Nottinghamshire History -Mapperley

Brickmaking. Brickmaking has for centuries been the staple industry of Mapperley, for in 1682-3 several persons were charged with digging clay upon “the Playnes,” and the Council ordered that their kills (kilns) and hovels should be pulled down, and although in 1688 Thos. Elliott supplied bricks to the Corporation, yet the year following he was fined 5/- “for a brick kilne upon the Plaines.” These kilns were probably on the south-eastern side of the road. It is usually thought that the lost art of brickmaking became considerably developed through the great fire of London in 1666 showing the danger of timbered buildings, but it had been used locally earlier than this. In any case for centuries bricks have been made at Mapperley, justifying the saying that “Nottingham once stood on Mapperley Hills,” and from that range of hills more than a thousand million bricks have been made, and many millions have gone to London, to build among other places St. Pancras Station. The bricks in the olden time were made of top clay only, trodden by children, or beaten with clubs by men; then came a grinding between rollers, turned by a horse going round a mill-race; then followed steam power, and revolving pan, and iron grinding mills, mixers, pug mills, wire cutting machines, heated floors, continuous kilns, etc. The Suburban Railway (1877) has been helpful to the trade.



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