"Old Bricks - history at your feet"

English bricks page 22b - Wo to Wy, X, Y


Wokingham Brickworks (WK) was owned by Thomas Lawrence. Originally he worked as a Draper in Binfield, Berkshire and by 1865, he owned a large department store in Bracknell High Street selling everything from food to ironmongery. From 1893 his company owned several brickworks at Bracknell, Swinley, Easthampstead, Pinewood, Wokingham and Warfield. His bricks have been used in the building of the Albert Hall, Westminster Cathedral and in restoration work at 10 Downing Street and Hampton Court Palace. Photo and info by Martyn Fretwell. Also see entry for Thomas Lawrence of Bracknell (TLB).


Jas. Clayton,Carlton Road & Wollaton, Nottingham:  White's History, Gazetteer & Directory of Nottinghamshire,1885.   London Gazette May 1886 - James Clayton, Wollaton Brick & Pipe Works, Nottingham. Brickmaker - ceased trading, in liquidation.  Photo and info by Frank Lawson.

Wombwell, see also N.C.B. Wombwell

Wombwell is near Barnsley, Yorkshire, photo by Simon Patterson

Thanks to Stuart for the above photos.

James Womersley

 The owner of this JW brick has it recorded as James Womersley, Marsh Brickworks, Pudsey, Yorks. This works may have been short lived as it does not appear on the 1890 map & is shown as disused on the 1906 map. The 1901 Census for Pudsey reveals that James Womersley was a Woollen Manufacturer & from what I have been told it appears that he owned the brickworks as well. The 1901 Census also records Walter Baxendale as Brickworks Manager, his son James Baxendale is listed as brickworks foreman & William Partridge is listed as brickmaker, with all of them living in Pudsey. Info & Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Wood (Sheffield)

Probably: - James Wood, Whitehouse Lane & Langsett Road, Sheffield.  White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham 1856 & 1862.  Possibly: - T Wood, Wentworth Street, Sheffield. 1849 - 1852. Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

J Woods, Patent

No Info. Photographed at Cawarden Reclamation Yard by Martyn Fretwell.

J T Wood & Bros, Wordsley, Stourbridge

Found by Darren Sladden on a disused railway trackbed in Great Dunmow, Essex

Found at North Shropshire Recycling yard by Martyn Fretwell.

Martyn writes :- J.T. Wood & Brothers at Wordsley were primarily iron forgers, but I found in an article in the Engineer newspaper dated 18th May 1875 that J.T. Wood & Bros. had entered into a contract to supply axle-boxes to the Indian Railways. It then goes on to say that the Company had also won a contract to supply 600,000 bricks to the Great Western Railway Co. Ltd. for the railway company to build bridges in Cornwall. J.T. Woods at that time was owned by Benjamin Wood & this led me to find that these bricks may have been made by George King Harrison at his Brettell Lane brickworks for Benjamin. I then find 21 years later in the 1896 edition of Kelly’s Staffs. Directory that James T. Wood & Bros. are recorded as brickmakers in Wordsley, Stourbridge. So it could have been around 1896 that this brick was made at a brickworks of which the location is unknown. 

P & S Wood, West Bromwich

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.  Michael Hammett has added some information on this brick:  Identification was provided in the form of an advertisement found in the London Suburbs Post Office Directory for 1884. It is for "Best Staffordshire Blue Bricks" by P & S Wood of West Bromwich and shows the Star of David symbol, with the W in the centre, as their trade mark.  Being advertised in London, it is reasonable to assume that the products could have been supplied by rail to most parts of the country.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.  Lawrence Skuse has the following info: The brick itself is "thin", being 2" thick, with a dark red centre and grey/black exterior, suggesting it has been double fired, presumably as an engineering brick.
Martyn Fretwell adds :- Peter & Samuel Wood, manufacturers of blue & red bricks are recorded in Kelly’s 1884 edition at the Pump House Brick Works, West Bromwich. This entry continues until the 1900 edition when the company is then listed as Peter Wood Ltd. at the same address. 1904 is the last entry for Peter.

Found at a reclamation site near Towcester by Nigel Furniss.

G Wood, Albion, West Bromwich

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection. Martyn Fretwell writes :- George Wood (blue), Albion Works, West Bromwich is listed as brickmaker in Kelly’s 1868 edition. George then goes into partnership with Mr. Ivery forming Wood & Ivery in 1872.

Wood Bros. Oldbury

Found near Papplewick pumping station in Notts. by Alan Murray-Rust.  Martyn Fretwell writes ;- The company of Wood Bros, Oldbury had been founded by George Wood & is listed in Kelly’s 1884 edition as George Wood (red,brown & blue), Brades Brick Works, Tivedale, Oldbury. This entry continues until the 1900 edition when the works is then recorded as George Wood & Sons, Brades Brick Works. The company’s new name continues until Kelly's 1912 edition. We then find in the Edinburgh Gazette dated October 1914 that the company owned by George with his sons, Samuel & Harry went bankrupt.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Wood & Ivery

In the 1890's Wood & Ivery, produced between 200,000 and 300,000 blue bricks a week at it's Albion Brickworks. The brickworks being adjacent to Joseph Hamblet's works at Greets Green, West Bromwich.  Photo  by Martyn Fretwell.  Martyn adds :- Wood & Ivery is first listed in Kellys 1872 edition at the Albion Brick Works in West Bromwich, but this Works had been started by George Wood, operating it under his own name in 1868. From a 1876 advert for the Albion Brick & Tile Works, it states underneath the Wood & Ivery Company heading, Late George Wood. So after George’s death the Company continued to operate under the Wood & Ivery name & the name is listed until it's last entry in Kelly’s, which was in 1904.

Photo by Ray Martin.

John Woods, Darwen

John Woods, Bog Height, Darwen.  Photo by Alan Davies.


Woodall & Co, but listed as Woodhall in Directories were coal and brick masters at Tansey Green, Pensnett, Dudley & are listed in Kelly’s 1872 edition through to it’s 1892 edition. Photo by Colin Wooldridge from the John Cooksey Collection, with Info by Martyn Fretwell.

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

Wooden Box - see John Knowles & Co

Woods Bros. Blackburn

Photographed on the seashore at Crosby, Merseyside.


David Gamble writes: I believe this to be a Whitaker brick from their Soothill Brickworks in Quarry Lane, Woodkirk.

Woodside Brick Co. Chesterfield Road, Sheffield

Production began hundreds of years ago, although the site is not recorded on the Sheffield maps before the year 1902. This was because, until 1900, the Woodside area was not actually part of Sheffield - Meersbrook being the traditional boundary between the two counties of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. There were about fifty small brickworks in Sheffield at that time, each serving the needs of their local community - bricks had to be transported on horse drawn wagons which was quite dangerous considering their weight and the steep hills they had to negotiate. Woodside was one of the largest companies, employing about fifty workers on the Sheffield side of the site. There were two kilns producing a total of approximately 2,000 bricks per day, which may sound a lot, but when you consider that a builder would need about 30,000 to build just one house, it's obvious that the company must have been literally working overtime. The Company produced various types of brick - red brick for house building, blue brick which was made from crushed brown shale, and special engineering bricks.  Photo and information by Darren Haywood.

Photo courtesy of Graham Hague (Sheffield) collection.  A history of the works may be read here, (scroll down to pages 8 and 9.)

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Thanks to Darren Haywood for the photo.

Thanks to Simon Patterson and Graham Hague for the photos.

Photos by A.K.A. Demik.  Numbers up to 7 - 7 have been located in the Sheffield area.

Photo by Bob  Gellatly

A WS Ironi 5 5 found by Bill Sheppard in his garden in Sheffield


Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.  Made by Lockwood & Elliott, Woodsome Sanitary Pipeworks, Fenay Bridge near Huddersfield - thanks to Philip Rothery for the info.


Although not stamped as such, this works was owned by the London Brick Co. Info & photo by Martyn Fretwell, courtesy of the Bill Richardson Collection.


Woodville is a small village just outside Swadlincote, Derbys.This Woodville brick was made by the Albion Clay Co. Henry Knowles left his brother’s company John Knowles & Co. Mount Pleasant Works, Woodville (Wooden Box bricks) by mutual consent in 1874. Henry Knowles then went into partnership with Hosea Tugby at his Albion Brickworks forming the Albion Clay Co in 1876. The Albion Clay Co. are listed in Kelly’s 1891 to 1900 editions at Woodville, Burton-on-Trent. By 1891 Hosea Tugby had left the company & had set up his new brick company in Moira, Leics. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.  See entry for Ellis, Partridge for another Woodville brick stamp.

J. Woodward Swadlincote

Photo supplied by A.K.A. Demik.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell

Photographed at Woodward’s brickworks by AOC, Archaeology Group, London.

Elephant brand, photographed at Woodward’s brickworks by AOC, Archaeology Group, London.

Wood-Lane Brick Co. West Bromwich

The Wood Lane Brick Co. Wood Lane, West Bromwich only appears in Kelly’s 1904 edition and from an article on the web this works was owned by Chapman & Skidmore, who produced bricks stamped in there own name. An example of a C & S brick can be seen at this link.  Info & Photographed at Oldfield Reclamation Yard, Old Hill, Cradley Heath by Martyn Fretwell.

C. Wooldridge

Clement Wooldridge is listed in the 1867 and 1869-70 trade directories as operating at Davis Street, Hanley. The brickworks is not mentioned in 1866 or 1873 and was probably a short-lived venture. It does appear on the 1879 Town Plan as being situated behind the Castlefield Pottery which later became the Etruscan Tile Works. The site had a brick shed and two round kilns. Photo and information by David Kitching.

L. Wooldridge

Levi Wooldridge was the elder brother of Clement Wooldridge who ran a brickworks behind the Castlefield Pottery at the end of Davis Street in the later 1860s. When Clement died in 1871 at the age of 37 Levi took over the business for a short time. There is no listing of the business in the 1873 trade directory but Levi continued to live in the area, working as a publican. Photo and information by David Kitching.

Wooler, Chapman & Co.

Found on a farm in the Ingram Valley, Northumberland.

Found on the slag bank of Ulverston ironworks.  Wooler, Chapman & Co were the proprietors of the Cold Knott colliery and had brickworks at Crook, County Durham. Photo and info by Richard Cornish.

Woolley, Bramley also J. W.: Jabez Woolley

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection, found near Asquith, North Yorkshire.  Phillip Rothery writes:  This brick is commonly seen around Leeds and Jabez Woolley seems to be the most likely brickmaker to fit the initials.  The company is listed in trade directories at Elland Road, Leeds between 1875 and 1929.  In 1930 Messrs Jabez Woolley purchased the Bramley Brick Company yard.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Woolliscroft, Chesterton

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

As there are four recorded brick yards in Woolpit, Suffolk these bricks were possibly made by the Woolpit Brick & Tile Co. at it’s Kiln Farm Brick Kilns yard. I have Kelly’s trade directories that list The Woolpit Brick & Tile Co. / Woolpit Brick Co. from it's 1888 to it’s 1925 edition. A web article by Graham Perry states that the company was in operation from 1883 to 1937 & more can be read at this link. Info & Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Another company producing bricks under the British Clay Manufacturers banner, see Woolpit entry for info on this works. Photos by Martyn Fretwell.

Worcester Park

Photo by Richard Symonds.

Works, Longford, Coventry

This  is a variation of Foleshill B & T Co.  Foleshill Brick & Tile Cois listed in Kellys 1900 to 1940 editions at Sydall Road, Longford, Coventry. Info & Photo by Martyn Fretwell. See separate entry for Foleshill.


The Worksop Brick Co. is listed in Kelly’s 1904 to 1928 editions at Shireoak Road, Worksop. The works was opened in 1900 & from 1911 it produced silica bricks & linings for the coal mining industry. The works changed it’s name to General Refactories Ltd. in 1929. Info & Photo by Martyn Fretwell from the David Penney Collection.

Wormalds, Dewsbury

James Wormald & Sons, Flatts & Birkdale Works, Dewsbury, West Yorks.  Kelly's West Riding Directory 1871.  London Gazette - September 12th 1876:  The Bankruptcy Act, 1869. In the County Court of Yorkshire, holden at Dewsbury. In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by William Wormald, David Wormald, Joshua Wormald, and Richard Wormald, all of Dewsbury and of Rawdon, both in the county of York, Builders, Contractors, Colliery Proprietors, and Sanitary Tube Makers, trading under the stile or firm of James Wormald and Sons. NOTICE is hereby given, that a First General Meeting of the creditors of the above-named persons has been summoned to be held at the Royal Hotel, in Dewsbury. aforesaid, on the 26th day of September, 1876, at two o'clock in the afternoon precisely.—Dated this 8th day of September, 1876. CHADWICK and SONS, Solicitors for the said William Wormald, David Wormald, Joshua Wormald and Richard Wormald. Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.


Ingham, William & Sons: Wortley Fireclay Works,  later became part of Leeds Fireclay Co.

Found in a garden in Leeds, photo by Steve Kind

Thanks to John Pease for the photo.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

The reverse side of a Wortley brick.  Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

The front and back of a Wortley Brick, sent by Simon Patterson.  Found near the site of L.D. & E.C. Spinkhill Station

 Photographed at Macclesfield Reclamation yard by Martyn Fretwell

Found at Ashton under Lyne, image PRBCO

Photo taken at Knaresborough station by Melanie Harriman.

Both found in the Osmondthorpe Lane area of Leeds by David Soulsby.

Spotted on a demolition site in Harrogate by Nigel Megson.

A Leeds based company, but one whose products are also commonly seen in the Bradford area.  The company was founded by William Ingham in 1825 and later included his sons: Robert, Henry and Frederic.  The firm extracted the triad of coal, ironstone and fireclay from its property at Wortley.  The fireclay site alone covered 7 acres and employed 400-500 people.  The company manufactured most imaginable fireclay products but these included 'firebricks, blast and other furnace lumps'.  After 1889 they formed part of the Leeds Fireclay Co.  Thanks to Derek Barker for the information.

Thomas Wragg & Sons, Swadlincote

This is a salt glazed brick found at the site of Teversal railway station and may have been part of a toilet wall, also the name was pressed into both frogs.  Thanks to Simon Patterson.

Photo by Mike Shaw.

Wrays, York

Listed at East Huntington, York in Kelly 1897 and operating until the late 1960's, info and image PRBCO

This page has it that Wray & Moss were operating in York and environs from 1893, but then mainly Wray &
Sons to at least 1955.  Their first address at Hilda Street off Lawrence Street was at the south end of a complex of brickyards on Hall Fields.  Photo and info by Leslie Waby.


William Wright, Kettle Bridge Brick Works, Ribston Road, Attercliffe, Sheffield.  White's Sheffield & Rotherham Directory 1908. Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Probably: - William Wright, Kettle Bridge Brick Works, Ribston Road, Attercliffe, Sheffield.   White's Sheffield & Rotherham Directory 1908.  Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Wrights, Sileby

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.  Martyn Fretwell writes:  The owner was William Tucker Wright.  He introduced large scale clay extraction and brick/tile production, where previously it was done on a small scale by individuals in Sileby.  His bricks were used to build St. Pancras Railway Station in London. http://www.sileby-village.co.uk/Potted-History.htm

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Photo by Alan Davies.

Photographed at Cawarden Reclamation Yard, Rugeley by Martyn Fretwell.

J Wright

Photographed at Bursledon Brick Museum by Martyn Fretwell.

Wrose Hill

Derek Barker sent this photo and writes: I have only ever seen a single example of the [WH] brick which was found in north Bradford.  The bricks from Wrose Hill brick-works, Shipley are commonly marked [WHFC Co Ltd] or [WROSEHILL][SHIPLEY]; clearly [WH] would be a plausible alternative.  If the initials stand for an individual then William Holdsworth is most likely.  His father Squire Holdsworth (1825-1877) was a builder & contractor of Wyke. For 7 years (until 1863) Henry Birkby was his foreman.  In 1869 Henry Birkby opened his own, very successful, Storr Hill brickworks at Wyke.  William was Squire's eldest son, and by 1871 (at the age of 24) was associated with his father's business.  He seems to have been manager (I assume for his father) of a brick-works at Haycliffe Road, Great Horton, Bradford and was sole proprietor of the whole contracting business after 1877.  He was able to undertake substantial projects including: Kirkgate Market, Bradford, Wakefield Town Hall and the Nutter Orphanage, Bradford. 

Wrose Hill

A brickworks at Wrose Hill, Windhill, Shipley, West Yorks was established in the mid-19th century where the Halifax Hard Bed coal rested on a bed of fireclay 5ft thick.  As well as common bricks the works made specialist bricks, chimney pots and sanitary pipes.  A Mr J.W. Woodhead owned the works in 1870 and at that time was advertising for the construction of a Hoffmann patent kiln.  We know from map evidence that it was constructed. Wrose Hill bricks are common in Shipley and north Bradford. The works can also be seen on the OS maps of 1895, 1908 & 1934.  In the years 1901-1927 the company owning the works known as Wrose Hill Fire Clay.  A 1945 list of mines suggests that Wrose Hill was closed in July 1944.  Thanks to Derek Barker for the photos and information.

W. S.

W.S. bricks were made in Accrington, Lancashire. Thanks to Simon Patterson for the photo.


Photo taken at Beamish Museum.

W H Wynn, Alvechurch

William H. Wynn was an Ironfounder from Birmingham & was the first owner of the Alvechurch brickworks in 1860. He is listed in Kelly's Trade Directories between 1876 & 1912 making bricks at Scarfields, Alvechurch, Birmingham, with Mr Harry Thompson recorded as manager in 1890. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

Photo by Mike Christelow.

Letter X


 Found Lower Walkley, Sheffield 2016. Origin not known - Possibly a product of Itter's Brick Co., Hednesford , Staffs. & Whittlesea, Cambs. who did produce tiles with the pressing "X L". Photo and info by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Letter Y.

York & Acomb, Hull Road

Found in Acomb, York and made by the York & Acomb brick works, Gale Lane, Acomb and the St Nicolas brick works, Hull Road, as listed in a 1939 York Directory. Photo and info by Don Boldison.

Y & B

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.  Obviously a very old example, found in York.

While Y & B does not tally with any York company in trade directories of 1861 and 1867, although the lettering appears to be of this date.  However Young & Co of Dringhouses, York is listed in 1861 while J Biscombe is listed in Kelly 1861.  Could the two have operated as one concern?  info and image PRBCO.

Yadd B Co.

The Yaddlethorpe Brick Co. was on Scotter Road South, Yaddlethorpe, Scunthorpe. Today the clay pits are fishing ponds and were established as such over 100 years ago according to the ponds website, so the brickworks must have closed between 1900 & 1910. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

Yates, Horwich

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

Thanks to Simon Newby for the photo.

James Yates, Leicester

I have found James Yates listed in only one directory so far in 1870 so it may be that he was in business for only a short while. The house in Princess Road East where the brick came from was built in 1870.  Photo and info by Dennis Gamble.

York Handmade

A modern brick made in Alne, Yorkshire.

Yorkshire, Castleford.

Thanks to Darren Haywood for the photo.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Found in Percy Street, Hartlepool by Vicky House.

Yorkshire, Edlington

Photo by courtesy of the Frank Lawson collection.

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