Record Details

NHER Number:12465
Type of record:Monument
Name:Peterstone post medieval brickworks


This site was the brickworks for Holkham estate. Several large red brick sheds remain, some of which are now used as farm buildings. These include drying sheds that were used to dry the bricks before firing, using a type of raised floor with underground heating from a furnace. There is also a large kiln dating to 1865. Other structures include wash pits, settling beds, a weighbridge, two pugmills for mixing clay and two cottages.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 8618 4279
Map Sheet:TF84SE

Full description

April 1977. Visit.
Brickworks for Holkham estate.
Several large red brick sheds remain, some now in use as farm buildings. Other sheds of wood on brick. These are drying shrds, one with ornate tiled roof, and 'hypocaust' system of heating from furnace chamber at end. Massive kiln dated 1865, also heated on hypocaust system, with holes in brick floor from pointed roofed tunnels opening into lead to sheds, and coal store nearby. Circular washing pit for clay with equipment remaining, near well and large pond; settling beds to south beyond embankment of railway siding. For latter a complete weighbridge survives. One rail chair dated 1890. Two other washing pits, settling beds, wells, lost in overgrown area. Two complete pugmills - one cast iron, one wood. Site is littered with original tools samples, etc. including long ash shovel, frogmould, etc. Some machines removed to Holkham Hall stables. Two cottages stand on part of site, but owner reputedly has plans for reopening the works.
E. Rose (NAU), 30 April 1977.

See (S1) for description of working during 1920s. The works also made mathematical tiles, for some estate buildings and which were also exported by sea to Penrhyn Castle, Wales. See (S2).
E. Rose (NAU), 10 February 1986.

See also (S3) - this reference claims the white clay was dug in Burnham Norton.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 July 1996.

For a contemporary comment on the quality of the bricks and how soon the earth was worked out see (S4)
E. Rose (NLA).

2000. Field Observation and Desk-based Assessment.
Site visited and considered as part of archaeological assessment of Holkham Estate.
Derelict and overgrown.
See report (S5) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 28 April 2015.

Proposed change of use to seasonal wild rural holiday camping and glamping.
See short report (S6) for information on the surviving remains associated with brick production and details of how they were to be stabilised and repaired during the redevelopment of the site.
P. Watkins (HES), 17 September 2019.

Monument Types

  • BRICKWORKS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished Report: [Unknown]. 2015. The Brickyard Peterstone: Report on the remains of the brick making process.
---Aerial Photograph: TF8642 A-H,J-K,L-Q,U,V.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1965. Holkham Pottery turns to local clay. 29 May.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 234.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: BDD 19-20.
<S1>Article in Serial: NIAS. 1980. [unknown]. NIAS Journal. Vol II, No 5.
<S2>Article in Serial: Smith, T. P. 1985. Brick-Tiles (Mathematical Tiles) in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century England. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. Third Series Vol CXXXVIII pp 132-164. p 132 ff.
<S3>Article in Serial: Darwing, J.. 1995. Peterstone Bricks.. East Anglian Studies. p 55.
<S4>Monograph: Wilson, R. & Mackley, A.. 2000. Creating paradise: the building of the English country house, 1660-1880.. p 188.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Penn, K. 2000. The Holkham Estate, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Archaeological Survey (Final Report). Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 532.

Related records - none

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