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Report - Porth Wen Brickworks and Llanlleiana porcelain works - Dec 2010



Morrisey

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
After being inspired by other peoples photos and also being in the area i used the opportunity to visit these long abandoned industries.

If you get to visit this place don't forget your crab lines, the harbour wall is perfect for it. :thumb

History courtesy of http://www.penmorfa.com/porthwen/

It is thought that the making of bricks started in the early part of the 20th century. The type of brick produced was based on the local yellow clay rather than the usual red house brick. They were capable of withstanding a higher temperature that normal bricks and may have been used for the lining of kilns and furnaces.

In 1906 a German by the name of Steibel took over the running of the works and tried to make it a profitable concern. The bricks were cut into shape with a sharp wire before they were baked. To assist in the baking two experts were employed from Ruabon and the quality of the bricks made at this time was extremely high.

In 1908 the works were again taken over by a Mr Charles Tidy. He introduced a new method for brick making in which the clay was pressed into shape rather than cut with wires. The result was that the bricks were left with a hollow frog.
Despite the good quality brick and tiles produced, transport was always a major problem for the works. All raw materials and products had to be transported by sea. A small quay was built for the loading and unloading of ships. However the position of the works meant that as well as the effects of tides, a heavy swell was often encountered. The small vessels were often battered while at the quayside - hitting the rocky seabed caused much damage to the craft. Many owners refused to risk their ships mooring there.

Just before the First World War the quality of the kiln firing seems to have worsened. This is rumoured to have been because of disagreements between Charles Tidy and his foreman. Even today around the site examples of under fired bricks can be seen slowly disintegrating while the over glazed bricks remain fused together in piles.

The works closed at the start of the First World War and most of the useful equipment and machinery was removed to be used by a firm in Caernarfon some time before the Second World War.
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Incline haulage
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Why was the floor raised, drying shed, heating?
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From here head up the coastal path for about a mile and you come to this place.

Llanlleiana porcelain works​

Between Porth Wen and Cemaes Bay are the remains of Llanlleiana porcelain works which is situated at the most northerly point in Wales. It produced porcelain from deposits of china clay found on Dinas Gynfor nearby. The works consists of a main building and a remote chimney, this was to direct the noxious fumes away from the working areas. The works closed in 1920 after being damaged by fire.
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Area were the China clay was extracted?
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