The Brickyard had two sets of round kilns – here and further round the site. Once the bricks were dry they would be laid out in sections by the ‘Setter’ allowing enough space for air ti circulate. Dry sand was scattered between them and then coal fires were lit. The kilns could reach top temperatures of 1150 degrees Celsius where bricks would be fired for up to two days. The glazed and warped look of the brick in this piece show what can happen if the bricks were not stacked properly and were heated to a too high temperature. It is thought that the glazed finish comes from the melting sand that was scattered between the bricks before firing.
With the tall chimneys towering above, the Brickworks were reliant on the heat and smoke generated to make the bricks and tiles. But ultimately it was these chimneys that brought the Brickworks to the end of their life. With the introduction of the Clean Air Act in 1968, which restricted the emission of smoke, the Works could no longer operate how it used to. Once again the local community could hang their washing out on the line without fear of it turning black with soot!