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Site record MDR23190 - Oakwell Brick Works

Type and Period (1)

  • (Victorian to Mid 20th Century - 1872 AD? to 1966 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

In February 1972 the kilns at Oakwell Brickworks (a Hoffmann and two downdraught kilns) were described as derelict, with one of the downdraught kilns having only the chimneys and the end wall still standing. The chimney to the Hoffmann kiln had been demolished. At that time the site was owned by the British Steel Corporation as successors to the Stanton Ironworks Company. (1) At the disused Oakwell Brickworks at Ilkeston there are one Hoffmann and two rectangular downdraught kilns. Of the two latter, No. 1, the older, held about 25,000 bricks and had sixteen fireholes, with a chimney at each end to give a balanced draught in the underground flue. No. 2 held about 55,000 bricks and had 24 fireholes. It shared a chimney with the Hoffmann kiln. No. 1 kiln and the Hoffmann kiln were built sometime between 1900 and 1913. An Ordnance Survey map of 1879, prepared soon after the works opened, shows two rectangular kilns on the site of the Hoffmann kiln and a small circular kiln on the site of No. 1 kiln. Kiln No. 2 was probably built after 1930 when the Stanton Ironworks Company took over from the Oakwell Red and Blue Brick Company. Many of the bricks of which No. 1 is built are stamped 'Oakwell'. (2) For a brief period in the early to mid C19th the site was used as a colliery. Around 1872 the colliery company opened a brickworks on the site. By around 1900 the company operated 3 brick kilns towards the southeast of the site. Two of these kilns were of the older downdraft type, a third (monument 21603 and listed Grade II) was of the Hoffmann variety. In downdraft kilns the kilns were fired periodically. Hot gasses were introduced to the top of the oven via a brick vault and the waste gases were extracted via grates in the floor. In order to create enough draft these kilns required very tall chimneys. One problem with downdraft kilns is that unless the firing was well maaged the bricks were fired unevenly (ie the bricks at the bottom of the kiln tended to be burned whilst those at the top of the tended to be under done). The brickworks later came under the control of the nearby The brickworks was closed in 1966 when the nearby steelworks closed and the brickworks abandoned. By 1984 the two downdraft kilns had been demonished, together with the chimney for the Hoffmann kiln. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Tye, V. 1982. Continuous Kilns.
  • <2> Article in serial: Hammond, M D P. 1977. 'Brick kilns: an illustrated survey', Industrial Archaeology Review. Volume 1, pp 171-192.
  • <3> Unpublished document: na. 2012. Oakwell Brickworks, Ilkeston, Derbyshire: Options Appraisal.



Grid reference Centred SK 4597 4118 (218m by 204m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR4997

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Sep 1 2023 6:26PM

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