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Porth Wen Brickworks
A spectacular coastal site dating from the (late 19th century,) silica sand was delivered by incline from a nearby quarry to a steam-powered brickworks complex and the finished product was exported from the quay. Two tall square-plan chimneys survive, as do the shell of the brickworks and the beehive kilns" Source Industrial Archaeology of Wales, D Gwyn & Merfyn Williams AIA 1996

It is thought that the making of bricks started in the early part of the 20th century. The type of brick produced was based on the local yellow clay rather than the usual red house brick. They were capable of withstanding a higher temperature that normal bricks and may have been used for the lining of kilns and furnaces.

In 1906 a German by the name of Steibel took over the running of the works and tried to make it a profitable concern. The bricks were cut into shape with a sharp wire before they were baked. To assist in the baking two experts were employed from Ruabon and the quality of the bricks made at this time was extremely high.

In 1908 the works were again taken over by a Mr Charles Tidy. He introduced a new method for brick making in which the clay was pressed into shape rather than cut with wires. The result was that the bricks were left with a hollow frog.
Despite the good quality brick and tiles produced, transport was always a major problem for the works. All raw materials and products had to be transported by sea. A small quay was built for the loading and unloading of ships. However the position of the works meant that as well as the effects of tides, a heavy swell was often encountered. The small vessels were often battered while at the quayside - hitting the rocky seabed caused much damage to the craft. Many owners refused to risk their ships mooring there.

Just before the First World War the quality of the kiln firing seems to have worsened. This is rumoured to have been because of disagreements between Charles Tidy and his foreman. Even today around the site examples of under fired bricks can be seen slowly disintegrating while the over glazed bricks remain fused together in piles.

The works closed at the start of the First World War and most of the useful equipment and machinery was removed to be used by a firm in Caernarfon some time before the Second World War. (Web blog quoting from Penmorfa.com)

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Keywords:anglesey, beehive kilns, boilers, brick works, brick-making, bricks, chimneys, cymru, kilns, porcelain, steam engines, steibel, wales, wrexham, ynys mon

HRS 892 Porth Wen general view of brickworks

HRS 892 Porth Wen general view of brickworks

HRS 893 Porth Wen brickworks and kilns

HRS 893 Porth Wen brickworks and kilns

HRS 894 Porth Wen brickworks buildings etc

HRS 894  Porth Wen brickworks buildings etc

HRS 895 Porth Wen brickworks brick buildings

HRS 895 Porth Wen brickworks brick buildings

HRS 896 Porth Wen brickworks kilns and firing holes

HRS 896 Porth Wen brickworks kilns and firing holes

HRS 897 Porth wen brickworks erosion by sea under kiln

HRS 897 Porth wen brickworks erosion by sea under kiln

HRS 898 Porth wen brickworks stone sea wall

HRS 898  Porth wen brickworks stone sea wall

HRS 899 Porth wen brickworks chimney

HRS 899 Porth wen brickworks chimney

HRS 900 Porth wen brickworks Fawcett steam engine

HRS 900 Porth wen brickworks Fawcett steam engine

HRS 905 Porth wen brickworks general view

HRS 905 Porth wen brickworks general view

HRS 908 Porth wen faulted sequence of rocks

HRS 908 Porth wen faulted sequence of rocks

HRS 909 Porth wen brickworks, gas retort charging holes

HRS 909 Porth wen brickworks, gas retort charging holes

HRS 910 Porth wen brickworks, gas retorts

HRS 910 Porth wen brickworks, gas retorts

HRS 911 Porth wen brickworks kiln interior

HRS 911 Porth wen brickworks kiln interior

HRS 912 Porth Wen brickworks, kilns and chimneys

HRS 912 Porth Wen brickworks, kilns and chimneys

HRS 913 Porth Wen brickworks, boiler and natural arch

HRS 913 Porth Wen brickworks, boiler and natural arch

HRS 914 Porth Wen faulted arch and sea

HRS 914 Porth Wen faulted arch and sea

HRS 915 Porth wen brick kiln interior dome

HRS 915 Porth wen brick kiln interior dome

HRS 916 Porth Wen beehive brick kiln

HRS 916 Porth Wen beehive brick kiln