Porthwen Brickworks

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norman

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Visited this location late last summer after seeing it on this site penmorfa.com

Information on this site is quite rare on the internet, however, there are conflicting reports on when this site opened, either 1850 or around 1900. In 1906, the works were bought by a Mr Steilbel, who employed two experts from the Ruabon Brickworks in Wrexham who introduced a technique of cutting the un-baked bricks with wire. Two years later a Mr Charles Tidy took over, his method was to press the clay into a mould, resulting in distinctive shape. Around the same time, a Japanese glazer named Cozo Nakamura worked at Porthwen producing tiles.
As a result of the local clay having high silica content, the bricks that were produced here were of much higher quality and resistance than normal red house bricks which meant they would have been the bricks of choice when constructing structures like furnaces, there are also reports of the bricks being used in the construction of Liverpool Docks. The location of the works caused constant transport problems for the company. The raw material was quarried a few hundred meters away and transported via a “tramway and gravity worked incline”, but the end product had to be shipped away, as there wasn’t [and still isn’t] road access. A quay was built for ‘exporting’, but the area wasn’t very sheltered, meaning some shipping companies refused to do business with the company.
Production finished in 1914 because of disagreements between C.Tidy and his foreman, as well as possible effects of the First World War. Useful machinery was removed from the site to before 1935.
[from here ]
Other Links :
Brit Brick Soc
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Vintage Anglesea

Some Photos . . .

Porthwen Bay

Remains of the Boiler House


Standing in the Workshops area, looking at a chimney

Beehives !

.norman.
 

Bishop

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Thats a wind up when you're trying to research a sites
history and you get conflicting reports on dates etc.
Good stuff though Norm especially your first pic I really
like that shot. :)
 

James Hall

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Nice work, I've been looking longingly at this place for quite a while now but every time I go up to that neck of the woods I never quite get there. Still, there's always next time. Very cool looking place anyway.
 

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