Roman Stamped Bricks

Roman Stamped Bricks

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Building history: bricks and mortar

Britain first acquired the skills to manufacture fired clay bricks when large parts of the country became part of the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. The bricks made by the Romans were generally wider and thinner than those today and were used in various ways, including as lacing courses in walls of rubble stonemasonry and in the construction of supporting pillars for hypocaust heating systems. Roman bricks can be found throughout the UK at significant sites such as Burgh Castle in Norfolk, and as far north as Newstead at Melrose in Scotland.

When the Romans left Britain in the 5th century, so too did brick-making, until the 12th century. Some buildings from the period in between were built with re-used Roman bricks, for example the nave of St Alban&rsquos Abbey. Construction on this began in the 11th century, reusing materials from the Roman British town Verulamium. The earliest known use of brick manufactured in the UK after the Romans left is widely regarded as being Coggeshall Abbey in Essex, the oldest parts of the monastic buildings dating to 1190. Beverley North Bar in East Yorkshire is a very good surviving example of medieval English brickwork, construction of which began around 1409. The bricks used were thin at 50mm and, as with indigenous bricks of the time, somewhat uneven in shape and size. This gave the brickwork a distinctive character, with wider mortar joints and uneven bonding. Significant surviving examples of brick buildings from the medieval period include Rye House Gatehouse, built around 1443, and Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire, built around 1382.

A decorative feature evident in medieval brickwork that extended into the 17th century was the use of diaper patterns. This saw saltires and diagonal intersecting lines picked out using well-vitrified or flared headers that were overburnt during firing and presented a grey to blue colour. Both cut and moulded bricks were used in this period to add decorative embellishment. Brick was built with considerable skill and good understanding of the properties of the material, and was used to create vaulting, circular and angled walls as well as arches. In this period, there was a status attached to the use of brick: it was largely confined to those at the upper echelons of society, in both church and state.

Tudor and Stuart brickwork

Following the early brickwork of the medieval period, a greater use of the material occurred in the 16th century, including such buildings as Layer Marney Tower, built in 1523, and Hampton Court Palace (see Figure 1). Brickwork at this time began to exhibit greater standardisation in terms of technical application, including greater use of bonds. These were most commonly English or English cross, although irregular bonding was still being used. The high status of the brick buildings being built is reflected in the use of decorative features such as diaper work (see Figure 2) and techniques such as colour washing and the pencilling of joints. Bricks of this period continued to be somewhat irregular in size and shape. Some was of exceptional standard, for example at Leez Priory, Essex, built 1563, and the moulded brickwork at Roos Hall, Suffolk, built 1583.

Figure 1: Hampton Court Palace is one of the most significant brick buildings of the Tudor period, with brickwork of exceptional quality

Figure 2: Diaper work patterns at Hampton Court Palace are indicative of decorative schemes of this type

The use of brick grew further in the 17th century, with buildings such as Balls Park, Hertford, 1640, indicative of the time. The use of Flemish bond gained popularity, and gauged brickwork emerged as an option for enrichment &ndash a highly significant development in this period. Gauged brickwork involves cutting and rubbing softer bricks to allow very thin, precise joints to be used. An early example of such gauged brick enrichment is the Old Meeting House, Norwich, built in 1693.

A considerable amount of brick was used to rebuild London following the Great Fire in 1666. The great gathering of craftspeople occasioned by this rebuilding had a long-term impact on brickwork in the UK. Previously a material most commonly used for the houses of the powerful and wealthy, by the end of the 17th century, brick was becoming much more commonly used for buildings of different classes. Its geographical spread also expanded at this time, as brick buildings become more common throughout England and Wales.

Georgian brickwork

The use of fired clay bricks in the UK became considerably more popular going into the 18th century. Brick was used to create many architecturally impressive buildings such as Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire, in 1719 and Bailey Hall, Hertford, around 1700. Brick was also used for terraced housing in a way that was previously unseen an example is Union Place, Wisbech, built around 1800. These buildings often incorporated gauged-brick enrichment, as both the quality of bricks and the skills of craftspeople improved.

Importantly, brick was also used during this time to build housing for both rural and urban workers as well as the privileged. This meant it was used across a greater geographical area, with considerable expansion in Scotland in the 18th century, for example. In some cases, rural housing reflected influences from vernacular construction techniques as at Flatfield Farmhouse, Perthshire, built in 1785 (see Figure 3). Many early textile mills were constructed partly or wholly of brick, including the use of arched flooring to build fireproof mills, as at Ditherington in Shropshire in 1797. This strategy quickly became popular throughout Britain. Overall, the Georgian period was one of considerable expansion in the use of brick.

Figure 3: The Georgian period saw brick used for housing in both urban and rural areas of the UK. Flatfield Farmhouse, Perthshire, shows many influences from vernacular building traditions

From a technical perspective, Flemish bond was commonly used in this period, although irregular bond was common in rural buildings. It was at this time that gauged brickwork became more widely practised throughout British brick buildings. Brick was often used in the 18th century for specific purposes in stone structures, as well as to construct buildings in their own right. Such uses include vaulting, lining ashlar walls and the construction of internal partitions. Higher-quality bricks used on the front facade of a building would sometimes be snapped in half, resulting in poor binding with the brick wall behind and giving the illusion of an alternative bonding style.

Victorian and Edwardian brickwork

In the early part of the 19th century, the use of brick continued in much the same way it had in the previous 100 years. The growth of railways and their use in the mid-19th century, however, meant a considerable expansion in the use of brick due to the need to construct bridges, line tunnels and ancillary structures (see Figure 4). Other engineered constructions of brick at this time included tall chimneys, lighthouses and an incredible range of industrial structures. This use of brick in an engineered context has left a considerable legacy, from North Unst Lighthouse, Shetland, to St Pancras Station, London. Brick was used throughout Britain at this time to construct vast rows of housing for industrial workers (see Figure 5).

Figure 4: The growth of railways led to an expansion in the use of brick

Figure 5: Brick was used in housing for industrial workers

The mid-19th century saw considerable change in the way brick-making was undertaken. The introduction of many new processes for the forming of bricks and advances in kiln technology made it more readily available and also allowed mass production of special shapes, different colours and high-quality glazed and facing bricks. This led to a golden age of decorative brickwork between 1860 and 1890, which saw elements incorporated into even the most utilitarian of buildings. This reached its apogee with the construction of Templeton&rsquos Carpet Factory, Glasgow, in 1892 (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Templeton's Carpet Factory, Glasgow, constructed during the golden age of decorative brickwork

There are numerous technical features of note from this period, including recognisable bond patterns that can be seen throughout British brickwork. The gauge to which brickwork was laid and the size of bricks both increased in the latter part of the 19th century both bond and gauge varied considerably by region. Cavity-wall brickwork &ndash which performs differently in structural terms to solid-mass brick walls &ndash also come into use in the 19th century. However, this is not always evidenced by the use of stretcher bond. Where headers are used to tie across the cavity, bonds such as the rat-trap bond may be seen, as in the brick housing in Main Street, Newtongrange, dating to 1872.

Through the centuries these developments have left us with a heritage of brick buildings that it is important to conserve and repair correctly.

Moses Jenkins is a senior technical officer at Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Patterns for Fireplace Surrounds

Furniture designer Gustav Stickley believed that a big, focal-point fireplace is essential to an Arts & Crafts house—not just for warmth, but as an emotional center and offer of hospitality. No wonder bungalows from Southern California to Miami were built with fireplaces! But what does a true Arts & Crafts fireplace surround look like? Facing materials could be almost anything that wouldn’t burn: brick, rubble stone or river rock, tile, terra cotta, cast stone, even concrete. Despite the present-day perception that an Arts & Crafts fireplace should be clad in art tile, the most common material for builder bungalows and many other houses of the period was probably brick, especially before 1920. (Even tilemaker Ernest Batchelder’s home, built in 1909, started life with a brick fireplace.)

In a 1907 Foursquare, flanking bookcases extend the horizontal surround in running-bond brick. Photo by William Wright

An almost identical pairing appeared in Morgan Woodwork’s catalog of 1921.

Proportions and massing are just as important as the material used on the face. Unlike the classical proportions of fireplaces in most homes built from the 18th to early 20th centuries, Arts & Crafts fireplaces are broad and sometimes blocky, often flanked by bookcases or bookended by seating areas termed inglenooks. In transitional fireplaces with tall and narrow coal-burning fireboxes, the brick or tile is scaled down to fit a smaller, narrower hearth glossy lozenge-shaped 1½" x 6" or 1" x 3" tiles are typical, similar to those in late Victorian fireplaces.

Surround patterns were inventive, especially in brick and tile. If you are lucky enough to have an original brick or tile fireplace in good condition, do not feel compelled to paint, reclad, or otherwise jazz it up. Even a deceptively simple brick or tile surround is an authentic bit of Arts & Crafts decorative history.

For centuries, bricks have been standardized at 4" wide x 4" tall x 8" long. One exception is Roman brick, favored by Frank Lloyd Wright in many of his Prairie fireplaces. Narrow Roman bricks measure 4" wide x 2" tall x 12" long. These standard dimensions lend themselves to a running-bond pattern, where the joints in each row are staggered by half a brick𠅊 classic look for Craftsman and Prairie styles.

Standard brick is endlessly versatile this original is in a 1913 house. Photo by Gross & Daley

If the running-bond pattern is most typical𠅎specially given the stout width of many hearths—vertical running bond also appears, often where the hearth is taller than it is wide. In other instances, the running-bond pattern might be interrupted by sections of brick turned at right angles or fanned to create arches and other pattern variations. In some cases, single bricks are inserted below the mantel in lieu of corbels, or rows of projecting bricks laid to create a recess or its illusion.

A variation from the Universal Design Book, 1927) includes an arch over the firebox, and patterns formed by bricks on the diagonal or by adding accent brick.

For real texture, though, it was common to intersperse a mantel mostly made of brick with locally available stone, an accent tile or two, or (most delightfully) clinker brick.
Once a low-cost alternative to standard brick, misshapen and vitrified clinker bricks gave a fireplace a sought- after organic appearance. Period brick colorations are earthy, running from light pink and buff to deep reds, purples, and browns. Clinkers, of course, offer a more extreme range of colors, from fire-engine red or flaming orange to blackish-purple. Another exception is bricks clad in terra cotta, offering a more smoothly finished look than regular brick.

A geometric Batchelder fireplace in a 1932 Tudor Revival. Photo by Josh Beeman

40 Replies to &ldquoSome History Behind Architectural Veneers&rdquo

That is an interesting read. Thanks for the new perspective. Just the same, I still feel that new construction should blend with the old structures in areas of some historic significance. Sometimes, that historic significance is invented. Other times, it is the common perception of a society. So the conclusion implied by the good doctor is that all new construction in downtown Fullerton should be of real red brick with a coat of plaster and 1900-styled detail. Interesting.

“So the conclusion implied by the good doctor is that all new construction in downtown Fullerton should be of real red brick with a coat of plaster and 1900-styled detail. Interesting.”

Greg, not sure how you came away with that. Haldemann offers no conclusions – only a warning against using “blend in” strategies for purposes that are either deceptive or just phony. Please re-read.

The doctor stated:
“Modern architectural theory held that this sort of use of non-structural masonry veneer is fundamentally non-truthful, meretricious and basically a middlebrow (or lower) affectation. And so it is!”
Clearly, the use of a brick veneer is BAD and therefore the use of REAL brick is OK.

Separate out the differences between the way it looks and the function it has. The doctor points out that the use of fake brick for architectural blending is bad. He never says that the use of real red brick is bad therefore one must conclude that he is only concerned with artificial aesthetics and not the use of the real red brick for its beauty or structural integrity.

So is Dr. Haldemann saying that there is nothing wholly wrong with veneers? That veneers are bad only when they are used to create an ungenuine historic effect? Just trying to understand, thanks.

Actually he pretty much avoids aesthetic judgment except for the snarky bit about middlebrow taste although you will note that he immediately launches into the use of brick veneers in contemporary architecture for various reasons.

I think for us this gets back to the old issue of “fake-old” and the Redevelopment Agency’s bureaucratic manic impulse to create a weird phony-front environment along Harbor Blvd. mostly.

The use of brick veneer on the proposed Santa Fe parking structure is a more subtle problem since there is precedent for the use of such materials by contemporary architects in certain contexts, and one of them, according to Haldemann is historical reference.

FFFF did a survey a while back that admirably demonstratged that the vast majority of facades in downtown Fullerton are not brick, but other materials. Thus the use of brick on the new PS for “historical reference” is pretty obvously misplaced.

And, finally there are the issues of cost: sticking fake brick on the side of a parking structure may please someone’s aesthetic preference, or not. But it is an added cost that certainly might find better expression – such as on photo voltaic panel arrays.

Greg, Dr. Ralph E. Haldemann said “Modern architectural theory held that this sort of use of non-structural masonry veneer is fundamentally non-truthful, meretricious and basically a middlebrow (or lower) affectation.”

The implication is that in modern times brick veneer whether it’s red, white, blue, or blurple manufactured or even “REAL” red clay brick veneer is inappropriate.

The key word here is “veneer”.

Main Entry: 1ve·neer
Pronunciation: və-ˈnir
Function: noun
Etymology: German Furnier, from furnieren to veneer, from French fournir to furnish, equip — more at furnish
Date: 1702

1 : a thin sheet of a material: as a : a layer of wood of superior value or excellent grain to be glued to an inferior wood b : any of the thin layers bonded together to form plywood c : a plastic or porcelain coating bonded to the surface of a cosmetically imperfect tooth
2 : a protective or ornamental facing (as of brick or stone)
3 : a superficial or deceptively attractive appearance, display, or effect : facade, gloss

Greg, you are confused. Haldemann implied nothing about using real brick and plastering it over with 1900 details as you first idicated in comment #1.

As to using structural brick he implies nothing about that either. You did.

Hardly anybody builds with solid brick anymore because to be structural (i.e. meet the modern building code) it has to be interwoven with steel reinforcement with grouted cavity walls. This basically renders even real, solid brick into little more than a veneer on a reinforced concrete core wall.

CMU and structural clayblock (Look at the BoA building on Chapman/Harbor) provide masonry options for authentic architectural expression without crappy veneers.

But the bigger issues really do have to do with the questions of “blending in” and what kind of design taxpayers should be subsidizing.

Let’s address the second issue first. A plausible argument can be made that in a democracy the people who want non-descript “blend-in” architecture ought to be able to get that subsidized as readily as good, original design, if that is the goal of the majority of aesthetic consumers. I agree. And since I believe that the consequence will invariably be crappy (just like we have shown it to be on these pages) this is a supreme reason to get rid of public subsidies of architecture!

The first issue has to to with the “blending-in” strategy – regardless of who is paying for it. While protecting historic buildingsis an admirable goal, timidly avoiding good modern architecture is a nonsense. The two goals of historic preservation and original design are not mutually exclusive and anybody who thinks they are is woefully uninformed.

The challenge of adding on to an historic building is real the challenge of creating exciting modern architecture in an historic district only exists in the minds of people who use words like “charming” and “quaint’ to define downtown Fullerton.

Ok, so FFFF appears to have an issue with red brick AND veneers. After all, plaster is a veneer. So are wood and aluminum sidings. In fact, by the definition offered above, paint could be a veneer. Personally, I’m not a big fan of red brick but it is a useful subject for this discussion. Obviously, we cannot use the traditional red brick of yesteryear due to its poor seismic integrity. However, there have been some newer materials introduced that are larger red bricks with holes to allow for reinforcement bars and mortar thereby making them seismically fit for most general construction.

Getting back on my point… Sticking a modern glass and steel building in downtown would look absurd. Also, I think it is ironic that “modern architecture” needs to be all original without any “fake-old”. If you ever had an art history course or an intro to architecture course you spend a great deal of time looking at where you came from to get to where you are. Therefore, all architects have to have a thorough and deep knowledge of the history of various architectural revolutions. This is because people find comfort in familiarity. I’m sure we could ask a few psychologists about what makes aesthetically appeasing buildings appealing to our senses and get an answer that is along the lines of making all new building “fake-old”.
I never would have thought that FFFF would condone the use of our down town for experimenting with “modern architecture” like that latest rendition of the Fox Block Massacre or most of Irvine. The last time the city did that, we ended up with one of the ugliest city halls in OC and a library right out of the Brady Bunch, just to name a few. UHG!

So I present this question to FFFF and their architectural sympathizers: What should the ideal STYLE (be specific – not just “modern”) of architecture be to define our down town? Should it all be like the Disney Concert Hall, which I looks like a recycling center’s orgy, or should it have some resemblance of the buildings that currently dominate the area?

Oh no! The people working inside this building can look out side and visa versa:

If you were trying to show what a nice building the FCB is, you have found a bad example. That building is ugly. It figures that the business which occupies it would be a financial institution. The building is quite institutional and lacks imagination.

The trees are nice but they are wrong for this region and will destroy the concrete walk and curb costing us thousands of dollars.

Greg please do not use the word “nice” in an aesthetic context. It is very offensive.

Main Entry: 1aes·thet·ic
Variant(s): also es·thet·ic es-ˈthe-tik, is-, British usually ēs- or aes·thet·i·cal or es·thet·i·cal -ti-kəl
Function: adjective
Etymology: German ästhetisch, from New Latin aestheticus, from Greek aisthētikos of sense perception, from aisthanesthai to perceive — more at audible
Date: 1798
1 a : of, relating to, or dealing with aesthetics or the beautiful b : artistic c : pleasing in appearance : attractive
2 : appreciative of, responsive to, or zealous about the beautiful also : responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses
— aes·thet·i·cal·ly also es·thet·i·cal·ly -ti-k(ə-)lē adverb

Those trees look hideous and out of place.

When one travels to other parts of the country and sees the many homes made of brick it makes sense. The bricks were usually made at a regional Brickworks, hence, one reason for using it as a material in older homes.

While there were probably brickworks in California, I can’t say that it’s ever been a predominant architectural style in building history. Which is why it makes little sense to have entire parking structures and buildings covered in it.

It’s true, architects do have a historical overview of building trends, styles and materials. As one well noted architect has said while pointing to the plans of two very different plans he’d drawn for development –one of which was modern for a plaza in Palm Springs, the other was colonial traditional for a hotel in Lexington KY, “This (pointing to the modern) would not have been possible were it not for this (pointing to the traditional. Both have beauty and the modern is as important as the traditional.”

Okay, so Greg, I do take issue with this:
“Sticking a modern glass and steel building in downtown would look absurd. Also, I think it is ironic that “modern architecture” needs to be all original without any “fake-old”.

I’m not so sure this generalization is correct. I’d rather see something modern by a masterful architect using glass and steel, which is thoughtfully juxtaposed placed next to something old. Want evidence? Look at NYC, San Fransisco or many other cities where the two co-exist.

What I really disdain is this same attitude that I saw at the failed move to turn my neighborhood into a historic zone (which is being raised again by one neighbor and Heritage board member who has blanketed only the homes around hers to get the city to raise the issue again).

What I dislike is the notion is an insistence that there has to be a uniform style. In this case, it seems that “McSpanish WhooHa” has been chosen. But it begs the question. If we can have a home or a building built by a master like Frank Gehry or Richard Meier, would this not go further to enhance the city than more McSpanish WhooHa, or brick veneer that falls onto one’s head?

If we could have a sculpture by MayaLin, wouldn’t this be preferable to some of the mindlessly chosen like they’ve bought in the city of Brea?

Here’s what I want. Modern, sustainable architecture that looks like it was built thoughtfully and is a benchmark for our time. I don’t want something that looks like it’s trying to be something it’s not. You want Spanish, then go for it, but allow it to be more expansive in interpretation than what’s being tossed down now. And that’s the key: broadening our architectural styles and knowledge so that we have interesting public spaces, and buildings that aren’t going to fall apart and –like the original Spanish-Mediterranean stuff, is going to be around for a long, long time.

Do we love (the original) parts of Fullerton College and Fullerton High School? Yes, we do. And we clearly understood that had it not been for those, the development that just got torn down on Chapman near CSUF would never have been built in the 60’s. That was a product of its time as well.

But it does seem to me, that this overreaching arm to “choose” a design style for the city has ended up obliterating much of our past.

I also think it would be good for the leaders of this blog to start posting photos of buildings and homes that they like. They do not have to be in Fullerton, rather, looking around the world to see what’s being done now is very exciting and can give a simple example to the readers.

Admin …I love that building. Now, if only the city would allow those trees to grow into a natural shape.
And where the hell have you been?

My brother is vacation so I’ve been minding the store.

Oh, Okay. I thought you were maybe plotting furtively.

Greg, I love Disney Hall. I disagree with your slagging it as a recycled. It shows how little you know about the building, and its construction. I will assume that you have never taken the tour. It’s breathtaking. It’s a masterpiece. Lillian Disney did a good thing.

I don’t know much about the building or its construction, nor do I care to. I am giving you my knee-jerk reaction to the way I see certain buildings. I shouldn’t have to take a tour, read a book, and talk to a bunch of people to determine if the building looks good. I will admit, that the Hall is amazing and shocking the first time you see it. Disney Hall is great for downtown L.A. it fits in with the other misfit buildings there. That is what I would like to avoid here. You can have a “green” building without it looking foreign. You can have an inspirational building without it being a shock on the senses. The fact that it has an all metal VENEER should put an end to defending it. Fake-futuristic doesn’t make it ok.

My issue with your response and dragging Disney Hall in is that this is the same argument that the preservationists use to promote their McSpanish Whoo Ha aesthetic. “If you don’t go with McSpanish Whoo Ha, then THAT’S what you get!”

It’s totally reactionary, and your admitting
“I don’t know much about the building or its construction, nor do I care to
show an aesthetic bigotry that most of us are trying to push past.

And that is why I am hear listening (ok reading) and involved in this discussion. I prefer to see buildings that have an older style or look while you seem to prefer to see buildings that have “different” or “modern” styles. At least that is what I’m reading from your posts. So the fact that I like blue as a color is an aesthetic bigotry? Or perhaps I like gothic architecture and therefore my likes are irrelevant? That seems ironic, perhaps hypocritical, that you would consider what I like to be a bigotry but not the fact that you don’t like older styles.

I am open to the notion that there may be architecture that you would consider modern and aesthetically pleasing that I would also enjoy. What that building would like is unimaginable to me. Perhaps it’s my lack of imagination. I never could enjoy the impressionist paintings but I always loved those realistic Dutch paintings. I considered those classics until my art professor “corrected” me and explained how unimaginative and unoriginal they were and that real artists pooh-pooh on those. She used some artsy-fartsy words to convey the message, so forgive me if I am butchering the subject. Art is not my forte.

Anyway, if you want to see more modern architecture in the downtown area, please explain to me why the Foxblock is a bad architectural idea. It certainly doesn’t resemble anything we have now and it looks modern.

You’re response is articulate and thought-provoking – thank you.

Interesting view and it causes me pause to think, as rare as that may be… ^)

Let’s look at this from an economic point of view. What do the business owners want to see as their place of business? What style, if any, is important to their revenue source – customers? If the building’s architecture detracts from the business, the business will likely fail. Then we may be stuck with a really nice building sitting vacant because of its style and aesthetic turn-off. We must keep in mind, as has been well demonstrated here, that each of us have a different opinion on what we think looks “nice”. My wife likes lavender walls. I like them white.

I would like to see what others think are nice styles of design, whatever the era.

I agree with FFFF that our tax-dollars should NOT go towards pointless or misguided architecture. I am also a huge fan of individual property rights which may seem at odds with the above comments. However, we (as a community) need to have some order in the process of manifesting our future. That order SHOULD come from the collective neighborhoods and advisory boards. I have family and friends who think of Fullerton as a screwed up city simply because they allow for MONSTER MANSIONS on small lots. There are several Poorman Mansions in North Fullerton (my area) and they look ridiculous because they were given a variance by the city to ignore setbacks and build three-story manors extending very near the property lines right next to 1960’s ranch homes. Should property owners be permitted to develop their own land in such a way? Can we make a blanket generalization (something I’m good at doing) that we should not impose ANY regulations on aesthetics?

Oh dear, dear me. Okay, where to start. At the top I guess.

Ok, so FFFF appears to have an issue with red brick AND veneers [Incorrect. You are the only one talking about brick]. After all, plaster is a veneer [No it is not. It is an integral exterior skin]. So are wood and aluminum sidings [No, they are not. See comment above]. In fact, by the definition offered above, paint could be a veneer [Maybe by your definition. Not by mine!]. Personally, I’m not a big fan of red brick but it is a useful subject for this discussion. Obviously, we cannot use the traditional red brick of yesteryear [Please do not use this term anymore. I’m begging you!] due to its poor seismic integrity. However, there have been some newer materials introduced that are larger red bricks with holes to allow for reinforcement bars and mortar thereby making them seismically fit for most general construction [Yes, I already made this point in my previous comment about CMU and clayblock. I even cited an example – the BofA building that actually looks pretty good for DT Fullerton].

Getting back on my point… Sticking a modern glass and steel building in downtown would look absurd [Says who, you? It wouldn’t look absurd to me. Check out the church on the NE corner of harbor and Wilshire. That looks pretty damn good to me and includes one of the most sophisticated open spaces in Fullerton]. Also, I think it is ironic that “modern architecture” needs to be all original without any “fake-old”[No, that’s not ironic, that’s just commonsense]. If you ever had an art history course or an intro to architecture course you spend a great deal of time looking at where you came from to get to where you are [Likely true, but what’s the relevance?]. Therefore, all architects have to have a thorough and deep knowledge of the history of various architectural revolutions [Well, okay, but what’s the relevance?]. This is because people find comfort in familiarity. [Eureka! I think we’re finally getting to the real point!]I’m sure we could ask a few psychologists about what makes aesthetically appeasing buildings appealing to our senses and get an answer that is along the lines of making all new building “fake-old”. [Hmm. You might be able to find a shrink who understands the tenets of aesthetics and classical proportion, but I think this person would conclude that you like fake old because it provides emotional, not aesthetic satisfaction but you would have a real hard time finding ANY intelligent person who 1) believes that classical proportions are being pursued by any practitioners of brick veneered and fake-old buildings in DT Fullerton, or 2) that these self same proportions couldn’t be achieved in godd contemporary architecture].
I never would have thought that FFFF would condone the use of our down town for experimenting with “modern architecture” like that latest rendition of the Fox Block Massacre or most of Irvine [We didn’t. Go back and read the recent post. We called it a train wreck. Also go back and consult an earlier post on “Circus Architecture”]. The last time the city did that, we ended up with one of the ugliest city halls in OC [Incorrect. The Fullerton City Hall was built in 1962 and fails mostly because of the way the Neo-formal building was crammed into a “Spanishified” style] and a library right out of the Brady Bunch [Have to give you this one: the library was following a misguided fad of concrete brutalism popular at the tail end of the 60s. Its design is just rotten inside and out], just to name a few [I can’t think of too many other real monsters]. UHG!

So I present this question to FFFF and their architectural sympathizers: What should the ideal STYLE (be specific – not just “modern”) of architecture be to define our down town? [NONE – who says we have to have one?] Should it all be like the Disney Concert Hall, which I looks like a recycling center’s orgy [Well, degustibus non es disputandem], or should it have some resemblance of the buildings that currently dominate the area? [And what buildings “currently dominate the area” – stylistically? I’ll answer that one: none! And that is a real, real good thing].

Who cut those trees? They make me want to eat mushrooms and kick turtle shells.

Scotland's Brick and Tile Manufacturing Industry

The humble brick is much underrated, underappreciated, undervalued and overlooked. 'Brick' is a generic term and with regards this project it stands for any clay related products manufactured at a Brick and Tile Works - bricks, drainage tiles, sewage pipes, animal feed troughs etc etc etc.

Stand up and be proud - I LOVE MY BRICK!

Father Jack knows the truth of it - Click here.

The search for Scottish bricks

************************************* This is a Scotland wide community based project and I am looking for anyone no matter where they live in Scotland, or the world for that matter, to get in touch if they feel they can assist in anyway whatsoever.*************************************

This site is primarily to record and detail the Scottish brick manufacturing industry.

The aim is to try and identify all the Scottish brickmakers back through the generations and to preserve a physical example of their bricks. The physical examples, will in the main, only relate to those makers that marked their bricks in a way that they can be readily identified.

This is a facet of Scottish history that has been previously overlooked with regards to its recording, but nevertheless, it is a very important one. The humble brick is virtually unique in that it knits together countless aspects of Scottish history – industrial, agricultural, social, military etc. Unless these bricks are located and preserved, they will soon be lost forever.

Please look at the list of Scottish bricks so far rescued.

If you have one in your back garden that I do not have listed as being in my possession, then please feel free to get in touch if you would like to donate it to the cause.

You may, of course, wish to keep your brick, in which case I would be very grateful if you could forward a close up photograph of the brick so I can add its image to the Scottish brickmark list. There are many brickmarks and variations on a theme still to be found…back gardens will be hiding many of them!

I am also looking for areas to search for bricks – so if you know of a section of coast or riverbank, demolition site etc where Scottish bricks can be found then please get in touch.

If I recover bricks from a shoreline where they have been deposited to prevent land erosion then I will replace them at the time – I always carry spares in the car for such a purpose.

Scottish brick found overseas – see menu link for full list

Scottish bricks found in New South Wales, Australia

The following bricks are in a collection owned by Josh Bra. They were recovered from an old…

Thistle bricks found near Perm, Russia

The following bricks were found by Vladimir Smirnov near Perm, Russian. Stein, Castlecary Fireclay Works, Castlecary, Stirlingshire….

Gartcraig brick found in the Philippines

Found by Larie Sam M. Yanga in the backyard of a house at San Enrique Negros Occidental,…

P & M Hurll, Glasgow bricks found in the Republic of Ireland

These ‘P & M Hurll, Glasgow’ bricks were photographed by Harry Hughes at the Widow Sammons House,…

R Brown and Son Paisley brick found in Indonesia

This brick was found by Syeeba Medina Azza in an abandoned fortress at Oranje Nassau near Banjarbaru…

Forth brick found in Lisbon, Portugal

The following brick was found on the south Bank of Tagus at Cacilhas, Lisbon, Portugal by Rui…

Glenboig brick found near New York, USA

Found in the Hudson Valley in New York, USA by Hunter Cantrell. Note the Glenboig ‘star’ trademark…

J & R Howie Ltd sink found in Montevideo, Uruguay

Many thanks to Colin Rogers for the following information and photographs. This white enamelled sink stamped J…

Muir brick found in Argentina

This ‘Muir’ stamped brick was found by Gustavo Coronel and Leonardo Brizuela at a lime kiln at…

Etna Great Britain brick found in Malagueño, Argentina

This brick was found by Gustavo Agustin Coronel. It was found at a lime kiln, Hornos Fabrica…

Allan & Mann Govan Patent Glasgow brick found in Trinidad

Terrence Honore of the Palmiste Historical Society states – It was found at the former Palmiste sugarcane…

Scottish bricks found in Borneo, Malaysia

Many thanks to Daphne Lim for the following information and photographs. Rawyards Glasgow and Hurll bricks found…

Gartcraig brick found in Ontario, Canada

Found by Craig Penstone by the river in downtown Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Gartcraig Fire Clay Works, by…

Howie and Morningside bricks found in Winnipeg, Canada

Many thanks to Shayne Campbell, President & Executive Director Settlers, Rials & Trails – Argyle Museum, for…

Douglas X brick found in New South Wales, Australia

This brick is in the possession of Leslie White and was found in the Hawkesbury (NSW) region…

Scottish brick history – see menu link for full list

Dykehead Fire Brick Works, Bonnybridge, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Canmore – Dykehead Fireclay Works. Source Falkirk Museum and Archives – George Turnbull and Company, Dykehead Brickworks,…

Grangemouth Firebrick Works, Skinflats, Grangemouth, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Grangemouth Firebrick Works, Skinflats, Grangemouth, Falkirk. Grangemouth Coal Co was founded in 1839 with main premises at…

St Rollox Brickworks, St Rollox, Glasgow

(Note – SBH – The exact location of the St Rollox Fire Brick Works is unknown. It…

Henry Jackson, Brick and Tile Maker, Musselburgh, East Lothian.

1825 – Henry Jackson, brick and tile maker, Musselburgh area, East Lothian.

Brucefield Brickworks, Kennet, Clackmannanshire

Brucefield Brickworks, Kennet, Clackmannanshire. Believed to stamp bricks marked ‘B’Field’, ‘Brucefield’, ‘Kennet’ and ‘Dunsmuir Clackmannan’ and possibly…

Megginch Brick and Tile Pottery Works, Fala, Perth and Kinross

30/07/1879 – Dundee Advertiser – Highland Society show at Perth Messrs James Anderson & Co. Portland cement…

Rutherglen Brickworks, Farme Cross, Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire

1895 – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests that R & D Adam started…

Shore Brick and Tile Works, Cornton, Stirling

Below – 02/04/1796 – Caledonian Mercury – Could this have been the original advert for the plot…

James Campbell – Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland to Brisbane, Australia

James Campbell (1830-1904), businessman and manufacturer, was born on 6 March 1830 at Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland, son…

Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire aka The Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, Dundyvan, Coatbridge. (Note SBH –…

Sillyhole Tileworks, Dalmellington, East Ayrshire

08/07/1846 – Dumfries and Galloway Standard – Marriages. At Dalmelington Manse on 26th ult., by the Rev…

Bleachfield Brick and Tile Works, Bleachfield, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

The site itself is not identified on the ordnance survey maps for the area, however on the…

Glasgow Iron and Steel Co, Wishaw, North Lanarkshire

Canmore Below – Glasgow Iron and Steel Co – Source Glasgow Iron and Steel Co of Wishaw –…

Dalquharran Brick and Tile Works, Wallacetown, Dailly, South Ayrshire

Dalquharran Brick and Tile Works, Wallacetown, Ayrshire (2 different sites) aka Maxwell Colliery KA19 (Not to be…

Burgh Mill Brick and Tile Works, Craigs, St Ninians, Stirling

Burgh Mill Brick and Tile Works, Craigs, Stirling aka Burghmuir or Craigs. Below – 18/12/1845 – Land…

Drainage pipes and tiles – see menu link for full list

Clay water pipe

This unstamped clay pipe was found by Geoff Hancock in a shed on Raws Farm, near Sandford,…

Bourtreehill Registered No 782708

This set-up of troughs, salt lick or cowlick and ventilator was photographed by Ian Suddaby in the…

J & R Howie Ltd sink found in Montevideo, Uruguay

Many thanks to Colin Rogers for the following information and photographs. This white enamelled sink stamped J…

Southhook Kilmarnock 777

Found by Martin Sneddon on a new house build site at Seamill near Ardrossan, North Ayrshire. This…

Methven and Garnkirk chimney pots, Dundee

Many thanks to Mike Allan for the following information and photographs. Mike states – These two octagonal…

Bourtreehill Dunfermline

Found by Simon Scott in the Turriff area. This example is not in my possession. This is…

Street Brothers Inverkeithing

Photographed in a garden in Edinburgh by Ian Suddaby. Street Brothers, Appin Coal and Fire Clay Works,…

Bourtreehill Dreghorn

Photographed by Ian Suddaby at a salvage yard in the Ayrshire area. Ian states – It says…

Glenboig *

This salt-glazed pipe is in the possession of Ian Suddaby and was recovered in Edinburgh. Ian states…

Lilliehill Dunfermline

This, and 2 other similar troughs, are owned by Debbie Hanson who resides in the West Lothian…

John Young and Robert Boyle, Brick machine makers, Ayrshire.

1845 – John Young from Newton on Ayr, in collaboration with Robert Boyle produced a machine called the…

Loudon & Russell, Allanton Brick, Tile & Fireclay Works by Wishaw

This stunning chimney is in the possession of Ian Suddaby and was found in the Falkirk area….


This chimney is in the possession of Ian Suddaby and was found in Dalkeith. Manufactured at the…

Allan Kirkwood Nitshill Glasgow

Found by Ian Suddaby in the Nitshill area of Glasgow. This example is not in my possession….

Pencil or whistle drain

These pencil or whistle drains were found by Ian Suddaby. They were found in 2003 at Longhaven…

Scottish brick history – see menu link for full list

Clepington Brickworks, Dundee

Clepington Brickworks, Dundee. (Note – SBH – Were these brickworks ever built?). 13/09/1884 – Dundee Peoples Journal…

Budhill Tileworks, Shettleston, Glasgow

03/02/1845 – Glasgow Herald – Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland – Implements and machines, General Show at…

Eastfield Tile Company, Penicuik, Midlothian

1841 – National Records of Scotland – Plan of land occupied by the Tile Company on the…

John Strachan, brick manufacturer, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

John Strachan, brick manufacturer, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh or was he solely a merchant? 16/10/1880 – The Scotsman –…

Dalmeny Brickworks, Dalmeny, West Lothian

Scottish Oils Limited Brick and Tile Works, Pumpherston, West Lothian and Dalmeny Brickworks. (Note – SBH –…

Leith Brickworks, Edinburgh

Notes researched and compiled by George R Haggarty. A brickwork constructed by Joseph Sandes, merchant in Leith…

Nathaniel Udwart, brickmaker, Edinburgh

Source – Sourcing Scottish Redwares by George Haggarty, Derek Hall and Simon Chenery – In those areas…

Netherton Quarry Brickfield, Garscube, Glasgow

Below – 26/04/1822 – Glasgow Herald – The Netherton Quarry on the Estate of Garscube, five miles…

East Cowcaddens Fire Brick Works, Cowcaddens, Glasgow

(Note – SBH – Please read this in conjunction with the Port Dundas Fire Brick Works as…

Harehill Brickworks, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen

20/12/1955 – Aberdeen Evening Express – Two ‘decent men’ fined for theft and reset. A former brickworks…

David Colville and Sons, iron and steel makers, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire

Graces Guide information. Graces Guide information. Below – 1881 – Advert David Colville and Sons Dalzell Steel…

William Porteous and Co, brickmakers, Glasgow

(Note – SBH – I am uncertain as to exactly which brickworks William Porteous was associated with….

Westfield Brickworks, Westfield, West Lothian

Westfield Brickworks, Westfield, West Lothian. (Note – SBH – So where exactly were these works situated? Was…

Darngavil Brickworks, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire

(Note – SBH – There appears to be conflicting information regarding the locations of the Darngavil, Craigriggs…

Clachan Tileworks, Corsewall, Stranraer, Wigtownshire

Clachan Tileworks, Corsewall, Stranraer, Wigtownshire. 10/05/1848 – Dumfries and Galloway Standard – Kirkcolm 9th May … There…

Scottish brick collection is now rehoused!

For more photographs please Click here.

Drongan brick sought

If anyone knows the whereabouts of a Drongan marked brick, I would love to hear from them.

I believe they were manufactured at the Drongan Castle Colliery, Drongan, Ayrshire.

Please get in touch if you can assist with an example for this Scottish brick collection

Information requested – Blackpots Brick and Tile works, Banff

Information is requested on the Blackpots Brick and Tile works, Whitehills, Banff.

I have a roof tile marked Blackpots but as yet a similarly marked brick evades me. Any information on to the whereabouts of such a brick will be gratefully received. Finding such a brick would be a fantastic boost to my Scottish brick collection.

I would also love to hear from anyone that has information on the Blackpots works. Did your relatives work there? Do you have any photographs or headed notepaper bearing the Blackpots name?

Information requested – Kilchattan Brickworks, Kilchattan, Bute

Information of any description is requested with regards the Kilchattan Brickworks, Kilchattan, Bute. I believe the brickworks may have been on the grounds of Mount Stuart House and I am keen to ascertain if any marked bricks have ever been found by anyone on the island or further afield. I am currently researching these works for a forthcoming article on my site. Please click on the following link to see the article with the information gleaned so far. Click here.

Information requested – Terregles brick and tile works, Dumfries

Information of any description is requested with regards the Terregles brick and tile works, Terregles near Dumfries. In particular, I would be interested in knowing if anyone has a marked brick or tile from the works.

From an entry on Scotlandplaces and an old OS map, the works were certainly in operation between 1848 and 1850 when they were owned by M.C Maxwell Esq of Terregles.

I am currently researching these works but the information is scant.

Please click on the following link to see the article with the information gleaned so far.

“John McKnight & Son PLAN Kilmarnock” brick sought

I am seeking an example of a "John McKnight & Son PLAN Kilmarnock" brick.

Anyone with any information on these brickworks or indeed with knowledge where I may pick an intact brick up for the collection, can contact me via the contact form on this site or directly by email to [email protected]

Any information on these works would be greatly appreciated.

Tanya Martin Ceramics

Tanya is an artist working predominantly with clay but she also enjoys drawing bricks in all their glory. Bricks are beautiful. Bricks are solid and robust, but also very feminine, graceful, sophisticated and cool. Please click on the following link to see further information and a link to Tanyas website. Click here.

Brick stamped – “G Turnbull C Dykehead”

George Turnbull Company operated various brickworks including Dykehead fire clay works, and the Bonnymuir Brick and Tile Works, Bonnybridge, Falkirk. A firebrick stamped "G Turnbull C Dykehead 3/4" was seen at the Cruden Bay Brickworks, Aberdeen in 1982 and a rubbing was taken of the brickmark. This proves that Turnbull did mark his bricks. I would be interested in knowing if anyone can direct me to where I can find an example of the stamped brick as shown below or indeed any brick marked "Bonnymuir" Click here. and Click here.

Brick stamped “Edmonstone Fire Clay Works Dalkeith Patent”

Information of any description is requested with regards the Edmonstone Brickworks, Millerhill, Edinburgh, possibly also known as the Wellington Brick and Tile Works or the Millerhill Fire Brick Works. In particular, I would be interested in knowing if anyone can direct me to where I can find an example of the stamped brick as shown below. I am aware of only 1 such brick being in existence and it is owned by a farmer local to the old works. Please click on the following link to see the article with the information gleaned so far. Click here.

Brick of interest.

I believe these Greenhill bricks were manufactured at the Greenhill Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge.

The works appear to have started c. 1860 when Alexander and John Scott owned the farm and brickworks at Clayknowes, Bonnybridge.

The bricks were all found in the vicinity of the Greenhill Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge, Scotland. Letters are missing, reversed, upside down and angled. The one thing to note is that the letters are in the correct order as such albeit some are missing. They are all fire bricks. The 'Greenhills' bottom left appear to be a later version and the 'G' appears out of character from the other letters but at least it says, Greenhill! There are other stamps available from the same works with either a smaller font or later machine stamped versions but the names are complete on those.

My own thoughts are that this was a brickworks on its last legs prior to being taken over by the Clayknowes brickworks. As such the moulds appear to have been falling to bits especially the stamp in the bottom. They probably could not afford a mould maker or joiner so the moulder probably had to repair the stamp every morning and try to get the letters to stay in place. Perhaps they were split and could not take a nail to secure them. He appears to know how Greenhill is spelt as no letters are out of order. Basically, I think the moulds were in such a bad state that the moulder was happy if he managed to rig the stamp to say resemble anything that looked like Greenhill.

Roman concrete

Concrete was usually covered as concrete walls were considered unaesthetic. Roman builders covered building walls with stones or small square tuff blocks that would often form beautiful patterns noting that brick faced concrete buildings were common in Rome especially after the great fire of 64 AD.

Roman concrete formula

Ancient Roman concrete vault in Rome

Concrete was made by mixing with water: 1) an aggregate which included pieces or rock, ceramic tile, pieces of brick from previously demolished constructions, 2) volcanic dust (called pozzolana) and 3) gypsum or lime. Usually the mix was a ratio of 1 part of lime for 3 parts of volcanic ash. Pozzolana contained both silica and alumina and created a chemical reaction which strengthened the cohesiveness of the mortar.

There were many variations of concrete and Rome even saw the Concrete Revolution which represented advances in the composition of concrete and allowed for the construction of impressive monuments such as the Pantheon. For example, Roman builders discovered that adding crushed terracotta to the mortar created a waterproof material which could be then be used with cisterns and other constructions exposed to rain or water.

Romans mastered underwater concrete by the middle of the 1st century AD. The city of Caesarea gives us an impressive example of Roman construction. The production technique was quite incredible: the mix was one-part lime for two-parts volcanic ash, and it was placed in volcanic tuff or small wooden cases. The seawater would then hydrate the lime and trigger a hot chemical reaction which hardened the concrete.

Caesarea harbor before and today - Robert Teringo, National Geographic Society

Was Roman concrete better than modern concrete?

Actually it has been argued that the concrete used by the Romans was of better quality than the concrete in use today. Recent research from US and Italian scientists has shown that the concrete used to make Roman harbors in the Mediterranean was more resistant than modern concrete (known as Portland cement).

The production process was dramatically different. Portland cement is made by heating clays and limestone at high temperatures (various additives are also added) while the Romans used volcanic ash and a much smaller amount of lime heated at lower temperatures than modern methods.

For example, Roman harbors remain intact today after 2,000 years of waves breaking on the harbors' breakwaters whereas Portland concrete begins to erode in less than 50 years of sea battering. The concrete from ancient Rome also had bending properties that Portland concrete does not have due to its lime and volcanic ash, which explains why it does not crack after a few decades.

The Secrets of Ancient Roman Concrete

History contains many references to ancient concrete, including in the writings of the famous Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who lived in the 1st century A.D. and died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Pliny wrote that the best maritime concrete was made from volcanic ash found in regions around the Gulf of Naples, especially from near the modern-day town of Pozzuoli. Its virtues became so well-known that ash with similar mineral characteristics–no matter where it was found in the world–has been dubbed pozzolan.

By analyzing the mineral components of the cement taken from the Pozzuoli Bay breakwater at the laboratory of U.C. Berkeley, as well as facilities in Saudi Arabia and Germany, the international team of researchers was able to discover the “secret” to Roman cement’s durability. They found that the Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock to form a mortar. To build underwater structures, this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater then triggered a chemical reaction, through which water molecules hydrated the lime and reacted with the ash to cement everything together. The resulting calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) bond is exceptionally strong.

By comparison, Portland cement (the most common modern concrete blend) lacks the lime-volcanic ash combination, and doesn’t bind well compared with Roman concrete. Portland cement, in use for almost two centuries, tends to wear particularly quickly in seawater, with a service life of less than 50 years. In addition, the production of Portland cement produces a sizable amount of carbon dioxide, one of the most damaging of the so-called greenhouse gases. According to Paulo Monteiro, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and the lead researcher of the team analyzing the Roman concrete, manufacturing the 19 billion tons of Portland cement we use every year �ounts for 7 percent of the carbon dioxide that industry puts into the air.”

In addition to being more durable than Portland cement, argue, Roman concrete also appears to be more sustainable to produce. To manufacture Portland cement, carbon is emitted by the burning fuel used to heat a mix of limestone and clays to 1,450 degrees Celsius (2,642 degrees Fahrenheit) as well as by the heated limestone (calcium carbonate) itself. To make their concrete, Romans used much less lime, and made it from limestone baked at 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower, a process that used up much less fuel.

The researchers’ analysis of Roman concrete sheds light on existing modern concrete blends that have been used as more environmentally friendly partial substitutes for Portland cement, such as volcanic ash or fly ash from coal-burning power plants. Monteiro and his colleagues also suggest that adopting materials and production techniques used by the ancient Romans could produce longer-lasting concrete that generates less carbon dioxide. Monteiro estimates that pozzolan, which can be found in many parts of the world, could potentially replace � percent of the world’s demand for Portland cement.” If this is the case, ancient Roman builders may be responsible for making a truly revolutionary impact on modern architecture–one massive concrete structure at a time.


The ways in which brick are cut and laid to create decorative patterns are ancient and infinitely varied. They are as intricate and demanding as the patterns found in weaving and embroidery or bead work or inlaid designs in wood. Sometimes these bonds bear similar names and designs.

Antique Terra Cotta Firebrick – Soldier Herringbone

There are weaves such as: Basket weave, Herringbone weave, and Della Robbia weave. There are braids such as: Nordic Braid, Scottish Braid, Parquet Braid, Diamond Braid, Appian Braid, Celtic Cross Braid, and Pinwheel. Names for bonds are inspired by places: Monterey, Corte Madera, Mediterranean, or taken from nature: Northern Lights, Snakeskin, Peacock, and borrowed from eras or styles: Regency, Chateau Nouveau, 3-D Cube.

Antique Terra Cotta Firebrick – Soldier Fence Weave

There are even names for bonds drawn from peoples and stories such as: Macedonian, English Rowlock, Flemish, Cherokee, Roman Curb, and Jacob’s Ladder. There is a Hollywood bond also known as Drunk brick. In many ways, brick bonds are a lasting illustration of our history.

Joints and Courses

Bond A bond is the patterned arrangement of brick or stone in a wall. The brick must be lapped upon one another, to prevent vertical joints from falling over each other.

Mortar Mortar is a pasty building material composed of sand, lime and cement mixed with water. This mixture gradually hardens when exposed to the air. Mortar is used as a joining medium in brick and stone construction.

Joint A joint is the mortar bond placed between individual masonry units such as brick, block or stone.

Wall laid in English Bond

When a brick is laid down the mason must decide which side of the brick will face outside towards the viewer. Will the brick be set flat or will it stand up? Will the wide side or the narrow side face out? The following are terms which describe how the brick is set. Is it vertical or horizontal? Does it show the long or or the short side? Does it show the narrow or the wide side? Is it laid down on the narrow edge or the wide edge?

Course Setting a course means to arrange in a row. A row of bricks, when laid in a wall, is called a course. It is a continuous level range or row of brick or masonry throughout the face or faces of a building. Each horizontal layer of brick in a masonry structure is called a course. Brick laid flat and perpendicular to the face of the wall are called headers. A header course consists entirely of headers (horizontal, short, narrow side laid on wide edge).


Parts of brickwork include bricks, beds and perpends. The bed is the mortar upon which a brick is laid. A perpend is a vertical joint between any two bricks and is usually – but not always – filled with mortar. The dimensions of these parts are, in general, co-ordinated so that two bricks laid side by side separated only by the width of a perpend have a total width identical to the length of a single brick laid transversely on top of them.


Stretcher Brick laid flat with the long face parallel to the wall are called a stretchers. When all the brick in the course are laid in this manner, it is called a stretcher course. (horizontal, long, narrow)

HeaderA brick laid flat with its width at the face of the wall, or parallel to the face of the wall.

Soldier A soldier course is one in which brick are laid standing on end with the narrow edge facing out. This type of course is sometimes used for decorative effects over door and window openings and in fireplace facings (vertical, long, narrow).

Sailor A sailor course is similar to the soldier course but with the wide edge facing out. It is used for decorative effects (vertical, long, wide). The width of a masonry structure can be measured by stretchers and joints. The height of a masonry structure can be measured by courses and joints.

Rowlock Occasionally a special type of course is used for either structural or decorative purposes. The rowlock or rolok is similar to the header course except that the brick are laid on narrow or face edge. This type of course is often used as the top course or cap of garden walls and as window and door sills (horizontal, short, narrow side laid on narrow edge).

Shiner A brick laid on the long narrow side with the broad face of the brick exposed.

Brick Bonds

The following are typical brick bonds found on the faces of veneers of buildings.

Running or Stretcher Bond The running Bond uses stretcher courses with the joints breaking at the center of each brick immediately above and below. This is frequently used for partitions and veneer and chimneys.

Common Bond Sometimes called the American Bond, this is a variation of the Running Bond, with a header course every 5th, 6th, or 7th course. This ties the wall to the backing masonry material. The header courses are centered on each other.

English Bond The English Bond is a form of bond in which one course is composed entirely of headers and the next course is composed entirely of stretchers. The header and stretcher courses alternate throughout the wall. Alternate courses of headers and stretchers are laid so the joints between stretchers are centered on the headers. Stretchers are centered on stretchers headers on headers. This type of bond is especially popular for residential buildings.

English Cross Bond or Dutch Bond A form of bond similar to Old English bond. This bond uses alternate headers and stretcher courses. The joints of the stretchers center on the stretchers two courses above and below headers center on headers. This type of bond is used where strength and beauty are required.

Flemish Bond A bond consisting of headers and stretchers which alternate in every course. The headers in course are centered above and below the stretchers in the other course. It is so laid as always to break joints, each header being placed in the middle of the stretchers in courses above and below.

Stack Bond All courses are stretchers and all joins are in line. This is used primarily for aesthetic purposes. It has relatively little structural value.

The following are typical brick bonds frequently used for paving.

Basket Weave Bond This pattern imitates a basic in-and-out weave. It looks as if the weft and the warp each had two threads. In terms of brick, if one viewed the horizontal paving as if it were the side of a vertical wall one could describe this bond as consisting of a course of two stretchers laid in a stack bond next to two soldiers and this pattern is repeated for the course. The stack and soldiers alternate on each course. The narrow side of the brick can be presented to the viewer but usually the wide side of the brick faces up.

Herringbone Bond This pattern imitates a herringbone weave. In terms of brick, if one viewed the horizontal paving as if it were the side of a vertical wall one could describe this bond as consisting of a course of one stretcher laid next to one soldier and this pattern is repeated for the course. The stretcher and soldier alternate on each course. On a 45 degree angle a stairway of stretchers can be seen. Soldiers stand on one edge of each step. The narrow side of the brick can be presented to the viewer but usually the wide side of the brick faces up.

Pinwheel Bond This pattern imitates the assembly of a pinwheel. It calls for the insertion of a cut half brick or a closure in the center of a square. If one viewed the horizontal paving as if it were the side of a vertical wall one could describe this bond as consisting of a course of one stretcher laid next to one soldier and this pattern is repeated for the course. The stretcher and soldier alternate on each course but this time their order is reversed on each course. Even courses: stretcher, soldier. Odd courses: soldier, stretcher. The narrow side of the brick can be presented to the viewer but usually the wide side of the brick faces up. Two courses form a series of squares with a closure in the center.

Della Robbia Weave Bond This bond is not commonly used. At one time we called it the Walton Weave because Dennis Walton invented the pattern. Alas, there is nothing new under the sun, at least not in masonry bonds. One day we discovered the proper name for this pattern. It is a variation on a basket weave, but it uses only one brick (or thread) for the weft and warp. It

consists of a course of one stretcher laid next to one soldier and this pattern is repeated for the course. However the stretcher is centered on the soldier and the soldier is centered on the stretchers in the courses above and below. The stretcher and soldier alternate on each course. Quarter closures fill in the gaps making a small square out of each centered soldier and each centered stretcher. Three courses form a pattern that looks something like a capital I next to a dash: I-I-I-I-I- or a series of the capital H: HHHHH with thread weaving in and out of the crossbar on the H. The wide side of the brick faces up.

Running Board Bond The pattern is the same as a Running Bond in a wall. It uses stretcher courses with the joints breaking at the center of each brick immediately above and below. In terms of brick, they can be viewed as soldiers.

Unusual Bonds

Drunk Brick or Hollywood Bond After you master the rules, you can break the rules. It’s very difficult because it goes against everything a mason has been taught. Brick are sticking out or hacked and courses are slanted. This type of bond is an artistic rendering of brick courses designed to make the construction appear as very rustic and thrown together. It has the look of a fairytale cottage.

Weeping Joints Sometimes the mortar is left to ooze and drip down from the joints between the brick courses.

Stone Patterns

The following are typical stone bonds frequently found in walls or used for faces on buildings or used for patterns in paving.

Ashlar Pattern An Ashlar pattern is usually done with squared (quarry cut) stone. Unlike brick, the height and width of the stone will vary. Coursed Ashlar lays stone of equal height but unequal length in regular courses. Each course may use stones of a different height, but all stones in one course have about the same height.

Random Ashlar Pattern This is a type of ashlar construction where the building blocks are laid apparently at random, but usually are placed in a definite pattern which is repeated again and again. There are no regular courses of one height. Stones of different heights and lengths are laid next to each other.

Historic York, Inc.

The following information was taken from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission website and can be accessed at

BAYS The number of bays refers to the width of a building by counting the number of openings including both doors and windows. A house with a center door and a window on either side has 3 BAYS.

BELFRY A small square bell tower placed atop a roof to house a bell, often found on churches and schools.

BOARD AND BATTEN A construction method for doors or walls in which the wood is arranged in vertical boards and held in place with a horizontal board called a batten.

BRACKETS Ornamental supports, usually of wood or pressed metal, which appear at the cornice line of a building. They may be incised into a scrolled pattern or be more simply molded and are common to all Italianate style buildings, but often appear with other styles as well.

BULKHEAD A bulkhead is a set of metal door providing an outdoor entrance to the cella

BUTTRESS A wall support usually of stone or brick placed at the sides of a building, commonly seen on some Gothic Revival style churches.

CHAIR RAIL A chair rail is decorative wooden trim attached horizontally at the approximate height of the back of a straight chair.

CHIMNEYS Chimneys are usually built of stone or brick (more modern chimneys may be of cinder block) and are located at either the exterior side walls of the building or at the center or interior of the building. Certain vernacular folk building patterns locate the chimney at the center of the house or at the corner.

CLAPBOARD A narrow wooden board, thinner at one edge than the other, applied horizontally to the exterior walls of buildings to form a weather-tight wall surface.

COLUMN A support pillar, usually round, found on porches and as a decorative detail.

COLUMN CAPITALS Capitals are the tops of round columns and may be of several distinct types or orders. Greek Doric capitals are fluted and plain, Roman Doric capitals are smooth and plain, Ionic capitals have a ram’s horn at all four corners, and a Corinthian capital is highly decorative with curling acanthus leaves.

COPING The capping at the top of a wall for protection from weather elements.

CORBEL A decorative use of brick atop the windows, walls or chimney or to create the shape of a bracket or dentil at the top of a building beneath the cornice.

CORNICE A cornice is the finished edge of the roof where it meets the exterior wall, of varying sizes, sometime plain, but often decorative and marked by brackets, dentils, medallions or some other decorative feature.

CRENALATED PARAPET A low retaining wall at the edge of a roof or porch with a uniform pattern of openings creating a battlement. In medieval times the openings were used for the defense of fortresses, hence the term battlement.

CRESTING Roof cresting is a lacy decorative fencing made of wrought iron, rimming the edge or peak of a roof, often seen in Second Empire (Mansard) style buildings.

CUPOLA A cupola is a decorative, small, projecting tower at the top of the roof of a building, often square, round or octagonal in shape.

DORMER A window opening at the roof level, topped by a front gable or shed roof.

EAVES The edge of the roof that overhangs the exterior walls, sometimes with exposed rafters.

EYELID DORMER A half-elliptical decorative window placed in the roof surface, resembling the shape of an eye.

FACADE The face of a building, usually referring to the front.

FANLIGHT A semi-circular (fan shaped) window placed atop a door, commonly seen in Federal and Colonial Revival style buildings.

FENESTRATIONS PATTERN The arrangement of windows across the facade of a building.

FINIAL A decorative piece set atop a spire, cupola, gable or gate post.

FLEMISH GABLE A decorative gable form, often seen in Flanders and the Netherlands, the sides of which drop in a cascade of right angles, also called a crow-stepped gable. Used as a decorative embellishment in Victorian era styles in the USA.

FLOOR PLAN The layout of the various levels of a building, showing the location of rooms, interior walls, chimneys, porches and staircases.

FLUTING Fluting is a decorative finish for wooden columns or trim where parallel grooves are carved vertically along the surface.

FRIEZE A frieze is the panel beneath the cornice at the top of a building’ exterior wall which is often ornamented with brackets, dentils or modillions

LINTEL The flat horizontal piece at the top of a window.

MASONRY A type of construction using stone, brick, tile or concrete block using mortar.

MOLDING A decorative raised surface along the edge of an architectural feature such as a window, column, door or wall

MORTAR A mixture of sand, water, lime and cement used to lay bricks, stone, tile or concrete bloc

MULLIONS The wooden divisions between panes of glass on windows.

OGEE ARCH A center pointed arch with reverse curve sides, often seen on Exotic Moorish Revival style buildings.

ORIEL WINDOW A projecting bay window supported by brackets or a triangular support piece.

PALLADIAN WINDOW A three-part, round-arched window, named for the 15th century Italian architect Andreas Palladino, also known as a Venetian Window and common in the Georgian and Colonial Revival styles.

PARAPET A parapet is a low stone or brick wall at the top of a building. A crenelated parapet has rhythmic breaks in the wall to create a pattern of battlements.

PEDIMENT A triangular space created by a front facing gable roof, often seen in Classical Revivial style buildings.

PENDANT An ornamental piece of wood or metal hanging down from a porch, cornice or bracke

PENT ROOF A narrow shed style roof placed above the first floor of a building to protect the doors, windows and lower walls, often covering all four sides of the building.

PILLAR A support column without classical detailing.

PILASTER A pilaster is a narrowly protruding column attached to a wall, giving the illusion of a real free standing support column.

POINTED ARCH An arch with a strong center point, usually seen in Gothic Revival style buildings.

PORCH A roofed space outside the main support walls of a building.

PORTICO A small entrance porch.

QUOINS Quoins are decorative rectangles or squares of stone, brick, wood or concrete, placed at the corners of buildings to add architectural interest.

RAFTERS The wooden structural support beams for a roof, sometimes visible on the exterior for certain building types and styles.

ROOF Roofs can be steep, flat or gently sloped and take many forms, gable, gambrel, hipped, stepped gable, shed, pent or Mansard. The roof type is an important key to identifying the style of a building.

ROUND ARCH A semicircular arch over a window or door.

SEGMENTAL ARCH A slightly rounded arch over a window or door.

SEMI-ELLIPTICAL ARCH A elongated round arch over a window or door.

SILL The flat horizontal bottom piece of a window or door, often of wood, but sometimes of stone.

STOOP The uncovered wide step leading into the front or main door of a building

STORIES The number of stories a building reflects its height by counting the stacked floors. If a building has dormer windows inset into the roof, that top section of the building is called a 1/2 story.

STUCCO A thin coating of plaster applied over exterior walls.

TOURELLE A small tower often trimmed with corbelling.

TOWER A tall structure, either square or round in shape, rising higher than the rest of the building.

TRACERY WINDOW A pointed arch window filled with curving stone mullions often seen on Gothic Revival style buildings.

TRANSOM LIGHT A flat, glass panel above a door, usually multi-paned.

TUDOR ARCH A flattened arch with a center point above a door or window, commonly seen in Tudor Revival style buildings, (also called a 4 centered arch).

TURRET A small tower at the corner of a building.

WAINSCOT The wainscot is the wood covered lower portion of an interior wall, usually topped by a chair rail. A wooden wainscot can be plain or paneled with a pattern of raised wooden trim.

WALLS Historic exterior wall construction can be of log, stone, brick, frame or stucco over such. In the more modern era, wall material could be of formed concrete, glass, or metal. Carrera glass was an early 20th century innovation producing a sleek, smooth colored glass finish, often applied to first floor walls of commercial buildings.

WEATHERBOARD An exterior horizontal wooden board applied with the lower edge overlapping the board below used to form exterior walls (wider and less shaped than a clapboard, although used for the same purpose).

Roman Stamped Bricks - History

Home in Dallas, Tuscan Terra Cotta Tiles:

Home in Dallas, French Antique Terra Cotta Tiles:

Spanish Style Home: Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles from Spain:

Home in Austin, Texas: Antique Speckled Riviera Pattern:

Home in San Antonio, Dominion: Antique Terra Cotta

Our tiles were featured in the new hit movie Hot Pursuit with Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. This was a 10,000 square foot home we did in 2007 near New Orleans. The home was selected by the studio to shoot the scenes for the movie. Really exciting news! See the house and the tiles in this clip here:

Call to Order Tiles: 417.664.3524

Old World Brown 6" Hexagon

Reclaimed Tile from Europe:

Reclaimed Tile in Spanish Style Home:

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles:

Home in San Antonio, Dominion:

Sizes currently in stock in Missouri:
Italian Terra Cotta Tile: 12x24, 6.5x19, 6x12, 12x12, 6x6, 4x4, 20x20, shape tile.
French Reclaimed Terracotta Tiles:

Currently expecting one new container: reclaimed 6x12" - Arrival April 2020.
CURRENTLY IN STOCK in USA: Reclaimed 6" Hexagons.


6x12" Italian Terra Cotta tiles in 6800 sqf home in Missouri. Tile currently in stock in Missouri.

Chateau Tuscan Terra Cotta kitchen flooring. Tile currently in stock.


Massive 12x24x1-1/4" Italian Terra Cotta tiles. Currently in stock.


Gorgeous 12x12" Tuscan terra cotta tile. Currently in stock!

Ralph Lauren selected this tile for their store in Greenwich, Ct. Tuscan Teak Finish Handmade Terracotta currently in stock!

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles on the wall: 3x12" and 6x14".

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles on the wall: 3x12" and 6x14".

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta 3x12" Tiles on the wall of a steam room.

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles 3x12".

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles 6x12".

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles 6x12".

French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tiles 6x12"


Italian Terracotta flooring in 6800 sqf home in Missouri

Chateau Tuscan Terracotta Tile

National WWII Museum, New Orleans. Italian Tuscan Handmade Terra Cotta tiles.

CARRELAGE TERRE CUITE French Reclaimed Gorgeous Tiles:

NEW Exciting Terra Cotta Tile Colors:

Antique Mahogany | Tuscan Gold | Florentine

Old World Brown

One of our favorite colors. If you are trying to achieve an old world look that makes you feel like you are in a 1500 year old castle, this is your tile. Great for wine cellars or your entire house. Our training in Italy has allowed us to achieve this look with the Tuscan tiles using only water based sealers and wax from England. It is truly special and reasonably priced for a unique high end product.

Similar in ways to the Old World Brown but with Red and Black hues. The tiles are hand sanded and then the sealers and waxes are used to achieve this look. Amazing if you are in need of a deep red. A very rich look indeed!

Tuscan Gold

This is the color that has been our most popular thru the years. Amazing as it is the natural color of the tiles with some brown accents added in the pores of the tile to give it a very naturally aged yet clean look. A very special color and one that brightens rooms that need more light and color.

Tuscan Natural Sanded (not waxed or sealed)

Tuscan tiles with no sealer or wax. This can be sanded or not sanded. The colors will range from tans, oranges, to reds. If you order your tiles sanded but unsealed, this is what you will receive. A gorgeous tile ready for your personal touch.

Contact us for prices and availability at 417.664.3524 or email [email protected]

/>Currently in stock in Missouri: 20x20", 12x12", 8x8", 4x4", 6,5x19", 6x12", 6x6". Please contact us about availability.

Photos reflect brown color as our client requested these tiles to be finished this way for his Tuscan style 14000 sq feet home in Fort Worth TX.
Raw tiles are in it's natural Terra Cotta colors and can be finished in any color suitable for your project.
These tiles look stunning in it's natural terra cotta color, dark brown, antique red patina, pink, gold, or light brown color variations.
We only use non-toxic natural waxes to finish our tiles. Every single tile is handmade and hand finished.

Contact us regarding your color preferences at 1-417-664-3524.


IN STOCK: Antique French Reclaimed Terra cotta Flooring.

Photo: Reclaimed approx. 150 years old French Terra Cotta Tiles.
These amazing terra cuite tiles in stock direct from France and are selling them for half the retail price. They are 6x12" in size and 0.5" thick. Size and colors may vary as tiles are reclaimed throughout France and not from one single lot. These tiles are from the 1800's and are considered Ancient. They can be used in any high traffic areas inside and out. Contact us if you are interested as they are ready to ship!

Photo taken of unsealed (laid and grouted only) tiles by Chris Lobo, one of our clients whom purchased the tiles from us and installed them himself. Great Job Chris!

Call us 1-417-664-3524 or email us at [email protected]

"Here is a picture of our completed floor.
Everyone loves it!"
Susan Young

Thank-you for the photo Susan! Your kitchen looks amazing!

___________________________________________________________________ IN STOCK: Photo on the left. Handmade Terra Cotta tiles with Antique Texture in size 12x12" and Step Coping tiles to match! Contact us today at 417-664-3524 .

Handmade Terracotta Tiles ( CARRELAGE TERRE CUITE ) : presents Exclusive Handmade Antique Rustic Old World Terra Cotta (Italian: "Baked Earth") Tile that looks over 100 Years Old. You can order any design or pattern of freshly baked handmade tile with the texture that looks antique. We offer authentic tiles from France, Italy, Spain and Mexico. We also make trips to Europe every year in a search of Reclaimed materials. Currently we have several containers coming to US with gorgeous reclaimed and new tiles from France and Italy.

Terra cotta has been used throughout history for sculpture and pottery, as well as bricks and roof shingles. In ancient times, the first clay sculptures were dried (baked) in the sun after being formed. Later, they were placed in the ashes of open hearths to harden, and finally kilns were used, the same process we use in our factory today. Only after firing to high temperature would it be classed as a ceramic material strong enough to be used for the flooring.

Terra Cotta flooring was very popular in ancient Roman times. Large terra cotta tiles were used in first radiant heating applications in ancient Roma. During the Roman Empire the art of natural terra cotta and stone flooring reached a new height of innovation. These masters of architecture were able to design a series of floors that actually glowed with toasty warmth from below. These were the first below surface radiant heating systems.

This process made use of large tiles, propped up on joists, so that a gap was created beneath the surface of the floor. A furnace would then be placed at one end of this gap and lit, while a vent would be placed at the other end. This would draw heat continuously across the bottom of the floor, warming it considerably. These heated floors were used in the homes of the wealthy throughout the life of the empire.

Italians treasured terra cotta traditions throughout the history. One of the great examples of their respect for terra cotta flooring is wide numbers of chapels dated back to 15-th century in Bologna region. Chapels present incredible three-dimensional ornaments on the ceilings, richly decorated interiors and bold traditional terra cotta flooring.

Just like centuries ago, our manufacturers use wood burned kilns to create natural multicolored terra cotta tiles and bricks. Each of our tiles has unique timeless multicolored reflection of the fire resembling a stamp of proof that tiles were baked in a real wood burning kiln.

Contact us about your project needs at ph. 1-417-664-3524 or email us at [email protected]

Request our Price List by completing the form below (you will receive our Price List via email) Please describe your project and the tile you are interested in :

3 photos below: Terra cotta tiles in home of famous and very talented artists Rob and Lina Liberace.
Lina designed the layout of the floor herself and they installed the tiles themselves in their spare time, and we think they have done a wonderful job!

Watch the video: ΓΙΑΚΟΥΜΗΣ, Μια Ρωμέικη Καρδιά - 1970 (July 2022).


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