Report - The London Brick Company - Stewartbys - April 2014

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nov 11, 2013
The Explore

I explored the site with Lone Shadow and after a bit of fun with the directions and Sat Nav we finally got underway and arrived at the Town of Stewartby. The town itself is quite picturesque for a modern brick town and hallmarks of the Brick Company are present throughout. Due to the massive size of the old site entry was relatively straight forward. A few of the large kilns still remain along with Four of the Original massive brick chimneys.

Among the ruins of the demolished buildings are a few of the old massive kilns, A few of the production buildings and four of the massive brick chimneys. What remains is heavily fortified by a mixture of festival style fencing, bricked up entrances and the more severe 8ft razor tipped fences to protect from theifing scumbags and vandals. The buildings inside are pretty typical however there are still plenty of "relics" to the old cement and brick producing days including documents, CAD drawings and diarys (dating in some places back to the 60s). The best part was exploring the old plant machinery and cement dust in places was 4 inches deep and hid some nice surprises underneath if you wasn't watching where you tred.

There are still trinkets of old machinery, control stations, conveyors and glimpses of how the plant would have operated in the past. We also found a pleasant Gypsy gift, a few limestone preserved dead animals and an old Amstrad PC in the mix to add to the entertainment. One of the buildings seems to have been sold onto another interest and after exploring the perimeter it became obvious that it was no longer vacant and prompted a visit from secca in a Ford KA marking that it was time to depart. It was a fun explore though and a good glimpse into the past.


The London Brick Company owes its origins to John Cathles Hill. In 1889, Hill bought the small T.W.Hardy & Sons brickyard that was incorporated as the London Brick Company in 1900.

London Brick merged with Malcolm Stewart's B.J. Forder, along with London Brick, one of the four main groupings in the fletton industry. The resulting company for a while called L.B.C. & Forders went on to acquire other brick firms in the late 1920s giving it a dominant position in the fletton industry. They moved to an area of Bedfordshire and started the London Brick Company and Stewartby after the family name in 1926 for the workers of the company.

Production was primarally by rail and a railway line and station were installed to supply the factory and a working level crossing for the brickworks along with the junction and supply lines still remain. In 1931 the company was producing 1000 million bricks per year and in 1935 increased to 1,500 million. The end of WW2 saw a repair and housing boom and production peaked at 1750million bricks over 60% of the market.

The site closed in 2008 when the current owners Hanson couldn't meet the UK limits for sulphur dioxide emissions. The site was closed and largely demolished. A few buildings remain along with four chimneys that were spared demolition and listed for preservation marking Bedfordshire's brick-related history. These will remain and will be incorporated into future developments.

1) The Site from the Railway

2) The Level Crossing that crosses the plant road

3) The Railway Junction and Supply Lines

4) The Old Kilns and Chimneys

5) An old Memento of Bygone Days

6) An Old Workroom


8) The Plant Floor

9) Stairway to Heaven

10) Control station

11) Mind the Gap!

12) Nothing a lick of paint won't sort

13) Onwards and Upwards

14) Machinery at it's basic level

15) Conveyor Belt Porn

16) What's this button do?

17) Not Drinking Water





22) The Admin Building

23) Right in the Child Hood

24) A Real life Save Icon!

25) Empty except for some old POP3 Mail Settings

26) No doubt full of plenty of H+S info

27) Some old CAD drawings

28) A blast from the past

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
Aug 3, 2013
Superb report mate! It was an enjoyable explore with plenty to see. Dusty and dangerous mind. Blasted razor wire. Made for some unconfortable manouvers.

The Lone Shadow

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