Industrial record MCC5344 - Brickmaking around West Bergholt


Old field names in West Bergholt which indicate brick and tile making were: 'Clay Field', 'Kiln Field', Tiles Upper and Lower', 'Tiles Hoppet (or Hoppit)' and 'Tiles Field'.


Grid reference Centred TL 947 292 (424m by 200m)
Map sheet TL92NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Production from 1570. <1>

Old field names in West Bergholt which indicate brick and tile making were: 'Clay Field', 'Kiln Field', 'Tiles Upper and Lower', 'Tiles Hoppet (or Hoppit) and 'Tiles field'. (Ref: Essex Archaeological Society Transactions, Vol. VIII, New Series, pps. 285-327).

The previous name of Coney Byes farm (NGR: TL 950292) was 'Brickhouse Farm'. The fields surrounding this farm include 'Tiles Hoppet' and 'Kiln Field' which names have been in use since the seventeenth century.

However, there is evidence of brickmaking in West Bergholt back to before 1570. Wills dating from 1571 have shown the existence of several brickmakers through the year.

As now, brickmaking was not always conducive to the environment and two interesting cases have been recorded:

1) In 1621 four men apeared in Court for digging clay for brick and tile on the Heath.

2) In 1665 Samuel Bigesby ws before the Court for 2erecting a cottage ther (the Heath) and for digging pit for brick earth and tile earth and not filling up or covering of these pits where the same were so digged, whereby the cattle of the neighbouring inhabitants of the same parish, who have right of commoning, have been drowned or otherwise prejudiced".

Thomas Hurrell was a brickmaker in West Bergholt who died in 1815.

The 1841 census recorded no less than eighteen men employed as brickmakers or bricklayers.

Site Assessment:
Impact assessment prior to any proposed works to determine nature, date, location of extent of buried structures/kilns with further intrusive works if warranted.

Ref: Some of the above information came from an exhibition held at the Central Library, Colchester in July, 1985.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> DESC TEXT: Corder-Birch, A. 1997. Survey of Brickworks in Essex.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2015 11:41AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.