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A Social History


288 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $29.95 (CA $39.95) (US $29.95)

Publication Date: February 2020

ISBN 9780750991933

Rights: US & CA

The History Press (Feb 2020)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $29.95


Bricks and lime mortars came to this country with the Romans but for most people bricks become popular a little later. After the Great Fire of London, whole buildings had to be built from non-flammable materials and brick buildings came into their own. The Georgian town house became the epitome of urban design; bricks and mortar built the infrastructure of industrial Britain. Mortars had to be created that could set under water for canals and be strong enough to build long railway tunnels, while bricks had to be made in huge quantities. They also built the worst slums this country has ever known, contributing to the early deaths of thousands. The love affair with bricks continues today, with exposed brickwork on show in many modern buildings. This is the surprising social history of bricks in Britain.


"Haynes is an architect as well as project manager for the Brickworks Museum in Swanwick, and an expert on "our most overlooked commodity". The brick, it turns out, is a complex and fascinating object with a tumultuous history, despite being largely unchanged in 2,000 years. It may sound niche, but anyone who has ever wondered what their house is made from will find this book has much to offer." —Financial Times 

Author Biography

Carolyne Haynes is an architect by training. She was project manager of the Heritage Lottery grants for Buriton Chalk Pits—an old lime working—and Bursledon Brickworks, the only remaining Victorian steam driven brickworks left in the country. She is now a project manager at The Brickworks Museum.