Dating buildings brickwork

So the typical Georgian town house was tall and narrow with a long narrow garden or court behind and for the largest houses a coach house or stable at the rear of the plot served by a subsidiary road or mews.

In Bristol, then one of the largest and most important provincial cities, one of the first brick houses in the city was completed in 1701 in a new formal square soon to be named after Queen Anne (1701-14).

The building of these first Georgian streets and squares represented the beginnings of large-scale suburban development in Britain.

But this idea was debunked by the research of Norman Nail , presented in 1981. So bricks in one part of the country would have a very different colour and texture from those in another, giving buildings a distinctive regional look and feel. Buildings make a public statement that can reflect the owner's perceived status.

Brick tiles' had been introduced much earlier as a way to clad timber buildings and give them the appearance of brick, and they were also taxed during most of the period when bricks were. That changed when cheap transport began to favour mass production in areas where the bricks could be made more cheaply, and transported more or less anywhere. Over the years fashions change but the desire to be in fashion, and the desire for quality by those who could afford it, persisted.

Brick-work is so common that we don't give it a second thought.

What could be less interesting than a brick, you might think!

All houses except the poorest had basements containing a kitchen, a back kitchen or scullery and various stores - pantry, larder and storage for coal.

The coal store often extended under the pavement so that the coal could be delivered without entering the basement: the circular cast-iron coal hole covers remain a feature of the pavements in many Georgian streets.

But brickwork evolved to meet the needs of society, and over the centuries it has continually responded to changing needs, technology and fashions.

The Romans had bricks, but they were very different from what we think of as a brick today.

With the increasing use of timber frames in modern buildings, brick tiles are again being used to provide a more traditional appearance than other cladding such as plain tiles. This section of is not yet fully developed, but there are a couple of examples in the pictures below. So did the desire to project the appearance of quality by those who could not afford it but would like it thought that they could.

Comments are closed.