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Tyne and Wear HER(2217): Backworth, Hotspur Brickworks - Details

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N Tyneside

Backworth, Hotspur Brickworks




Brick and Tilemaking Site


Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

Hotspur Brickworks, adjacent to Backworth Colliery 'C' Pit, (SMR 1057). H Foster and Company made bricks at Backworth from 1877 to 1967, when it was one of the major producers of fireclay goods in North East England. The works’ laboratory site was traditionally known as the Pottery, and it is thought that earthenware was made here in the late 19th century. In the 1930s, red house-building bricks were made and sold under the trade name of HOTSPUR. At this time, the works comprised three Bradley and Craven machine presses, a pug-mixer extruder for firebricks and three power-assisted Titley presses. The most important period seems to have been in the 1930s making Foster High Grade bricks and Foster Crown refractory bricks. In the early 1930s, the yard had three Belgian kilns and about 20 Newcastle kilns. In the Second World War, the company supplied fireclay goods to the Admiralty. After the war (in 1945) house-brick manufacture ceased and only refractory products were made; the Hotspur bricks became defunct. After 1945 domestic brick production ceased and the works became an international exporter of refractory bricks for lining blast furnaces and ships' boilers, with exports made to Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, Turkey, France, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg. In 1948 Belgian kiln No.5 was built, it was the only oil fired one and all the Newcastle kilns were disused. The works were taken over in 1955 by General Refractories Ltd., with fireclay being brought in from a variety of places including Blaydon Burn and Backworth Eccles pit. Mining subsidence forced closure in 1967.




<< HER 2217 >> 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map, 1897, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 81, SW P J. Davidson, 1986, The Brickworks of the North East; John Elliott & Derek Charlton, 1994, Backworth - An Illustrated History of the Mines and Railways

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