image: title Brick Walls
by Mandy Barrow

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500 BC
AD 43

Types of walls found on houses


The raw ingredients of brick are sand, clay and water. Before the 1830s these three ingredients were mixed either by hand or by animals driving a heavy roller around a mixing pit.

Brick bonds

How to make a brick

Clay cut using
a crook hold
Clay rolled in sand to prevent
it sticking to the mould
Placed in wooden mould (a strike)
and smoothed down.

Clay removed from mould
Hand made brick

The colour of bricks depended on the type of clay used. Before the coming of the railways in Victorian times, bricks were mostly made of local clay.

Until 1800, most bricks were red from the iron in the clay used.

Other colours included:bricks

Whitish brick - Gault clay south-east of England
Brown bricks - Thames valley.
Silver-grey bricks - south Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.
Dark brown - Yorkshire

Colour variation in old bricks also depended on the firing process and where the bricks were placed in the kiln. The bricks nearest the heat turned the darkest in colour and were selected to form patterns (diapers); those furthest from the heat were lighter in colour.

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Woodlands Junior School, Hunt Road Tonbridge Kent TN10 4BB UK