This film is part of Free

Brickmaking at Pycroft Brickworks

You'll be up to your knees in clay when you meet the Pyecrofts in this delightful film about a family brick making business on Hayling Island -

Amateur film 1974 11 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


We start with three generations of the Pyecroft family putting clay into moulds which are dusted with sand before laying out the bricks for drying. Clay is seen being dug out of the ground, mixed with ashes and loaded into a mincing machine. Dried bricks are stacked into a 'clamp', during which the family are seen having a tea break. The 'clamp' grows higher and higher and kindling is added. Once fired the bricks are laid out before we end with finished bricks being laid in a wall.

The Pyecroft family already had a long history of brickmaking in Fareham and the surrounding area before Harold Pyecroft started his small business on Hayling Island in 1934. His brickworks was set up to supply bricks for his building business which was a common practice and Harold used the 'clamp method', as featured in this film, to manufacture the bricks. He also purchased equipment from other local brickmakers in order to increase productivity. Local 'brickearth' (a sandy coloured clay deposit resulting from inundations by the sea over the centuries), was the raw material used. Bricks made out of this type of clay can be found in many buildings throughout the area.