The Verwood and District Potteries Trust

Local building - brick

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What happened to the bricks?

In an area of potteries and kilns you might expect brick to be the dominant building material. So at first it is a surprise to find so much cobb.

Verwood was the centre for a thriving brick industry. The coming of the railway in the 1870s eased transport of heavy goods. A brick company, later called the Verwood and Gotham Brick and Tile Company, was established right next to the station and until 1945 was served by its own siding.

Brickworkers with their product drying in stacks behind them.
Photograph: The Brickworks, about 1910.

The station is the clue to the matter. Verwood bricks were destined for the rapidly expanding town of Bournemouth. They were far too valuable to waste on local dwellings.

Two men mould bricks by hand.As late as 1890 bricks were still being hand moulded in the smaller yards. Pictured is Harry Bailey (on the left) working in the China Cottage Brickyard at Crendell.