles & Co. can be read at these two links. 

Hosea Tugby

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

I first start with some early information about Hosea Tugby before he went on to own the Albion Works in 1874 & I have used the 1900 map above to show the location of this works. Also to note in the 1870's Woodville was classed as partly being in Leicestershire & partly being in Derbyshire.

In 1872 Hosea Tugby is recorded as giving notice regarding his improvements to kilns for burning bricks, pipes & tiles in the London Gazette dated 16th October 1872 & this is followed by a US Patent for his improvements in July 1873. Whether Tugby owned the Albion Works in 1872 is unknown & he may have put these improvements forward before building this works ? The earliest map that I have is 1881 so the works is shown built, but in the middle of nowhere next to the railway & it is accessed via small open lanes from Littleworth. 

Then as wrote in the John Knowles & Co. entry, Henry Knowles was asked to retire from J.K. & Co. in 1874 with the proviso that he did not start a company in the name of Knowles, with Henry agreeing he left J.K. & Co. in 1876 to form the Albion Clay Co. with Hosea Tugby. I have found trade directory listings which slightly disagrees with this info, so I now present the information found.

Wright's 1874 edition records the entry of Tugby (Hosea) & Knowles (Henry), Terra cotta & earthenware manufacturers, Albion Works, Woodville. So this entry contradicts this agreement unless this partnership was formed before the agreement as we next find in Kelly's 1876 & White's 1877 editions that the entry is Hosea Tugby & Co, Albion Works, Woodville. It is recorded in a BBS web article that Tugby took out a full page advert for his company in the London edition of the Post Office Directory to advertise the range of goods that he produced. After 1877 there are no more trade directory entries for Tugby & Co. at Woodville until Hosea Tugby & Co. are listed as owning the Briton Potteries at Moira, Leicstershire in Kelly's 1891 to 1900 editions. 

Now this begs the question of the J. K. & Co. article stating that Tugby & Knowles formed the Albion Clay Co. in 1876. This may have took place, but as wrote, from 1876 the Albion Works was listed as being run by Hosea Tugby & Co. & the Albion Clay Co. may have existed in name only to satisfy the agreement with John Knowles & Co. 

We then find that The Albion Clay Co. is first listed as owning the Albion Works in Kelly's 1891 edition by which time Tugby & Co. are listed at Moira. The Albion Clay Co. continue to be listed as brickmakers at the Albion Works until Kelly's 1899 edition. Kelly's 1912 to 1932 editions now records A.C.Co. in the Fire Clay Manufactures section & Fire Clay Merchants section, so brick production for buildings & the making of fireclay bricks must have finished by 1899 ? with the company only then producing sanitarywares. A.C.Co. & the Albion Works are recorded as closing around 1935. A newspaper article dated December 1932 reports at the time of his death Robert Lawton was Managing Director of the Albion Clay Co. As of yet no bricks have been found stamped Albion Clay Co. unless the company produced the brick which I have found with Woodville stamped in it & I write about that name next. 

It is unknown if this H.T. brick was made by Tugby at his Woodville or Moira works. Below is a 1900 map of Moira showing Tugby's Briton brickworks & coal/clay mines. I also note that the works & kilns on the opposite side of the railway line may have also formed part of Tugby's works as Kelly's 1895 & 99 entries records the works as Briton Potteries, but I have no proof to back up this statement. In a 1900 web mining reference, Briton Colliery is recorded as being owned by Hosea Tugby & managed by S. Wheatley. It then states that this mine produced mainly fire clay & was abandoned in 1900. With this date of 1900 being the same as the last entry in Kelly's for Tugby, I presume that this was the year the Britton Works closed under Tugby. The 1921 map still shows the Briton works as operational with the works on the opposite side of the railway closed, but a tramway is shown going under the main railway line connecting the Briton works to this other works clay pits. Who owned the Briton Works in 1921 is unknown. 

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

Added 31.10.20.
Ian Suddaby has sent me this image of a Albion Clay Co. pipe which has just been dug up from a property in central Edinburgh. Several of these pipes had been used as electrical cable ducts & not as their intended use as drainage pipes. As wrote no bricks stamped with the Albion name have been found unless the brick stamped Woodville in the next entry was made by The Albion Clay Co. ?

Updated 25.5.21. 
Ian Suddaby has just sent me this image of an Albion firebrick which Chris Smart photographed in Kent, so there's a good chance this firebrick was made in Woodville by the Albion Clay Co.

Photo by Chris Smart.


I have three options for the maker of this Woodville brick. I originally credited it to Hosea Tugby during his time at the Albion Works, but it may have been made by the Albion Clay Co. who followed Tugby at the Albion Works as no house bricks have been found with Albion or A.C. Co. stamped in them.

My third option goes back to an entry in Wright's 1874 edition when the entry is Charles Adcock, manager, Woodville Company, brick yard, Smallthorns. Also at the time of this entry Charles Adcock was a trustee at John Knowles & Co. & during a special J. K & Co. meeting between Adcock, John Hassell & the companies solicitor which took place on the 9th May 1874, Mr Adcock stated his intentions to sell his shares in the Woodville Co. & he also produced a letter from Mr Cull, his partner in the Woodville Co. which stated that he should relinquish his ties with the Company as ‘the restrictions they had been subject to had much interfered with the working of the Woodville Company.’ Mr Adcock must have terminated this parnership as Adcock is recorded as being with J.K. & Co. until his death in 1886. 
I then looked at modern & old maps to find the location of the Woodville Co.'s yard at Smallthorns. The modern map shows that there is a Smallthorn Place & this road is just off Sun Street, but there's no brickworks at this location on a 1879 map. There is a marked brickworks not to far away from Sun Street on Chapel Street which I have coloured yellow on the 1879 map below which could be a contender for Woodville Co.'s yard. On the next map dated 1899 this brick yard is shown as a pottery. I have also coloured Sun Street in red & today's Smallthorn Place in green.

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

Update 8.1.17.
I have just received some information from Swadlincote Library some of which may be relevant to the brickworks at Smallthorns. First there is a reference to the Small Thorn Inn, possibly a beer house kept by Edward Mee as recorded in the 1871 & 1881 Census. The Small Thorn Inn was situated near another Inn called the Rising Sun which today is still on Sun Street. Then info from Stuart Allen's book "Once the Wooden Box" has two references of the Small Thorn Blue Brickworks both from the Burton Chronicle. The first article dated 25th April 1878 features an advert for the Small Thorn Blue Brickworks advertising bricks for sale at the works & examples can be seen at Mr. Tunnicliffe's, No.3 Midland Wharf, Burton. The second dated 27th May 1878 records that Benjamin Thompson broke his leg in an accident at the brickworks. The next find by the library is a Notice for the Sale or Let of the Small Thorn Pottery Works & it's adjacent land in 1889. So all this info ties in with the brickworks which was on Chapel Street coloured yellow on the 1879 map above & with the 1899 map now showing this works as a pottery. This Chapel Street brickworks has since been confirmed by a local history society, based at the Magic Attic in Swadlincote as being owned by the Woodville Co. / Small Thorn Blue Brick Co. With receiving all this information it would be nice to think that the Woodville brick shown at the top of this entry was made by the Woodville Company, but more than likely it was made at a later date either by Hosea Tugby or the Albion Clay Co. at the Albion Brickworks.

Ellis & Partridge, Woodville

Ellis & Partridge were a Leicester based brick company & builders merchants who are recorded in Kelly's Directories as owning a second works in Woodville, Derbys. Ellis Partridge & Co. are listed in Kelly's 1891 Leicestershire edition at Leicester & Woodville & this entry is followed by a half page advert (shown below) for the company in Kelly's Derbyshire 1895 edition, which records the company as sole makers of their well known trade marked EP Woodville red sandstone bricks. Kelly's Derbyshire 1899 to 1922 editions then lists the company at Woodville. None of these directories actually record an address for the Woodville works & examining maps from that period of time has not revealed the location of their works either. The brick above was photographed at Cawarden Reclamation Yard & I was told that these bricks came from the demolished Royal Infirmary Hospital in Derby.

A search in old newspapers & trade directories at my local library has revealed the first names of Ellis & Partridge. Wright's 1911 edition records Arthur Brewin Partridge as a Builders Merchant, living at Wavertree, Radcliffe Road, Leicester.  Then a Will notice in Leicester Chronicle dated 23rd of June 1894 reports that William Henry Ellis J.P. of Anstey Grange died on the 25th of November 1893 aged 64. William had three sons, Francis Newman Ellis of The Park, Nottingham was a colliery manager, Wilfred Henry Ellis of Kirby Road, Leicester, merchant & third son, Owen Alfred Ellis of 42, Fosse Road, Leicester was a builders merchant. In his Will, William appointed his three sons to carry on his interest in the business of Ellis & Partridge, Slate, Brick & Tile Merchants which he had run together with his sons Wilfred, Owen & Arthur Partridge.

The advert below was found in Wright's 1911 directory.

Update 6.7.17. 
After leaving a request for information about Ellis & Partridge at the Magic Attic in Swadlincote, a local history group based at Sharpe's Pottery Museum, I have recently been contacted by the Society who has supplied me with the following information on the location of this works & it's previous owner.

The Society came across a notice in a local newspaper recording Ellis Partridge & Co. at the Boothorpe Brick Works situated near Woodville & I have coloured this works yellow on the 1900 OS map below. This works was accessed by small roads (coloured red) from both Woodville & the hamlet of Boothorpe. Since coming across this notice the Society has been unable to re-find this very small notice again, but it is thought that it appeared in an edition of the local newspaper during the first three months of 1887. If this notice turns up, I will add it to the post. 

Updated 4.5.22. Ellis Partridge & Co. Boothorpe Brickworks notice now found in the British Newspaper Archives & is dated 15th March 1888, Burton Chronicle. 


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

The 1888 date of this notice then ties in nicely with the 1891 trade directory entry for E & P at Woodville. The Society has also informed me that the previous lease owner of this brickworks was Captain Perry & the 6th of April 1882 edition of the Burton Chronicle records that he had put his small brick yard up for sale. The brickworks at this date consisted of three flue sheds, two kilns, a warehouse & had capital beds of clay on the two acre site. The 1881 map only shows one kiln & two clay pits at this location with the 1900 map above showing that E & P had established a much larger works by this date to exploit the ample supply of clay & I expect E & P were in full production by the 1888 newspaper advert. Another 2022 newspaper article find dated September 1894 reveals Ellis Partridge first leased their brickwork's land off Lord Donington & in 1894 Lord Donington was selling several lots of land around Boothorpe village at £500 per acre & it include the land E & P were leasing.  Therefore I am assuming E & P purchased the brickworks land at this 1894 auction. E & P's brickworks is shown on the 1921 map, but may have closed around 1925 as the company are not listed in Kelly's Derbyshire 1925 edition at Woodville. The 1938 map only shows the outline of the clay pits.
Also to note on the 1900 map above is the marked Boothorpe Works (sanitary pipes) owned by the Boothorpe Sanitary Pipe Co. & as far as I know this works had no connection to E.P. Co.'s Boothorpe Brick Works. As well as making sanitary pipes B.S.P. Co. are listed in Kelly's 1881 edition to Kelly's 1912 edition as making fireclay bricks.

The Society has also sent me information from two notices which appeared in the Burton Chronicle.
4.5.1893 edition - E.P. & Co. Woodville, brickmakers, summoned for employing a child under age. 
Then in the 18.1.1898 edition, the company is charged for employing William Dark aged 16 without a certificate of fitness. 

More info on Ellis Partridge operating other brickworks in Leicestershire can be read at this Link.

Bretby Brick Co.

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

Bretby Brick & Stoneware Co. Ltd. are first listed in Kelly's 1912 Derbyshire edition in the Brick & Tile Makers section at Newhall. The company are not listed again until the 1932, 36 & 41 editions. Whether they stopped producing bricks & just concentrated on producing stoneware from 1913 to 1932 is unknown. 

Photo by Frank Lawson.

Two photos of the works taken in 2008 by Chris Allen.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/906644  © Copyright Chris Allen

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/906664  © Copyright Chris Allen

Stanton Colliery / Nadin

  © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1920.

I have trade directory entries recording Joseph & Nathanial Nadin as Coalmasters at Stanton & Newhall Collieries in Kelly's 1855 edition through to it's 1891 edition. So I am taking it that the Stanton Colliery brick was made around the 1890's. Then in Kellys 1912 & 1916 editions in the Brick & Tile Makers section, J. & N. Nadin & Co. (glazed) are listed at Stanton, Burton on Trent. 

Just thought I would clarify why this brick is stamped Burton on Trent. Stanton is a small village next to Newhall & Swadlincote in Derbyshire & more than likely B on T on this brick was used to signify the nearest main town. Burton by the way is in Staffordshire. Also with the borders of Derbys. Staffs. & Leics. all meeting at Swadlicote, I have found that brickmakers in this area can be listed in either of Derbys. or Leics. trade directories & Burton on Trent is given after the village name in many entries. 

Photo by Frank Lawson.
A glazed brick from the works, made between 1912 & 1916.

Bretby Colliery

  © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1920.

Bretby Colliery was also known as Newhall Colliery & was sunk in 1872 - 76. So I expect his brick was produced at the colliery which was originally owned by the Countess of Chesterfield, then was taken over by the Earl of Carnarvon in 1890, both of whom resided at Bretby Hall. Carnavon sold the colliery and Bretby Hall to fund his Tutankhamun expedition in 1920.  The colliery closed in 1928 due to it being unprofitable, but various seams were then re-opened at different times up to 1962. I have also found that the marked Stanton Lane Brickworks was owned by Lake & Son & this brickworks is listed as the Stanton Lane Brick & Pipe Works (Lake & Son), drain pipe manufactures, Stanton in Kelly's 1932, 36 & 41 editions.

Photo by Frank Lawson.

 Samuel Moore, Overseal

Photo by Nigel Furniss.

I first note that when Samuel Moore first operated his own brickworks in Overseal, this village was in Leicestershire, however this village was transferred over to Derbyshire in 1897 & with all of Samuel's trade directory entries appearing in Derbyshire directories I have added this entry to this Post.  

The 1851 census records Samuel Moore aged 25 (b.1826 in Enderby) was a brickmaker living in the Parish of Saint Mary's, Leicester with his wife Eliza & two small boys, James 2 & William 18 months & I am assuming he did not run his own brickworks at this date with him not being listed in trade directories. The 1885 OS map shows an Old Clay Pit next to the Cattle Market on Aylestone Road, so Samuel could have worked there with it being within St Mary's Parish.

The 1861 census now records brickmaker Samuel & his family were now living in Overseal, Leicestershire, but I still think he was working for another brickmaker at this date. This census records Samuel & Eliza had produced three more sons, Samuel junior 8, John 5 & George 3. 

We next find in the 1871 census Samuel is recorded as a Master Brickmaker employing 7 men & 14 boys & still living in Overseal, therefore I am assuming Samuel now owned his own brickworks in the Overseal area. This census also records another son Charles had been born in 1865. It's not until Kelly's 1881 edition that we find Samuel is recorded as owning the Swains Park Brickworks, Church Gresley. This works coloured green on the 1900 OS below was actually situated between Church Gresley & Overseal & was on Park Road (red). Park Road then becomes Occupation Road (yellow) & this road connects Linton Heath to Albert Village.

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

The 1881 census now records Samuel aged 55 was employing 3 men & 4 boys & as wrote Kelly's 1881 edition is the first listing of Samuel Moore & Sons at Swains Park Brickworks, Church Gresley. This works is then listed as being in Overseal in Kelly's 1887 to 1904 editions. 

Samuel & Eliza produced six sons & three daughters, eldest son James b.1859 was an engine driver at a colliery most of his working life. 

William b.1850 joined his father at the brickworks becoming a brickmaker. In Kelly's 1899 edition William is recorded in his own name in the Brick & Tile Makers section with the address of Field View, Overseal, so I am assuming he was running his own brickworks called Field View with the 1901 census recording he was a brick & sanitary pipe maker living on Moore Street, Overseal, however I question this entry later. 

Samuel junior b.1853 also became a brickmaker with his father, but in the 1891 census he is recorded as a Manager in a Brickworks in Bolsover, Derbyshire, he sadly died in 1895. 

John b.1855 after working at his father's brickworks as a labourer moved on to be an Engine Driver at a colliery for the rest of his working life. 

George b.1858 after being recorded as a labourer aged 13 at a brickworks living with Samuel & Eliza in the 1871 census the census trail on Ancestry goes cold, so cannot say what he did next. 

Finally youngest son Charles b.1865 became a brickmaker with his father as recorded in the 1881 census. The 1891 census records Charles as a Brick Manufacturer - Employed, living in Overseal with his family, so I expect Charles was still working for his father. The 1901 census now records Charles had moved to Scarcliffe in Derbyshire & was a Foreman at a Brickworks, however the 1911 census records Charles aged 46 as a Brick Manufacturer - Employer, living with his family at 203, Brimington Common, Chesterfield. It is unknown which brickworks in Chesterfield he was running. 

As I have digressed I now return to Samuel Moore at Overseal & Samuel is listed as a Brickmaker - Employer in the 1891 census. The 1901 census records Samuel was now 75 & Eliza 73 living on Moore Street, Overseal & still running the brickworks, however the 1911 census records Samuel aged 85, a Brick & Pipe Manufacturer & a Widower, so Eliza must have passed away by 1911. With knowing Samuel is still listed as a brickmaker in the 1911 census it is unknown why he is not listed in the Brick Section of Kelly's 1908 & 1912 editions, unless he was only manufacturing sanitary pipes at these dates.  

Now I am wondering if son William was helping him run the Swains Park Brickworks with William only being recorded as running his own brickworks Field View in Kelly's 1899 edition, unless Field View was the name of his house on Moore Street & William had worked alongside his father throughout his career ? The rest of Samuel's sons had branched out in other directions either into other trades or had moved out of the area, so I can discount them in helping Samuel to run his works. Samuel Moore sadly died in January 1915 leaving effects of £354 16 shillings to sons James, a mechanic & William, a sanitary pipe manufacturer. 

Sutton, Overseal

Photo by Mike Shaw.

The only information that I have found for this brickworks is that in 1947,  Sutton & Co. Ltd. of Overseal accepted the fire clay & salt glaze manufacturers agreement on wages for it's workers. 

Coton Park, Linton

  © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1902.

The Coton Park brickworks is shown on maps dated 1881 & 1902, but is shown as disused on the 1920 map. Kelly's 1881 edition lists the Coton Park & Linton Colliery Co. as brickmakers at Linton, Burton on Trent with Walter Hardgraves as manager. Then in Kelly's 1895 edition the listing is Coton Park & Linton Colliery Lim. William Blanch Hodgson, Certificated Manager & Agent, Linton, Burton on Trent. The 1881 map shows the colliery on the same site as the brickworks, but marked as Coton Park Colliery. Also shown on this 1881 map is that both the colliery & brickworks had access to the Coalville to Burton Midland Railway line via their own siding at this date.  

Many Thanks to :-
Frank Lawson - photos
Mike Shaw - photo
Chris Allen - photos
John Goodman - photo
Nigel Furniss - photo
AOC Archaeology - photo of the elephant brand brick found during the excavation of the Woodward site.
Britain From Above - photo
National Library for Scotland - maps
British Brick Society - info 
Archaeology Data Service - info
Swadlincote Library
Magic Attic - info. http://www.magicattic.org.uk