"Old Bricks - history at your feet"

Wales page 2, Letters D to J

Letter D


Found by Lindy Martin on Llansteffan beach, Dafen is a village situated east of Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.

The Cwmmawr Colliery Co., whose colliery in Stradey Woods had closed in 1909, had an initial involvement in the Dafen Brick Co.  info and image PRBCO.

Darran, Risca

Also see the entry for Jones, Darran, Risca

A note about Risca brickworks by Richard Paterson:  There were once five brickworks at Risca, which lies some 6 miles north-west of Newport. Three were in the Darran area, from which these and the Jones, Risca bricks came. A fourth works, (the Danygraig works) belonged to Southwood Jones, where the SJ Risca British Made brick came from. That site is now used for the manufacture of concrete products. Southwood Jones also had the brickworks at Graigddu, Pontypool where a further example - the SJ Graigddu British Made brick - was made.  The fifth brickworks at Risca was founded by John Russell near the Blackvein colliery (see Risca Coal Co).

Risca lies 8km north-west of Newport in South Wales. Image PRBCO.

Thanks to Richard Paterson for the photos.

Davies, Altyryn, Newport

Davies, Altyryn were predecessors of the Star Brick Co (later National Star) at the Allt-yr-Yn works at Newport. The works once supplied the eastern valleys of South Wales via the Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal. The works site is now a nature reserve.  Thanks to Richard Paterson for the photo and information.

D Davies & Co, Llanelly

Found in a cottage at Pant Lasau, Morriston, Swansea by Lisa Johnstone-Davies.

Davies, Pontnewydd

Front and back of Davies, Pontnewydd brick.  Photo by Lawrence Skuse.

D Davis, B G A

B G A probably stands for 'Blaen Gwawr Aberaman' where David Davis sank the Blaegarw Colliery 1843 and 1845 to work the area south of Aberdare. In 1866 the new company David Davis and Sons Limited was formed but after only a few months David Davis died and his sons, Lewis and David took control of the company. Lewis Davis died in 1888 and control devolved to his son, Frederick Lewis Davis, two years later David Davis and Sons became a Limited Liability Company. The company then withdrew from the Aberdare area and concentrated on its collieries in the Rhondda Fach Valley. The OS map surveyed between 1868 and 1878 shows a brickworks with four circular kilns adjacent to the colliery. Photos and info from Phil Jenkins.

Davis, Maesteg

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.  Possibly connected with Pwll Davis pit?  See this link

Day, Usk, Mon

This one came from the demolished chimneys of an 18th century house in Usk.  Photo by Peter Rendall.


Dinas Firebrick Works, Kidwelly. Photos by Ian Suddaby.

Dinica : see Dinas

Dovey Tilery

Ynyslas Brickworks, Near Borth, Cardiganshire. Photos by David Kitching.

Letter E

E H: see Maesycwmmer


The Eagle Brickworks at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, was once part of the Evans Bevan brewing, coal mining and brick making empire. The works ceased operations in 1968, thanks to Richard Paterson for the photos and information. Also see entry for Evans Bevan.

Photos by Frank Lawson.

Ebbw Vale

From the famous steel making valley of the same name.

Thanks to Richard Paterson for the photos.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Photo by David Kitching


Eclipse brickworks, Horeb, Llanelly, Carmarthenshire. Photo by Phil Burgoyne.


Coal mining began in the 1790s in Pen-y-groes, near Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, but it was not until 1893 that the Emlyn Colliery was built, and 1904 before the Emlyn Colliery Company was established. The owner was John Aeron Thomas, at the time MP for East Gower. The Emlyn Colliery was later owned by his son Gwylim Aeron Thomas and closed in 1939, but the Emlyn Brickworks remained open until the mid-1990s.

Photo by Alan Bevan.

Evans - Bevan Ltd, Cwmavon

Eagle Brickworks, Cwmavon, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan. Photo by Richard Paterson.

Evans & Bevan Onllwyn

Photo by Phil Burgoyne

From the Evans-Bevan works at Onllwyn, in the Vale of Neath, and probably made before nationalisation and consequent use of the NCB Onllwyn name.  Photo and info by Richard Paterson.

Evans - Bevan Ltd, Skewen

Cwmdu brickworks, Skewen, Neath, West Glamorgan .
Letter F

Farquhar & Co, Pontypool

From an early version of the Blaendare Brickworks. In the first quarter of the 19th century the firm of Robert Farquhar and Company, of Pontypool, acted as coal merchants and owner of a level colliery at Blaendare near Pontypool. The proprietors were Robert Farquhar, Edwin Allies and Andrew Maund. Robert Farquhar died in 1832 and his partnership broke up. The brickworks became the 'Blaendare' company and continued working until the 1950s. Photo by Jeanette Fry.

Fenns Bank

Spelling was't the strongpoint of this works!   The works at Fenn's Bank had a circular 14-chamber Hoffman kiln built 1860 and a tall chimney, 175 feet high, both demolished when the works were abandoned in the early 1960s. Few other traces of the works still survive, more info here. Thanks to David Humphreys for the photo, he found the brick near Whitchurch, Shropshire.


Photos by David Kitching.; Probably Flintshire bricks, location of works unknown.

Letter G

G C & B Co, Aberdare

Photo by Richard Paterson. No info on this one as yet. The initials could stand for Gadlys (or Glamorgan) Coal & Brick Co.


Found on the shoreline between Llanelli and Burry Port by Hugh Owen.  Made by Guest, Keen & Nettlefold.

Found in Dowlais brook, Two Locks, Cwmbran by Michael Kilner

Found on Springvale industrial estate, Cwmbran. This is one of the later Henllys bricks, manufactured at Two Locks, Cwmbran.  Photo and info by Michael Kilner.

G K N Dahl, photo by Richard Paterson.

Photo by Phil Burgoyne.

Photo by Lawrence Skuse.

There is additional info on G K N under Henllys.

Gadlys Aberdare

The front and back of a Gadlys brick by Brotherglyn.

Photos by Richard Paterson.  Aberdare Tesco has now been built on the Gadlys brickworks site.

Photo by Deiniol Iago.

Gameson, Pontypool

Thomas Gameson (found near the Avon Lwyd close to where the Town Forge was in Pontypool.

"Thomas Gameson is named in the Mineral Statistics of 1858 as being the manufacturer of "Fire bricks, used for iron and tin works, coke ovens etc, 200,000 yearly, at Blaena (sic)".  He is listed in Slater's of 1859 as brick making at Sow Hill, Pontypool. He is also listed in Slater's Directory of 1868 as making bricks at Abersychan.  I have no further directory record of the firm. Subsequently, Gregory is listed as making bricks at Abersychan, in Kelly's of 1906."  Photo and info by Lawrence Skuse.


This works was formerly in the village of Garth, near Builth Wells, in Powys. Photos by Richard Paterson.

Garth Co, Rhiwderin

It appears that Rhiwderin brickworks was owned by the Garth Sheet Iron Co of the Garth ironworks, Rhiwderin, near Newport, which went into liquidation in 1878. The 1882 OS map shows 'old brick kilns' and 'old claypits' here. Info and photo by Phil Jenkins.

Gellydeg: see Maesycwmmer


Made on the Glamorgan Colliery site at Tonypandy. Production started in 1863 and they were produced until the 1930's.  On the site now stands the ASDA store.  Photo by Colin Hill.

Glamorgan Brick Co. Pentyrch

Photo by Ivor Betty.

The Pentyrch Brick Works began as part of the New Lan Mine and Pentyrch Ironworks complex on the west side of the River Taff some 6 miles north of Cardiff. The brickworks was originally operated by Owens & Watkins, later by Evan Owens & Co and was taken over by the Glamorgan Brick Co in 1915. It appears to have closed between the wars. The site is now a housing development.  Information and photos by Richard Paterson.


Werngradog Brickworks, Fforestfach. 'Glasbrook's Brick and Tile Co' was established by John Glasbrook, a colliery owner, in the 1850s. It was later run by his sons; John Glasbrook Sons and Company Limited was wound up voluntarily in 1929. They were prosecuted in 1890 for employing under-age boys. The site, Werngradog, is unclear but it may have been part of Glasbrooks Garn-coch Colliery at SS 6125 9695. Info by Phil Jenkins, photo by Tim Lawton.

Glynea, Bynea

The brickworks appears on the 1907 and 1916 maps. It was owned by The Glynea Coal and Brick Co in 1896 when they were advertising for a manager and The Glynea and Castle Coal and Brick Co by 1908. Photo by Gary Robert Jones.


Goodwick is a small village near Fishguard in Pembrokeshire.  The following is from the Pembrokeshire Virtual Museum site:

Goodwick Brickworks began as the 'Fishguard Harbour Brickworks Ltd' in 1908, just a year after the Great Western Railway arrived. The nearby blue shale and clay was dug by hand. There were two beehive kilns and steam was used to power a grinding mill, pug mill and wire-cut brick maker.

In 1910, the works was bought out and re-organised as the 'Goodwick Brickworks Ltd' and another beehive kiln was added. It was re-organised again after a closure during the First World War, The beehive kilns were replaced by a continuous type kiln (which was used until 1969), another grinding machine was added and the wire-cut machine was replaced by a stiff plastic brick shaper. Further technical improvements enabled 75,000 bricks a week to be produced in the late 1920's, largely to cope with the growth of Milford.

In the late 1930's, on the advice of a Swiss expert, the final layout was adopted. Hand kiln firing was replaced by mechanical feeders worked by compressed air. The drying floor was replaced by drying chambers ' two banks of nine. Blackstone diesel oil engines replaced steam power (these were, in their turn, replaced by electric motors in the early 1950's), a loading hoist was added, and the rails for transfer cars extended. These improvements enabled the production rate to be further increased to 100,000 bricks a week. At this time 40 men were employed, although some quarry workers were enticed away by higher wages at Trecwn's Royal Ordnance Factory.

Peak production of 120,000 bricks a week was reached during the Second World War. Cheaper road transport replaced rail at this time. In 1946, the 'British Anthracite Company Ltd' took over. Output fell to 100,000 bricks a week in the next few years due to a labour shortage. There was a further decline to 60,000 bricks a week by 1969, the year of closure, when 30 men were employed.

Thanks to Mike Bennett for the photo.

Photo by Tom Kitching.

Carol Williams writes: My Grandfather worked there years ago. He retired due to an accident at work. His hand was caught in the machine used to make bricks and he was left with only 2 fingers on one hand


Photo by Mike Stokes


Photo by Brandon Havard.

The Mineral Statistics Directory for 1858 lists the Graigddu Brick Co, manufacturing fire and building bricks, with an average yearly output of 305,000 bricks.  Slater's of 1868 lists it as Graigddu Co, Cwmnantddu, Pontypool; Kelly's of 1895 still lists the Graigddu Works, but Graigddu S J (Southwood Jones) is also mentioned for the first time. They also had works in Risca, Malpas, Newport and Morriston.  There is no mention of Graigddu Co after 1895.  Thanks to Lawrence Skuse for the info.

Thanks to Richard Paterson for the photos.

Graig Morriston

Photo by Phil Jenkins.

Found by Bryn Jones in Broughton Bay, Llangennith, Gower.  Made in Morriston near Swansea.  This firm came under the umbrella of the Star Brick & Tile group in the late 1950s. Towards the end of the group in the 1970s, bricks were being produced with the generic die "National Star Newport", and small letters to the lower left or right of the stamp to indicate the works of origin. It is believed that the letter "G" denoted bricks from the former Graig Morriston works.

Image PRBCO.

Photo by Richard Paterson

The star emblem indicates this was made after the company's acquisition by the National Star Group.  Photo and info by Richard Paterson.

Photo by Richard Paterson.

Photo by Martyn Fretwell.

Graig Engineering, found at the site of Dinas Silica Mine at Pontneddfechan by Phil Jenkins.

Great Western Colliery

Made at the Great Western Colliery, Trehafod.  Photo and info by Gareth Thomas.

Gregory, Abersychan

Found at Garn yr Erw, Blaenavon.  Gregory & Co are listed in Kelly's for 1906 as at Pentwyn, Abersychan.  Pentwyn is right on the border between Abersychan and Pontnewynydd, so the works may have been considered in both at different times.  By 1926, Kelly's was listing the Abersychan Brick Co as producing bricks at Pentwyn. The works is not shown on the 1886 OS map, but it is on the 1902 OS map.  Photo and info by Lawrence Skuse.


The Gurnos Brickworks, Ystalyfera is shown on the OS 1903 map. Grid reference - SN77240926. Photo & Info by Martyn Fretwell.

Photo by Phil Jenkins.

Letter H


Cwm Bran Fireclay Co. Found by Michael Kilner at  Cwmbran colliery site, Upper Cwmbran.  Lawrence Skuse adds:  It is believed the Cwm Bran Fireclay Co operated at Upper Cwmbran from 1859-1867 (the company changed hands several times from its foundation as the Stourbridge Foreclay Co in 1838 until its closure in 1915). It was closely connected with Cwmbran Colliery's nearby Porthmawr Adit where high grade fireclay was discovered, the original works being built to exploit this. Bricks stamped "H" are also common in the local area, especially at sites connected with Cwmbran Colliery which had three adits and a coal washery. The finding of these bricks together, on the site of the old brickworks, strengthens my opinion that "H" bricks ("HD" bricks are also encountered in the local area) were produced at the Upper Cwmbran works."

Hanson, Henllys

From the works of Cyrus Hanson at Henllys, near Cwmbran, which was established in the early 1840s. Photo and info by Richard Paterson.

From the Lawrence Skuse collection.  During its long life this works was known as Hanson's, Henllis Works, Henllis Coal & Brick Works, Henllis Fire Brick & Retort Works, Henllys Fire Brick Works, Guest Keen & Nettlefold Ltd,  Guest Keen & Nettlefold Refractories, and South Wales Refractories Ltd.

Harv & Harvey: see Maesycwmmer

Hean Castle, Tenby

Woodside Brickworks, Wisemans Bridge nr Saundersfoot. The brickworks operated from 1848 and was disused by 1888. Photo and info by Gary Davies.


http://www.opobs.co.uk/mainsite/brickworks/hendre.html Photo and info by Mike Stokes


Found at Dowlais Brook, Two Locks, Cwmbran by Michael Kilner. Lawrence Skuse writes: Cyrus Hanson started a works in 1842 at Two Locks, chiefly for the production of fire bricks, but obviously house bricks were also produced. He also owned the Henllys Colliery. which supplemented fireclay found on site.The Mineral Statistics for 1858 and Kelly's of 1871 refer to 'Cyrus Hanson, Cwmbran'. In 1874, JC Hill who owned the nearby Oakfield Wire Works bought the colliery and the brickworks. It is probable that Hanson bricks with an acorn stamp were produced by JC Hill, since their brand for the wire works and brickworks was described in an 1884 trade advertisement as "The Acorn Brand". Presumably rather than create a new die, the acorn was welded onto the original dies. In 1881 it was being designated in Kelly's as 'Henllis Firebrick & Retort Works, Llanvihangel-Llantarnam'. Edwin Southwood Jones was listed as the manager. I(In 1895 he started his own brick works at Risca and Pontypool - see SJ bricks). In 1885, after a period of closure, it was bought and re-opened by the Patent Nut & Bolt Co (Guest & Keen), who also bought the Henllys Colliery. In 1902, Nettlefold joined Guest and Keen to form GKN. In the 1970s/1980s, another firm, Dahl, joined the brickworks, the brand becoming GKN DAHL. The works finally closed down in the 1980s and Gifford Close was built on the site. This brick works was the longest operating in Cwmbran, 1842-1980s.

H P - Highland Park?

Found in Neath by Richard Paterson, possibly from the the former Highland Park brickworks, Cardiff or, more likely, another product of Henry Parfitt.

Hudson Argoed

Thanks to Richard Paterson for the contribution.  Hudson Argoed bricks were produced at the Argoed Brickworks near the hamlet of Cynonville in the Afan Valley some 7 miles from Port Talbot.  A country park now occupies the brickworks site. The firm was at one point also known as Hudson & Howell.

Hunter Powell, Pwllheli

Photographed in Corris, Powys.

Letter I


Richard Paterson found this one in Newbridge, how the name was reversed is anybody's guess!

Letter J

J B & T

Believed to have been made by the Johnston Brick & Tile Co. in Pembrokeshire, thanks to Mike Bennett for the photo.

J F - B W Tondu

Photo by Mike Stokes

James, Pontnewydd

Nothing is known about the company, it appearing to be absent from trade directories, but interestingly, another brick company  'DAVIES & CO",  has the same pattern frog, and the same 'POИTNEWYDD' with the first N reversed.  This suggests that one took over the other, keeping the same die for the reverse stamp.  An AH James brick was found used in a house believed to have been built in Cwmbran in the late 19th century.  Which might have come first, Davies or James is unknown, but the former are more frequently encountered, the latter being something of a rarity.  Found: Blaen Bran Brook near Pontnewydd Golf Club, Cwmbran.  Photo and info by Lawrence Skuse.

D W Johns

D W Johns was a builders merchant in Swansea around 1875, later primarily a timber merchant. It appears he was
mainly a dealer and importer so it's doubtful that he owned his own brickworks. Any of the Swansea or Bridgwater brickworks could be the manufacturers of this cut down plinth brick. Info by Phil Jenkins, photo by Rob Evans.

Jones, Darran, Risca

Also see the entry for Darran, Risca

A note about Risca brickworks by Richard Paterson:  There were once five brickworks at Risca, which lies some 6 miles north-west of Newport. Three were in the Darran area, from which these and the Jones, Risca bricks came. A fourth works, (the Danygraig works) belonged to Southwood Jones, where the SJ Risca British Made brick came from. That site is now used for the manufacture of concrete products. Southwood Jones also had the brickworks at Graigddu, Pontypool where a further example - the SJ Graigddu British Made brick - was made.  The fifth brickworks at Risca was founded by John Russell near the Blackvein colliery (see Risca Coal Co).

Photos by Richard Paterson

Both found at Cwm-byr, Risca by Richard Clarke .

Photo by David Hernon.

Jones, Stalloe


From a house in Montgomery. The Stalloe Brickyard to the North of Montgomery, owned by the Earls of Powys is likely to be the oldest of the Montgomeryshire brickyards. Probably closed in the 1920's.  Photo and info by Nicholas Moore

Welsh bricks K to S
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