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Report - Clockhouse Brickworks Capel, Dorking – Surrey (October 2015)

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by kkj, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. kkj

    kkj 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Apr 8, 2010
    Likes Received:
    First things first, this is my first ever report (and our first explore in several years) and I would like to apologies in advance for the quality of the photos taken (unfortunately I do not own a fancy SLR camera, and we visited the site while it was night)

    Where: Capel, Surrey
    Built: c1933-1988
    Abandoned: 2009
    Listed: No
    Visited: 2015

    After completing some research about the place Carcrazy and I decided to take a later night visit. The place was easy to find although there was a security presence on site.


    The Clock House Brick Company Ltd was founded c.1933 to exploit a rich deposit of high-quality Weald Clay to the south of the Surrey village of Capel. Although the outbreak of war in 1939 brought some demand for bricks to help with the war effort, there was apparently little need for the high-grade hollow ceramic blocks which were Clockhouse's main product and conscription meant that there was also a severe shortage of labour. By 1941, the Company was in liquidation and sold the majority of its share capital to the London Brick Company (LBC) to avoid closing the works. In 1945, the Company was wound up for good and the works were acquired by the LBC. Under LBC, production was substantially increased, aided by the 1950s housing boom and in the 1960s the works was rebuilt to cope with ever increasing demand.

    The global financial crisis of 2008 hit the building materials industry hard: a sudden slump in housing prices meant that house-building ground almost to a halt and demand for bricks plummeted. In March 2009, a 'phased closure programme' which began later that month and led to the loss of 61 jobs with indication that there was no intention to re-activate the brickworks or extract clay from the adjacent pits. Since closure, Clock House Brickworks has been in limbo, slowly being stripped of anything valuable while a lengthy audit determines the planning conditions surrounding re-use of the site. Plans for an incinerator ('energy from waste facility') on the site, bitterly opposed by local residents, were thrown out by a High Court Judgment in 2009 and the future of the site is now uncertain.

    Having walked around the premises we successfully gained entrance and although it was clear being left derelict for so many years has not been kind to the place and we had not been the only recent visitors, once inside the place seemed huge, and was full of interesting places to explore. It looked as if the site had been in operation one day then closed the next, with much of the machinery still present and a fair amount of stock (bricks) lying about the place and even some past employees personal possessions.

    20151003_200625.jpg 20151003_200645.jpg
    Control gauge on wall
    Racks to hold bricks
    20151003_200800.jpg 20151003_200831.jpg 20151003_200935.jpg 20151003_200939.jpg 20151003_200946.jpg 20151003_201013.jpg
    Stairs to cross large pipe on 2nd floor


    20151003_201236.jpg 20151003_201439.jpg 20151003_201643.jpg An office on the 2nd floor
    Frying pan and paylsip
    20151003_201901.jpg 20151003_201940.jpg 20151003_202004.jpg 20151003_202036.jpg 20151003_202057.jpg 20151003_202536.jpg 20151003_202631.jpg 20151003_202738.jpg Looked like the post room, had a view over the building

    Hope you enjoy! Thanks for reading
    #1 kkj, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    OPEN&ENTER likes this.

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  2. carcrazy

    carcrazy 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jun 24, 2011
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    good explore. keep it up :thumb
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