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Report - Selborne Clay Brick's Ltd - Alton - Hampshire - Apr 2011

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by TrevBish, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. TrevBish

    TrevBish www.TrevBish.co.uk
    Regular User

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    I thought about this place a few days ago after visiting here when i was a child on a school trip. Long and behold the place is shut now, it has been shut since Nov 09 but plans on the gate and online said they wanted to open it again last year but to no avail, so i thought i would take a chance and visit which paid off! The land is huge but the kiln area is rather small. All the machines remain and are un-chaved. The old machines are amazing and the old brick kilns are still outside.

    Visited with the girlfriend as she always asks about where I go and why, so I thought, stuff it, you come with me! I think she loved it as much as I did and started walking off before me while I was taking the pictures.

    I would love a re-visit if anyone is up for it as i ran out of time to do the ROC post near it.

    All the machines and Kilns are if the clock has stopped. This place could start working again instantly! Everything is there, untouched since the last person clocked out. Hopefully this will re-open soon!

    A brief history lesson:

    Tower Brick & Tile Company Limited have been making handmade Selborne bricks and roof tiles at their site near Selborne since 1872. However, the company went into administration on 6 November 2009

    From there website:
    Selborne Bricks are hand made by craftsmen using traditional methods. Our senior craftsmen have been here for over 25 years.
    We make our bricks from extruded clay. This process confers fantastic strength and frost resistance combined with the variation and craftsmanship of a handmade brick. Walls made from Selborne Bricks are beautiful, strong and long lasting.

    Bricks have been made on the site since Roman times. The key to our bricks properties lie in the clay, which is quarried locally. It is gault clay, some 60 million years old. The fine particles in our clay contribute to the strength and frost resistance. As part of the traditional process we mix the clay with about 10% sand.

    The colour in our bricks comes from iron and other oxides which are created during the firing process at temperatures of up to 1050oC. Precise temperature varies slightly through our kilns as does the detailed composition of the clay in the brick. The result is that we produce bricks of varied colour. Our samples represent the range of the colour, but not necessarily the proportion of each colour as this varies from firing to firing.

    When the firing is complete and the kiln is emptied the bricks are sorted by hand for quality and colour, under the direction of our two most senior craftsmen. The lighter, near orange bricks are Tudor Reds. The darker ones are Hampshire Reds and any with blue or brown in them are Multi Reds.

    We add no colouring to our clay, preferring to rely on nature. Our bricks therefore have no problems being laid with lime mortars. Because we have natural variation, we do not mix blends.




    1 The Kiln Stack
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    2
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    3 Off Cuts
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    4 Love this picture
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    5 Every brick was stamped
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    6 Inside the office which was locked tight
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    7 Modern Kiln
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    8
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    9 Tracked wheel for the Kiln trolly
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    10
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    11
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    12 Grease!
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    13
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    14 These were massive cogs!
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    15
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    16
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    17
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    18 Lonely bike!
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    19 Base of Kiln stack
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    20 Orginal Kiln's
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    21
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    22
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    23 Lunchtime work out!
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    24 Anyone for tea?
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    25
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    26
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    27 Molds
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    28
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    29
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    30
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