Report - - Stewartby "London" Brickworks , June 09 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Stewartby "London" Brickworks , June 09


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Visited with UKMayhem and Jim

Stewartby brickworks was home to the world’s biggest kiln and produced 18 million bricks at the height of production.

BJ Forder & Son opened the first brickworks in Wootton Pillinge in 1897.

Wootton Pillinge was renamed Stewartby in 1937 in recognition of the Stewart family who had been instrumental in developing the brickworks.

The firm became London Brick Company and Forders Limited in 1926, and shortened to London Brick Company in 1936.

At the height of the industry’s production there were 167 brick chimneys in the Marston Vale.

In the 1970s Bedfordshire produced 20% of England’s bricks.

At its peak London Brick Company had its own ambulance and fire crews, a horticultural department and a photographic department, as well as its own swimming pool inside the factory, and ran a number of sports clubs.

More than £1 million was spent on Stewartby Brickworks in 2005-7 in an attempt to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions.

The factory used Lower Oxford Clay, which is made up of 5% seaweed, formed 150 million years ago when it was on the sea bed. This removed the need to add coal to the fire, as the organic material burned.

The site closed on 29th February 2008, resulting in the loss of 217 jobs and bringing down the curtain on over a century of brickmaking in the Marston Vale, which in the boom times was home to the largest brickfields in the world.
Had an absolutely cracking day wandering around the site. Complete hijinks all day, from random dashes into cover as a van rumbled past, me seemingly unable to stay on my feet most of the time, and a hilarious climb up one of the chimneys. The site is seriously an epic explore, easily one of my faves.

On with the pics.
















Full set on Flickr

Huge thanks to UKmayhem for this one