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Rotherham Unofficial

An unofficial website about the town and borough of Rotherham

Brick Making & Sanitary Wares

Nowadays bricks are made in South Yorkshire at Kiveton and Barnsley. It's well over twenty years since the Maltby Metallic Brick Co. was closed down and I believe that was the last Brickworks in the Rotherham area.

D&S Clarke Rotherham
Brick made by D&S Clarke, Rotherham

Brick firms also made tiles and sanitary ware - pipes, soil stacks and traps but not as far as I know lavatories and sinks.

Brick Making

I have been unable to find out much about the brickmaking industry in Rotherham but it must have been very considerable at one time. If you look at the old Ordnance Survey maps of Rotherham and I have copies from 1851, 1893 and 1904, there are innumerable claypits, brickfields and brickworks, particularly from the Parkgate and Rawmarsh areas out to Swinton. Many of the collieries had associated brick works eg. the Bank Pit Brickworks at New Stubbin at Rawmarsh. Coal that was unuseable for fires was crushed and mixed with clay to make hard-wearing bricks for use in the colliery and outside.

I think that our garden must have been a brickfield at one time as we have unearthed all sorts of bricks from it. Most do not have the name of the manufacturer and others are marked LBC or London Brick Company. Local names include Parkgate, Stairfoot, Dinnington, Wombwell, Kilnhurst and Cudworth. We thought these might be colliery bricks made for a named pit rather than the names of specific brickworks.

Companies who existed in the area included 'EFW' or 'E.F', 'D&S Clarke, Rotherham', 'Catchpole and Co, Rotherham', 'RV', 'G. Robinson, Masbro', 'DMO id' and 'Midland Iron Company, Rotherham'. There were doubtless lots more but they've all gone.

The site of Bradgate Brickworks at Kimberworth has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the type and rarity of it flora. I know that this was owned by the Watson estate but I have been able to find out nothing else. I think that this is the site labelled "North Greave Brickworks" on the 1901 map of Masbrough. This is shown just off Wortley Road and the site was part of Robert Jenkins for a while and they something else afterwards but I forget what. In May 2007 I passed by and it looks as if the area is about to be covered by a new housing development - the housing seems to be on the next plot of land.

Information from an espondent re D&S Clarke

"I enjoyed looking at your website very much and was most interested to read your article about brick making in Rotherham. My late Grandmother was related to Daniel & Samuel Clarke (D&S Clarke) and was very proud of her brick making uncles. She always used to point them out whenever she came across poorly made bricks and would comment that old Daniel would never have produced such inferior products!"
"The Clarke family originally came from the Pulham area of Norfolk and migrated north around the 1850's, to join the Catchpole & Batley families who were also brick & clay pipe manufacturers in the area and originally from the same part of Norfolk. As well as producing bricks the Clarkes also built a number of houses locally which they lived in for a time, in the in the early 1900's Samuel & Daniel lived at 26 & 28 Broom Lane, Rotherham which were a pair of splendid semis they had built and called "Holmwood" & "Walney House".
"I was thrilled to see your picture was of a D&S Clarke brick and wondered if you had any more pictures of their bricks? I have attached a picture for you of Daniel Clarke & his niece Emily Bullen taken outside his home, Walney House in Broom Lane which I hope you will find interesting."

Daniel Clarke & his niece Emily Bullen
Daniel Clarke & his niece Emily Bullen

Sanitary Wares

So far I have been unable to find out much at all about the production of sanitary wares other than a few indications on a map such as 'Brick and Sanitary Pipe Works' in Parkgate 1893.

Page amended 2015

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