"Old Bricks - history at your feet"

England page 22a  Letter: Wh to Wi


Made by Harry Hand at Whaddon near Salisbury.  Photo and info by Andrew Poole.

Wharncliffe Silkstone Colliery Co. Barnsley

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Photographed at Derby Silk Mill Museum by Martyn Fretwell.

Wharncliffe, Woodmoor

Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery, Carlton, Royston, South Yorkshire. Closed 1966. 'A brickyard associated with the colliery produced some 50,000 bricks a week' - A Hill, The South Yorkshire Coalfield, 2001. Other bricks from this site stamped WOODMOOR and W M.  Image PRBCO.

Wharton & Chambers, Kirkby

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.  Martyn Fretwell adds: In the 1916 edition of Kelly's Directory, Wharton & Chambers are recorded at Hodgkinson Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Notts. 

Wheatly Triton, Heavy Duty

Wheatly & Co. are listed in Kellys 1896 to 1940 editions at Springfield Tileries, Newcastle, Staffs. This works had been established by the Wheatly family in 1819. Kellys 1872 to 1884 editions records Wheatly & Cooper at the Springfield works. Wheatly & Co. continued to operate the Springfield works after the last trade directory entry until it was taken over by Daniel Platt in 1978. Wheatly & Co. are also listed as operating a second works at Cobridge, Burslem in Kellys 1892 edition. More info at this Link. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

Wheeldon Mill

This works was near Chesterfield and was in operation by 1896, thanks to Simon Patterson for the photo.

Wheelock, Bromsgrove

  Henry Wheelock who originated from Leicestershire in 1879,  is recorded as brick & tile maker / coal merchant at Newton Linthurst, Blackwell near Bromsgrove in the Bromsgrove Almanack & Trade Directory between 1879 & 1886. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.


Made in Ipswich Suffolk, photo by Des Pawson.  Borin Van Loon has a website on the Ipswich brickyards here.


No info, could be, 1st choice, Whetstone, Leicestershire, but found there is also one in London. Photographed at Carwarden Reclamation Yard by Martyn Fretwell.


The Whetty Brick & Tile Co. Rednal, Birmingham is listed in Kelly’s 1908, 12 & 16 editions. Photo by Colin Wooldridge from the John Cooksey Collection & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

Whinney Hill Plastic, Accrington

Photo by Simon Patterson

Photographed on the seashore at Crosby, Merseyside.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Whitaker, Darwen & Mill Hill

Photos by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Found in Burnley by Pat Woolven.

Whitaker, Leeds

Bricks were made at Pool Bank and Horsforth from 1881 marked B W S or Horsforth.  In 1901 Benjamin Whitaker had a branch at Peak/Ravenscar where bricks marked B W S and Ravenscar can be found. By 1923 B Whitaker & sons (1923) Ltd had works in Bramley, Horsforth, Holbeck and Kirkstall and owned the Leeds Patent Brick Co. and Huncoat Plastic Brick & Terracota Co. in Accrington.  An Elland Road site had been opened by 1929 with bricks marked Whitaker/Elland Road/ Leeds.  The commonly seen red facing bricks marked Whitaker/ Leeds were probably made at Elland Road.  Soothill Brickworks, Woodkirk was owned by 1949 and the company is last listed in a telephone directory of 1971.  Info PRBCO.


Found in a garden in Leeds, photo by Steve Kind. Michael Hammett writes:  This is from B. Whitaker & Sons Ltd, Elland Road Brickworks, Leeds.  They used Lower Coal measure Clay (below Beeston coal).  

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.


Found by Frank Lawson at Ravenscar Brickworks, Yorkshire.  Site owned by Whitaker, Leeds.

Found in Harrogate, photo by David Gamble.

Both found by Nigel Megson in South Yorks.  Presumed to be made by Whitakers, Leeds but the FT is a mystery.

Whitaker, Lyons St.

Benjamin Whitaker Jnr., Lyons Street Brick Works, Sheffield:  White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham 1905.  Photo and info by Frank Lawson.

Clifford White

Clifford White & Co, are listed in Kellys 1922 to 1937 editions at West Mersea, Colchester & Weeley, Clacton on Sea. It appears Clifford White was a builder, brickmaker, shop owner, draper, builders merchant, timber merchant & undertaker, so a bit of an allrounder. Photos of the two works at this Link. Info & Photo by Martyn Fretwell. 

R White

Robert White, Lady's Bridge, Wicker & Brightside Lane, Sheffield: Directory & Topography of Sheffield 1862.  Photo and info by Frank Lawson.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell courtesy of the Bill Richardson Collection at Southwick Hall.


Discovered amongst demolition rubble in Central Manchester, this refractory brick is likely to have derived from a brickworks at Whitebirk, near Blackburn. The exact provenance is uncertain, although it may have been a product of the Queen Red Facing Brick Co Ltd, an unsuccessful brickworks that was started in about 1903. Following early failure, the company was reformed in 1907 by George Knowles as the Queen Brick Co (Blackburn) Ltd. Production appears to have been very sporadic, and the company was liquidated in 1909.  Photo and info by Ian Miller.


Found on the foreshore at Workington, Cumbria.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Found on Seascale beach by Sam Gary, note the reversed E.

Whitehead, Ilkeston

John Whitehead, brickmaker at Bath Street, Ilkeston is listed in White’s 1857 edition. Photographed in Derbyshire by Martyn Fretwell who also supplied the info.
Whitehead, Nottingham

William Whitehead is recorded as brickmaker at St Ann’s Hill Road, Nottingham in Kelly’s 1855 & White’s 1864 editions. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

J Whitehouse, Bloomfield

James Whitehouse is listed in Kelly’s 1860 to 1888 editions at Bloomfield, Tipton as a blue brick manufacturer. Then the entry in Kelly’s 1892 & 96 editions is The Bloomfield Brick Co. (late James Whitehouse), Bloomfield, Tipton. This works is then listed as The Bloomfield & Stourbridge Blue & Red Brick Co. Bloomfield in Kelly’s 1900 & 04 editions. Also see Bloomfield entry. Info & Photographed at the Black Country Living Museum by Martyn Fretwell.

Whitehouse, Nottingham

 Photo by Martyn Fretwell. Courtesy of Nottingham City Museums & Galleries.

Whitfield, Gloucester

Thanks to Duncan for this one.  David Kitching adds: G. T. Whitfield opened his brickworks on Robins Wood Hill, Tuffley, Gloucester, in the early 1890s. It was closed by the 1950s.

Whitfield, Walsall

Photo by Ray Martin.

The nearest match I can find for Whitfield is John & Thomas Whitefield, Dark Lane, Walsall who are listed in Kellys 1888 to 1904 editions. The 1900 OS map shows the Whitefield's brickworks was next to Henry Boys’s Paddock Brick Works on Dark Lane & today this road is known as Lincoln Road & houses are built where both brickworks had stood. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.


Whitstone Brick & Tile Co Ltd, Bridgrule, Holsworthy SS263015. Photo by David Kitching, part of the collection at Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum.

Whittingham & Co, Birkenhead

This brick came from a house in Palm Grove, Claughton, Birkenhead called "Chandos Montana". It was a large Victorian house built in 1855/6 for the railway contractor Thomas Brassey. The architect was Charles Verelst of Liverpool & Birkenhead. The builders were John & William Walker, who came from Edinburgh in the 1820's and by the 1850's were the leading builders in the town. The brick is of "Lancashire" size (4 courses to 13.5 or 14 inches) and was recovered when the house was demolished in the autumn of 1982.  As yet i've been unable to find out the manufacturor, photo and info by David Kitching.

Whitwick Colliery

also see entry for N.C.B. Whitwick.

Whitwick Colliery was in Coalville, Leicestershire.  This brick was found near Rhyl station
so its a case of the railway being used to import bricks from far afield.

Spotted in Wigston, Leicester by Alex Betteney.

Found in Worksop by Simon Patterson.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection, found near Thurgarton.

Found near the old water tower at Roade, Northants by Nigel Furniss

This one is most unusual for showing G Smith, Manager on the brick.  George Smith was a great reforming character in Victorian times. These two websites give an idea of how bad conditions were in the brickmaking industry in the 19th Century and George Smith's attempts to improve matters:  http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/georgesmith.html  and  http://www.crick.org.uk/smith.html 
Thanks to Keith Woodward for the info and Martyn Fretwell for the photo.

Found during building work in Desford (Leicestershire). A quick look on the internet, shows William Stenson as the entrepreneur who sunk the original Whitwick pit shaft in1824. This could well be a much later commemoration brick. Photo and info by Alwyn Sparrow.

Found at an old house in Rushden, Northants by John.

This is the underneath to a coping brick which formed a ridge of bricks along the top of a wall. Photographed at Cadeby Reclamation yard by Martyn Fretwell.
Wigley & Shirley

Burslem is stamped on the reverse of this brick & Kelly’s Staffs. 1880 edition lists Wigley & Shirley ; office, Moorland Road ; works, Moorland Road, Burslem SOT. Found that George Wigley is recorded in Kelly’s at Sylvester Square, Burslem from 1876 to 1884 producing fireclay bricks. Then information from a Census record & a London Gazette Liquidation Notice dated 1880, that it was George's son, William Henry Wigley who was in the partnership with Elijah Shirley at Sylvester Square (Moorland Road) producing pottery stilts & spurs & red bricks when they went bankrupt in June of 1880. The Liquidation Notice also records Wigley & Shirley as having a second works at Port Vale Tileries, Wolstanton producing blue bricks. Info & Photographed at Apedale Heritage Centre by Martyn Fretwell.

Wigwell Brick Co.

Kelly’s 1895 edition records The Wigwell Brick & Tile Co. Limited at Whatstandwell, Matlock Bath with William C. Shaw as manager. This works is shown as disused on the 1900 OS map. The Wigwell Brick Works is listed as being previously owned by Mathew Shaw in Kelly’s 1887 & 1891 editions. Also see Mathew Shaw entry. Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Wilcock, Leeds

Wilcock & Co., Leeds - listed in trade directories 1867 - 1887 at various addresses in the Burmantofts district of Leeds. Image PRBCO.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.  William Wilcock was one of the founders of the famous Burmantofts Pottery works - found at Menston, W.Yorks. http://http//www.studiopottery.com/cgi-bin/mp.cgi?item=315

Found on the seashore at Crosby, Merseyside.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell from the David Penney Collection.

Wilderness, Mitcheldean

Made by Wemyss & Co. Mitcheldean, see that entry for a history of the works.

Wilkins & Webster, Coventry

This brickworks on Stoney Stanton Road, Foleshill, Coventry was established by B. Wilkins & Son on land leased from the Hon. Cecil S. Irby. Webster joined the company in 1888 & originally the works operated three down draught kilns with three more being added before a Hoffmann kiln was constructed. This new Hoffmann kiln produced 100,000 bricks per week. After being renamed Webster Brick & then Webster Hemming the works closed around 2012 with the last two chimney’s being demolished with explosives on the 15th May 2016. Kelly’s trade directory entries for the works are as follows :- Benjamin Wilkins, Foleshill, 1876. - Wilkins & Webster, Stoney Stanton Road, 1892. - Websters Limited/Brickworks, Stoney Stanton Road, 1900. - Webster Hemming & Co. Stoney Stanton Road, 1940. Also see the Webster, Coventry entry & this excellent link to photos of the closed works in 2012.   Info & Photographed at Cawarden Rec. Yard by Martyn Fretwell.

Wilkinson, Burslem and Longport

Samuel and Jim Wilkinson had brickworks in Burslem and Longport.  The brick below has a curious tale: Samuel had a son named Frank Bernard, because he wanted to draw attention to the excellence of the bricks they made and to also get his son a mention he decided the bricks trade name should be Bern-Ard.  When Jim got to hear of this he was totally against the idea.  All the moulds were destroyed and the name Bern-Ard passed into history.  The example below is a rare survivor of a family dispute. 


Found in Longton, Stoke on Trent by Ken Perkins.

Wilkinson, Dringhouses

Made in the south of York city.  A report by the University of York and the City of York council says "The brick-making industry existed in this area from at least the 14th century. Evidence from the 19th and early 20th century exists across the Hob Moor area.  Photo and info by David Soulsby.

Wilkinson, Dudley

 Info from a family website records George G. Wilkinson as a Fire brick manufacturer around 1864 & in 1901 living at St.James Road, Dudley. Photo by Colin Wooldridge from the John Cooksey Collection & Info sent by Martyn Fretwell.

Samuel Wilkinson, Elland - S. W. S.

Found in an 1880's house in Manchester by John T Pitman.

Photo by Darrell Prest.

Photo by Simon Patterson, taken in Hebden Bridge.  All made at the Storth works in Elland, West Yorks.

William Bostock, Ilkeston

 The front and back of a W B & Co. brick found near Ilkeston.  Clayton & Co were the makers of the brickmaking machinery.  Martyn Fretwell writes :- Info from a family tree site. It could be a William Bostock of Bath Street, Ilkeston, born 1781 and was a brickmaker in the 1841 census. He had 3 sons

Photos by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

William David Boothman

Found near Mabgate in Leeds by John Pease.  William David Boothman is listed in White's Clothing District Directory of 1870 as (exors. of) Beckett Street & Potternewton, Leeds.  Info PRBCO.

William Sutcliffe

William Sutcliffe operated Armley brick Works, Stanningley Road, Armley, Leeds and Woodhouse Hill Brickworks.  Listed between 1875 and 1912.  Info and image PRBCO

Robert Williams, Bradford, Manchester

Robert Williams & Co established a firebrick works on Ashton New Road in the Bradford area of east Manchester in c 1850. In addition to firebricks, the firm also produced chimney tops, sanitary tubes and drain pipes. The works comprised two circular kilns, ancillary buildings for preparing the clay and moulding the bricks, and a shaft via which fireclay was extracted from the coal seams beneath the site. The business had been taken over before the late 1870s by Edward Williams, who also operated the nearby Bradford Colliery Brickworks. The works closed in c 1905, when the underground fireclay workings were abandoned. The kilns had been demolished by 1920, by which date a picture house had been built on the site.

These two examples were found on the site of the firebrick works during a recent redevelopment. The one bearing the stamp of 'Williams & Co' presumably dates to the early operation of the works, whilst the latter was probably manufactured during Edward Williams' ownership of the site.  Photos and information by Ian Miller.

Photo by Colin Driver.

J Williams

Martyn has found two Williams in Trade Directories, he is not 100% sure which one but is favouring. J. Williams, Basford Bank, Stoke on Trent is listed in Kelly’s 1860 edition. Info & Photographed at Derby Silk Mill Museum by Martyn Fretwell.

T Williams, Green Lanes

Although I have no trade directory entries for T. Williams, I believe he was a Birmingham brickmaker. I have found that the Albert Brickworks was situated between a road called Bordesley Green & Green Lane, with this works being recorded as being owned by George Savage in 1878. It may have been this works that T. Williams operated before Savage, hence the Green Lanes name on the brick. Please see entry for S & W, Albert Brickworks, Birmingham as I think the W in this partnership with Savage was this T. Williams. Info & Photo by Martyn Fretwell courtesy of the Chris Thorburn Collection.

T Williams (Hartshill)

Thomas Williams, Basford Tileries, Brick Kiln Lane, Hartshill was operating by the 1860s and was still in business in 1904. Photo and information by David Kitching.  Front and back of brick shown.

Henry Williamson & Co.

Found Goole, E.Yorks. 2016, Henry Williamson & Co Ltd, Faxfleet, Howden & Newport.  Kelly's North & East Riding Directory 1897 - 1937.  The works was adjacent to the Market Weighton Canal in the parish of Faxfleet and close to Broomfleet Landing. Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Williamson Cliff

An Italian shipwreck brick!  Vincenzo Agrillo found this one 55 metres down in the wreck on an old steamship off the coast of Italy.

This company started as Towers & Williamson at the Adamantine Clinker Works in Little Bytham near Stamford & is recorded in Kelly’s 1876 edition. Towers & Williamson then opened a second works at Little Casterton Road, Stamford & this works is listed in Kelly’s 1905 edition. The company then split into two & is recorded in Kelly’s 1913 edition, with the Little Bytham Works becoming Towers Adamantine Clinker, Fire & Roofing Tile Co. & the Little Casterton Road Works becoming Williamson Cliff.  Williamson Cliff used Belgian kilns to produce their fireclay bricks which were used by most of the cement companies in the country to line their cement kilns, with Hanson being one of their main customers. The company started to produce hand made facing bricks in 1927 & these were in great demand after WW2 as these bricks matched the colour & texture of the College buildings being rebuilt at both Oxford & Cambridge. In the 1960’s the Works produced hand made roof tiles & in 1986 this relative small Company employed 65 people manufacturing refractories & facing bricks. Buckingham Palace, Nottingham University & the Zealand Court Flats in Westbourne, Bournemouth have all used the Company’s facing bricks. The Works had used Belgian Kilns which had been patented in 1895 by the Dubois d‘Enghien Brothers in Hennuyeres, Belgium & these were replaced in 1993 with solid hearth type kilns & the No.3 Belgian Kiln was last to be demolished in 1998. Williamson Cliff announced the closure of it’s Stamford Works in March 2002, with the buildings being demolished in 2004 & the site then being cleared for housing in 2007. Photo by Colin Wooldridge from the John Cooksey Collection & info by Martyn Fretwell.

Willmott & sons, Cambridge

No info. Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

found in a Northampton reclaimation yard: JOHN WILLS, BRICK & TILE MAKER, KINGSTHORPE ROAD, NORTHAMPTON. Found in a directory of Northampton for July 1874.  Photo and info by Nigel Furniss.

Wills & Packham

Wills and Packham produced bricks from 1890 to 1938 at Murston, Sittingbourne. Using their own barges to transport their bricks, Mr Wills had a house built on Park Road with a large turret room window, so he could watch his barges sail up and down Milton Creek.  Info by Martyn Fretwell and photographed in a Kent reclamation yard.

it is unclear why this one says P W.  Photos by courtesy of the Richard Symonds collection.

Found on the Thames foreshore by Bryan Allen.

Wilson, Broughton Moor

R. Wilson was operating Broughton Moor Colliery and Brickworks in the 1880s. In the 1890s the business traded as Flimby & Broughton Moor Coal & Firebrick Co. Ltd.  Photo and info by David Kitching.

Photo by Mark Cranston.

 Seen at the Snohomish County Lime Kiln path in Washington, USA. Photo by Wendy Wright.

Both found in Barrow in Furness by Richard Cornish.

Wilson & Booth, Meadowhead

Wilson & Booth, Meadowhead, Sheffield. Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Wilson Ilkeston

Possibly - I.Wilson, Ilkeston. Listed as a brickmaker in the Post Office Directory of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire 1855. Photo courtesy of Derby Museums. Info by Frank Lawson.

Wilson, Nantwich

Found during the demolition of a terraced house in Crewe by Mike Christelow.

G L Wilson, Pontrilas

A poor example of a brick made by G L Wilson, Pontrilas.  Pontrilas is a Herefordshire village close to the Welsh border on the Abergavenny to Hereford Road. Pontrilas brickworks was at one time in the same ownership as Hampton Park brick works in Hereford, with the owner recorded in 1876 as G J Wilson and in 1887 as 'George John Wilson of Hereford and Pontrilas' . It seems reasonable to assume that G L Wilson was a member of the same Wilson family. Other Pontrilas bricks have the name 'Bampfield Pontrilas' and a frog closely similar to this one. The works closed at the start of World War I and the site has for many years been a small trading estate. The brick was found near Tredegar.  Photo and info by Richard Paterson.

Wilson Bros. Sandal and Normanton

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Thanks to John Pease for the photo.

Photo by Nigel Megson in Crofton, Wakefield

Found on wasteland in Swillington, Leeds by David Soulsby.

 Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Wilson, Wakefield

Photographed by Simon Patterson at Seymoor Junction signal box Poolsbrook, Derbyshire.

Wilson of Wakefield, photo by Frank Lawson

Wilson & Walker, Pontefract

Photos by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection

Thanks to Darren Haywood for the photo.

Wilton, Norfolk

This brickworks in Hockwold cum Wilton, Norfolk was owned by William Greenfield in 1863, Susan Greenfield in 1875, Charles Greenfield in 1879 & then Amos Warren in 1890. Trade Directory entries as follows - William Greenfield, Hockwold cum Wilton, Brandon, Kellys 1869 edition - Amos Warren, Hockwold cum Wilton, Whites 1890 edition then Kellys 1896 & 1904 editions. Photos & Info by Martyn Fretwell.


Photo taken by Jo Roesen at Broadway station Worcs, read their blog here.  A history of the works can be read on pages 3 to 8 here.


Made by the Wincobank Brick Co. in Sheffield, photo by A.K.A.Demik

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Two photos of an unusual Winco plinth stretcher brick by A K A Demik, from a building in Dodd St, Sheffield, constructed around 1920.

Windhill Brick Co. Wakefield

Windhill Brick Co Ltd., Eastmoor, Wakefield, West Yorks.  Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Windle, Accrington

Photo by Colin Driver.

E Winkle, Port Vale, Burslem

So far the only possible manufacturer of this firebrick that has been located is Elijah Winkle who was in business as a limeburner adjacent to the canal in Longport in 1896.  Photo and info by David Kitching.

Windhill Brick, Wakefield

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Winlaton, Blaydon on Tyne.


Photo by Alan Murray-Rust.  Alan writes: I can only find one brickworks marked in the immediate area of Loxley and Wisewood, which do tend to have some geographic overlap. In view of the fact that one of your Crapper's example is shown as being from Wisewood, my guess is that my Wisewood example represents a renaming of the brand from the same works. The brick certainly gives the impression of being later than the others.

Photo by Pete Williams, who adds: Used in the construction of the outhouse to our stone built property which the deeds place the date of building as approximately 1895. We are in the postal district of Hillsborough which overlaps with the Wisewood and Loxley areas.


A small town on the North Sea coast near Hull.  Probably manufactured by Richard Stephenson listed in the PO directory of 1857 as Farmer and Brick-maker. Although in the village of Hollym approximately 1.5 miles from Withernsea, at this time Withernsea was classed as within the Parish of Hollym until 1892.  Thanks to John Tibbles for the photo and information.

Withnell Brick & Terracota 1912 Ltd.

Now a landfill site, situated near Chorley in Lancashire

Found in Mansfield by Martyn Fretwell

Found by John Davies in his garden near Preston.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Maurizio, a Liverpool football club supporter from Milan made a trip to Liverpool when the old Spion Kop was being demolished in 1994, he got this brick as a souvenir!

Photo by Alan Davies.

Photographed at Bursledon Brick Museum by Martyn Fretwell.

Found at Cobbinshaw (Oil Shale) Pits, West Calder, West Lothian, Scotland by Ian Suddaby.

Withymoor, Netherton, Dudley

 In the 1840’s the Withymoor Brick & Tile Works was owned by William King of Amblecote Hall (King Bros. Fireclay Manufacturers of Netherton & J. King of Stourbridge company) & his firebricks from this Works were used to face the very distinctive Holy Trinity Church in Amblecote. The brickworks was just off Northfield Road in Netherton & was near to the Dudley Canal. It consisted of a kiln, a warehouse & rough land & the site today has Darby End Road flats built upon it.  Photo by Colin Wooldridge from the John Cooksey Collection & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

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