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Tyne and Wear HER(1634): Derwent Haugh, Adamsez (Formerly Ramsay's) Fireclay Works - Details

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Derwent Haugh, Adamsez (Formerly Ramsay's) Fireclay Works

Derwent Haugh



Brick and Tilemaking Site

Fire Clay Works


Extant Building

This historic site closed only fairly recently. Although the unusual kilns have been demolished, some of the pantile roofed drying and manufacturing buildings still survive {1}. In 1830, G H Ramsay and Company built a new brickyard alongside Derwent Gut and began working the Henry pit for coal and fireclay. Fireclay was taken by steam locomotive from Swalwell colliery to the brickworks. In the 1850s the yard made gas retorts, salt glazed sanitary ware, and firebricks. By 1900 the works had expanded to become one of the largest firebrick works on Tyneside. There were two grinding mills, two pug mills, and two moulding floors. The yard had 36 kilns capable of burning seven million bricks per year; which were exported across the world. In 1923, Adamsez of Scotswood bought the yard and traded under the name Adams-Pict firebrick Company. Fireclay was brought here from Scotswood and Scotland, to produce PICT a, PICT H, Adams-Pict, and Pict-Inso bricks. Pugged clay was taken by horse and cart to the moulding sheds. The drying flats were covered with concrete and heated from below by 40 open coal fires – a primitive method dating back to the 18th century. Bricks dried for 36 hours before being burned in the kilns. In 1920, a Belgian kiln was built at the works. In the late 1930s, this and 11 Newcastle kilns were in use. By 1970, only 15 men worked here. Although bricks were still moulded at the yard, they were burned at Scotswood, and it was rare that the Newcastle kilns were used. (Source: Davison, P J, 1986. Brickworks of the North East, 133, site 22, 137-8 (table on 137 notes that the works had a large trade with Poland and the Baltic countries)) 1830-1970s?




<< HER 1634 >> Tyne and Wear Industrial Monuments Trust, 1978, Dunston and Swalwell Plan Area; Davison, P J, 1986. Brickworks of the North East, 133, site 22, pp 137-8

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