A Brick from Devizes

Market Lavington had its own brickworks but that didn’t mean bricks weren’t imported from elsewhere. At the museum we have several bricks made outside the parish. This one is stamped with the name of Mullings of Devizes.


We know that in the latter part of the nineteenth century a Richard Mullings owned the Caen Hill brickworks in Devizes. We believe the deposit of suitable clay had been identified when the Kennet and Avon Canal was dug – and very useful it proved to the canal company. Some two million bricks were supplied, from this brickworks to line Bruce Tunnel. That’s a colossal number. If the works was able to turn out one brick every second, continuously, you’d be in the 24th day before getting two million bricks.

Now Mullings from Devizes moved out to Market Lavington, and before that Easterton. These were basket makers, involved in a slow, gentle country craft. But we do wonder if our Mullings family had anything to do with Richard the brickmaker of Devizes.

Maybe somebody out there could let us know.

Meanwhile, we can enjoy this brick, with its neatly made octagonal frog with a flat bottom.


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5 Responses to “A Brick from Devizes”

  1. Sandra Freeman Says:


    I’ve been receiving and enjoying your daily posts. My family is originally from Devizes and my great grandfather Frederick Giles along with his sons, my grandfather included, Herbert Frederick Giles ran the Devizes brickworks, by census records that I know for sure, 1901-1911. My grandparents also ran the Olive Branch which was on Caen Hill right near the brick works and my mom lived there as well. My mom past away recently, my parents moved to the states in 1961 leaving behind a lot of family,but they often returned and my mother always considered Devizes home. My Dad was a child living in Bath during the Blitz.

    I often look for information about the brickworks, have read it’s history about the locks but have never found much when my family ran it. Do you have any bricks from that time? or pottery? Back then it was the Devizes Brick and tile company. I’ll send you photos and I welcome you to share them or keep in your records. (photos to follow)

    Kind Regards, Sandra Freeman

    Cape Neddick, Maine USA

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Sue Mullins Says:

    Hello Sandra, was your Mum Joyce and your father Howard? My mum is Betty Prior nee Paradise and is still in touch with your Dad though she now has dementia so I don’t think she has been in touch recently. My grandparents lived at the Locks and my grandad Harold worked on the canal waterways all of his working life. My grandmother Kathleen (Kit) Giles’ parents lived in the brick house behind the brickworks and ran the brickworks in the early 20th century. They were always known as ” little fat” grandma and grandad though they passed away before I was born. My email is suemullins27@msn.com. I would love to hear from you.

  3. Mark Says:

    Hi there,

    My family bought the Olive Branch around 1978/1979 as a derelict building and turned it into a small holding. We llived there until around 2010 when my parents split up.

    They tried to maintain as much of the original house as possible, there were prices still chalked on the cellar wall , the old entrance and service bell remained and there was a piano too.

    Dad retained the bakery as his workshop , the pigsty wasn’t rebuilt until 1998 or so and we were forever finding pottery, old clay pipes and lemonade bottles in the garden.

    We did have some old photos of a previous landlord and his family, I am pretty sure I once met an old gentlemen who was the babe in arms in the older photo? Could that be any relation of yours?

    We were the family that endured 2 lorries crashing into the house one night if anyone remembers that.

    It was a wonderful place to grow up in and I think about it often.

    My dad, Bill Rowell still lives in Devizes.

  4. Bill Vandemark Says:

    I have just found this page a day after leaving Devizes where I spent 3days tracing my Mullings family heritage. Richard Mullings was my great great grandfather, the father of my great grandmother, Mildred. She emigrated to Canada in 1926 with her 4 children. I visited the Devizes archives who were very helpful with info on Richard and his involvement in Devizes.

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