Record Details

NHER Number:14964
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible site of post medieval brickyard


This field has been recorded as the site of a post medieval brickyard but its identification as such remains uncertain. Four ponds visible as earthworks on aerial photographs, which are also depicted on modern Ordnance Survey maps, could be associated with brick making at the site.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4356 1897
Map Sheet:TG41NW

Full description

Site of Bracey's Brickyard.

Visited E. Rose (NAU) 23 May 1979.
Huge brick kiln stood on staithe here in 1897.
One pit remains in field, two others filled in (hence local name of Three Pits Field).
Foundations of buildings visible on quay.

(S1) speaks of carts of clay being taken from here to Bracey's other yards at site NHER 16665 and of carts of brickearth coming the other way. However, (S1) confuses this site with NHER 16663 and NHER 8547, conflating the latter three brickyards.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 April 2000.

September 2006. Norfolk NMP.
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 4354 1904 to TG 4356 1897.

The identification of the site described above has become rather confused. This is hardly surprising given the number of post medieval brickyards in Martham, as detailed in the Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society’s files on brick making (S2). In the 19th century two yards were owned by William Bracey: one by Hemsby Road (NHER 16665) and one by Martham Ferry Dyke (NHER 16663). The site described here is not mentioned in the NIAS notes (S2), nor is it depicted on the consulted historic maps consulted, e.g. the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map (S3). Given this, the origin of the reference to the ‘huge kiln’ given above is unclear. From the description, the site sounds similar to the large brickyard at Martham Ferry Dyke (NHER 16663) 1.08km to the east, which was owned by Bracey. In addition, the site described here is not referred to in Williamson 1997 (S1); Williamson discusses NHER 16665 (Bracey’s yard on Hemsby Road), NHER 16663 (Bracey’s yard at Martham Ferry Dyke) and a third site known as Chapman’s pits (NHER 16664), which lies 1.54km to the east. NHER 8547 (Martham Mill) is not mentioned at all. (Williamson does mistakenly places NHER 16664 on ‘the other side of Martham Ferry Dyke’ to NHER 16663, when it in fact lies on the same side of the dyke but a short distance to the east.)

The presence of four ponds (two are conjoined) in this field may have led to the confusion. These are not depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map (S3) but are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1946 (S4). They have the appearance of very fresh earthworks of relatively modern origin. In the absence of other evidence, whether or not they originated as clay pits is difficult to tell. They are depicted on modern Ordnance Survey maps and consequently have not been mapped by the NMP, although the site boundary has been altered. Contrary to the information given above, recent aerial photographs (S5) demonstrate that as of 1995 all four pits remained extant. Only the two northern conjoined pits, however, lie within the original boundary of the site, and this perhaps accounts for the suggestion that two had been backfilled in by 1979.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 26 September 2006.

Monument Types

  • BRICKWORKS? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIT? (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • EXTRACTIVE PIT? (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • POND (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1997. The Norfolk Broads: A Landscape History.. p 147.
<S2>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.
<S3>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889 - 1891. Ordnance Survey first edition 6 inch map.. 1:10,560.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2055-6 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: ADAS. 1995. ADAS 631 254-5 14-MAY-1995 (BA).

Related records

16665Related to: Site of post medieval brickworks (Monument)

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