Just another brick in the wall?


 Or a piece of history?


As our builders started work in earnest on cutting the holes in the wall for the front entrance they very kindly handed me  what I’m calling “The Eltringham Brick”. It’s a piece of CastleGate history that we can’t let pass us by. 

This is a brick that’s much denser and heavier than a normal housebrick. It’s glazed on the front and inscribed with the words “The Eltringham Sanitary Pipe & Brick Co” with the significance being that the bricks used to make the CastleGate (once known as the Manors Power Station) were made locally, near Ovingham in Northumberland. The most trustworthy account which mentions the brickworks that I find today is from The Hexham Courant in an article you can find here

It seems the brickworks was set up by the Eltringham Colliery Company
before 1881 on a site adjacent to the colliery and in 1883
the works was leased to Harriman and Co of Blaydon. At this
time it operated as the “Eltringham Brick and Tile Works”
making firebricks and white house bricks. 

The Eltringham Brick

While Harriman
was running the place, they began making salt-glazed sanitary
pipes and when Harriman departed in 1891 a new company was
formed to run the place – this was the “Eltringham Sanitary
Pipe and Brick Company”. As well as pipes (3 inch to 15 inch
diameter), the yard made bricks – mostly salt-glazed. The yard
closed in 1970. It’s hard to clarify that information but there’s no doubt that our bricks were made locally in the late 1800′s.

Bit of local history for you there. Who says we don’t need no education?

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