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Bursledon Brickworks 2023 led by John Wingham

A listed Grade II site, purportedly the UK's sole surviving Victorian

steam-driven brickworks telling a fascinating story about the history of

bricks and the brickworks.

We began with a light lunch at the Fox and Hounds. The food was very good in lovely surroundings on a beautiful sunny day.

We had paid an energy supplement to see the machines driven by steam.

The entrance fee included guided tour lasting about an hour and then there was free time to roam the 10-acre site and view other exhibits. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and shared many details about the personnel who had worked at the site


Founded in 1897 the brickworks was a partnership with a successful

Southampton builder’s merchants. While the first brickyard was at Chandlers

Ford the company jumped at the opportunity to start making bricks at

Bursledon where there was abundant clay and very good rail and river links.

The clay was brought back to the factory using narrow gauge railway wagons.

Latterly as the clay was worked out further and further away, it was brought to the works on an overhead cable system. By 1935 the site was one of the main producers of bricks in the region, producing more than 20 million bricks a year. The site closed in 1974 moth balling all the original brickmaking machinery, steam engine and boilers.

In 1980 bulldozers were stationed outside the former factory with orders to

raze the Victorian site buildings to the ground for redevelopment, but the site

was saved at the eleventh hour. The site, thought to be the only steam driven

brickworks left intact in the country, is now Grade II listed and nationally

recognised. All the machinery at the brickworks was run by four static steam

engines, and most of it still does.

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