Report - London brickwork company, stewartby. beds. Feb 2013

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Southside UE

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Jan 4, 2013
Out There..
Visited back in February, some images from the kilns side of the tracks.

Never made it to the other side of tracks, too much was going on that day on site,

Once the largest brickworks in the world, brick making at Stewartby dates back to 1897 when the first bricks were made here. Stewartby was formerly named Wooton Pillinge, however when the Stewart family took over the brickworks in the early 1900's. The family transformed the hamlet into such a successful model village that later in 1937 Wooton Pillinge was renamed Stewartby in recognition of the Stewart's generous contributions.

The model village comprised of a sports club, church, a town hall and numerous other amenities for the workers and their families to enjoy.

During the 1920's several brick companies all formed a merger in an action to stabilise prices within the market and by 1936 the company was renamed the London Brick Company ltd.

During WW2 the London Brick Co enlisted the help of thousands of women at Stewartby in a bid to maintain the full production of bricks which were crucial to the construction of military and RAF buildings all over the country.

At its peak 2, 000 men and women worked in the bustle and dirt of the plant, however time has gradually eaten away at the buildings and after over a century of brick making, only 4 of the original 23 chimneys remain. The remaining 4 have thankfully been listed by English Heritage along with two kilns.

Recently the works which are now owned by the Hanson Group were given an ultimatum by the Environmental Standards agency since the site was unable to comply with the required safe levels of sulphur dioxide emissions.