The clay pit

Almost inevitably, a brickworks creates a quarry which fills with water. The clay that is removed to make bricks is pretty well impenetrable by water – hence its use for puddling dewponds and canals. And so, when Market Lavington had a brickworks, it also had a flooded quarry – and here it is.

1930s shot of the old clay pit at the Broadway brickworks

1930s shot of the old clay pit at the Broadway brickworks

This tranquil looking rural scene was actually the aftermath of a hive of industry. It was sited behind Broadway House – the old brick master’s home which still stands.

This photo dates from the 1930s. The brickworks was still in use but there’s no evidence that this lake was still the quarry for clay. Indeed, a swan is visible on the lake which does imply that it was not a greatly disturbed area of water.

After the brick works closed and into the post war era of the 50s and 60s, the quarry was used as a land fill site by the district council. Once filled it was lightly landscaped and is now an area for light industry and trading.

Before that it had been a place for local youngsters to risk their lives playing mad cap games. We are not aware that there were any actual tragedies.

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2 Responses to “The clay pit”

  1. James Perry Says:

    Our house in Drove Lane was built of these bricks and they were exceedingly hard. Not like modern bricks. You could chisel away for ages with little progress if you wanted to make a small hole in them for say a pipe.

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      They must have varied, for the bricks in the Sunday School building opposite the Congregational Church were well known by waiting youngsters for their softness. They were very easily carved!

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