Brick Making and Brick Building in the Midlands (1437-1780)

Mike Kingman.

Brick building came to the Midlands in the 15th century when its adoption reflected its prestige amongst the aristocracy and episcopacy. This study explores its wider acceptance and diffusion and describes the pattern and volume of a locally distinctive material. By 1780 its practical advantages saw its use in churches, chapels, gardens, estate buildings and early industrial factories. As ‘hard’ brick it was a significant factor in the development of industrial kilns. 

Based on documentary sources the text examines such factors as the technology of brickmaking, the price of bricks, building costs, the availability of other materials, the impact of fire and the social value attached to brick. It particularly emphasises the visual impact of brick on the landscape, for example in 1789 Lord Torrington recorded that ‘At Grantham they leave of the stone and build with flaming red brick of which Newark is built and looks like a new town.’

The book is an academic study of
over 1200 references which explores the question of ‘Why did People Build in Brick’?’ It discusses the pragmatic answers of availability, price building costs and transport but also emphasises the social value attached to brick and its impact on the visual landscape.

The book also contains references to Leicestershire such as post-Dissolution brick houses, the late adoption of brick in Leicester, the building of Beaumanor and many others. The author’s enthusiasm for the subject in part arose from the Centre for Local History’s MA course during the Hoskins/Everitt era.

  • Price: £14.95
  • Publisher: Brewin Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-85858-758-5

Copies may be purchased from booksellers after 22 September 2023 or directly from the author at

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