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Report - - Clockhouse Brickworks - Capel - December 2016 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Clockhouse Brickworks - Capel - December 2016

Grom

Recovering Fisheye-aholic
Regular User
#1
There has been a good few reports on Clockhouse Brickworks over the last couple years, however none since they put up the new fence and filled in a lot of the access points.
This didn't stop me and Brewtal however, as we ninja'd our way inside. That said, it was by far the hardest access I've ever found, full credit to the people who sealed this place up as they did a top job.
We had been planning this explore for a little while now, including drone photography and scouting trips, so it was satisfying to say the least when the plan came together at the end.

I visited here back in early 2015, so its was interesting to see what had changed and how much is still intact.

It's sad to say that it has been well trashed and vandalised since the last visit. The last 18 months have not been kind to Clockhouse, which might be why they have erected a big fence around it. It certainly seems be a magnet for undesirables who want to steal copper and lead etc.

This said, it's still remarkable how much machinery and tooling is still left, despite years of decay.


I actually used to know someone who was an ex-employee here who told me a little about it. He said that shortly before it closed they had spent vast amounts of money on a new piece equipment/machinery, all of which went to complete waste.
Not sure whether its true or not, but he claimed that due to the requirement to comply with new Health and safety standards, it worked out to be more expensive to bring the site up to scratch, than it was to close it and start from scratch elsewhere. I'd imagine in reality this was one of a few factors that lead to it's closure.
It's pretty sad because he said he really enjoyed working there.


History

'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. The outbreak of war in 1939 was bad news for brickmaking, as housebuilding effectively ceased and the workforce was swallowed up by conscription. Although there was some demand for bricks to be used in military engineering projects, there was little use for the high-grade ceramic blocks made at Clock House. 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 to meet demand from the recovering housing market and in the 1960s the factory was rebuilt to accommodate more efficient production methods.

London Brick was acquired by Hanson PLC in 1984 the works was refitted shortly afterwards to produce multi stock bricks under the Butterley and Capel brand names. In 1998, Clockhouse Bricks were used by three major exhibitors in that year's Ideal Home Show and by 2000, Clock House was be Hanson’s main soft mud production site, making around 42 million bricks per year.

The global financial crisis of 2008 hit the building materials industry hard, however: a sudden slump in housing prices meant that house-building ground almost to a halt and demand for bricks plummeted. In March 2009, Hanson announced a 'phased closure programme' which began later that month and led to the loss of 61 jobs. Hanson have since indicated that there is 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.'

(http://derelictmisc.org.uk/industrial/clockhouse.html)



The Explore

As previously mentioned, they have erected a 6ft palisade fence all the way around the site. Getting past this was surprisingly easy, getting inside the building was not. We sneaked round the outside of the building look for ways in. We saw one potential one, but it seemed tricky. After ruling out every other option(not that we had many others) we decided to give it a go. It took a couple of goes but we managed it just about.
We were in!

It's almost overwhelming to see the vast array of machinery, walkways and control panels. It's hard to know where to even start at photographing it.

Getting out proved to both easier but more painful. I managed to slip and ended up with a nice big bruise an inch below the nipple. It certainly got Brewtal worried.
Exploring is dangerous kids.


Drone Shots

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Interior Shots

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The Drying oven

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The Tool room. There used to be a big pillar drill in here, but that has disappeared.

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The press for the bricks.

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The chair shot, of course.

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The maintenance room has been trashed.

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Lol.

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Also here is a drone video from back in August before the fence went up.



Thanks for reading and happy Christmas!
 

Landie_Man

"Landie" or Harry
Regular User
#2
I did this one about four years ago. Jesus Christ I can't believe it was that long ago!

Was in a much better state then, but all things considered it's not done too badly really. Good to see the presses and kilns still there.
 

RustyG

The world's most awkward urbexer...
28DL Full Member
#3
Some excellent pics there mate n im liking the drone footage! I've mooched around the quarry before but never actually been into the works themselves, after lookin at your pics I might have to head up there this afternoon!:thumb
 

WeThreeExplorers

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#4
Popped in here today after failing at the mortuary. The place is locked tight but we found our way into the site. We could only get access to the old brick building (which is surrounded by Heras Fencing and about to be demoloshed!) Once we realised our exit had been blocked we were actually grateful to see security!! He explained that a chap in the overlooking house had called him &, after initally hollering at us, was actually ok. The site cant be demolished due to endangered bats & newts so it will probably be around for some time yet.
 

Grom

Recovering Fisheye-aholic
Regular User
#5
Getting into the site is easy, getting inside the main building was very hard indeed. I reckon they have sealed even more of the entry points by now.
 

WeThreeExplorers

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#6
The pigeons were struggling to get in! Security are living on site and are from 'up North' so taking their job seriously.
Getting out was a choice between the risk of impaling myself or hoping he was friendly.