Saturday, 1 October 2016

Chorlton's own brick works Part One

Not a lot of people know about the Chorlton brick works.

 After all it had a short life less than 40 years.

It was concentrated around the Oswald Road and Longford Road axis and was a continuation of the practice of extracting marl for farming and clay for brick making which went back to at least the early 17th century.

At the turn of the 19th century The Chorlton Land & Building Company Ltd was given permission to use the land. No doubt a reflection of the need to bricks for the new housing boom here in Chorlton which had been in full swing since the 1880s.

The Chorlton Land & Building Company reserved the rights to “Mines & Minerals” which was an important consideration because the clay pits for brick making were on Oswald Road. There were marl pits just behind where the library is now in 1841 and Brick Kiln Pits roughly where Longford runs into Oswald Road. In 1907 this had developed into a largest brick works behind the houses on Longford and Chepstow. St John’s School sits on what looks like the works buildings, while the clay pits seem to be where the playing fields are now.

It remains the only industrial development in the township and was given only a limited period to exploit the land. Neither of the two large landowners who had controlled the area since the late 18th century wanted to see industrial development preferring to maintain the old township as a place for residential settlement.

Location; Chorlton, Manchester

Picture; Brick works, corner of Longford Road and Manchester Road, A H Downes, 1958, m18034 Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council.

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