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image 1After the fire of London in 1666 there was a move away from timber framed houses towards non flammable products like brick. Bricks were a popular material in Europe and their style influenced British house design. When the brick tax was repealed in 1850, bricks became the most popular external choice.

The colours of the bricks were dependent on the local clay where they were made. Once railways were used to distribute bricks all over the country they became mass produced and more uniformed in colour and style. As techniques improved and kilns became more efficient the bricks improved in shape allowing them to be placed closer together allowing a finer joint and higher quality finish.

The bond of brickwork gave wall strength and pattern. The Flemish bond which was one of the first popular bonds and seen in many Georgian and Victorian properties. The English bond tended to seen more in industrial buildings. The Stretcher bond is more commonly found in present modern housing as it is suitable for a single brick skin allowing for a cavity and block wall behind.



Prior to 1850 bricks were hand-made in Wooden moulds. In the 17th and early 18th centuries bricks tended to be long and thin with irregularities in the shape, surfaces and edges giving a relatively rough texture. During the 18th century bricks became shorter and deeper, more regular and smoother. After 1850 machine made bricks of uniform regular shape and finish ...and replaced hand-made bricks. Borough of Macclesfield

Flemish Bond

English Bond

Stretcher Bond



1 Mixture of rubble, flint and brick 2 Flemish Bond 3 1790s brickwork 4 Flemish bond with red, blue and gault(cream) bricks 5 Timber framed house joined to a Georgian property.

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1 Brick doorway 2 1888 Chimney 3 Ornate brickwork with moulded terracotta panels 4 Tile hung walls and brickwork 5 Brickwork 1882 (notice the unusual pattern of brickwork)

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1 Brick & Flint 2 Red Brick

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Brickwork Products

Reclaimed Building Materials: Bricks

Errol Brick Company Limited Scotland

Period Property Shop: Bricks & Flints

Cawarden Brick & Tile Company

Rayson Reclamation Bricks

Reclaimed Handmade Bricks: ABC Reclaims


Links to Brickwork Articles

The Historic Development by Gerard Lynch

Conserving your historic building: Brickwalls

History of Brickwork: Bricks & Brass

How to buy old and reclaimed bricks: Country Life

Repointing Old Brickwork: Homebuilding

Herringbone Brickwork

Tuckpointing: Austrialia

Brickwork Q&A: SPAB

Creative Brickwork: IBStock

Period Decorators project gallery

Drawing of Medieval Brickwork within Timber Frames

Three Storey Residential Art Deco Flats with Herringbone Brickwork

Ralph Hancock: Herringbone Brick Path

Brunelleschi- herringbone pattern: The Open University

Brick Paving Courses


Useful Research Websites

BBC Homes 1920's:

BBC Homes 1930's

Hidden House History

Francis Frith Photo Archive

The Geffrye Museum

English Architecture: Britain Express

Looking at Buildings: Pevsner Architectural Guides

Forum Debates

Channel 4 Homes Forum

How To Repair Brickwork- Youtube

Creative Brickwork

Philip Webb: The Pioneer of Arts and Crafts Architecture

BDA Guide to Successful Brickwork








Post War