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Ewhurst Brickworks

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What: Brickworks
Where: Walliswood, Surrey
Built: 1945-65
Architect: Unknown
Abandoned: c.1977
Listed: No
Visited: 1995-2013
Last Known Condition: Derelict, unroofed and largely demolished.
Page Updated: January 2014

Clay extraction for brickmaking began at Ewhurst Works c.1945 under A. Hone & Sons, though many of the buildings on site (including the kilns) are later than this, having been erected in the 1960s. The small works comprised sand and additive hoppers, factory buildings, four drying tunnels, a Nissen hut canteen and seven intermittent downdraught kilns connected by underground flues to a central smokestack. A 2' gauge tramway brought clay from a small pit to the south.

Stoke holes (2013)
Chimney, 2014

Saplings growing out of the wall (2014)
Saplings growing out of a wall, 2014

Heating flue (2009)
Heating flue in one of the dryers, 2009

Spray can (2014)
Spray can, 2014

[click images below to expand & enlarge]

Clay pit (1997) Remains of factory after collapse (2004) Remains of ducting (2004) Canteen (2004) Surviving factory building (2014) Pre-drying area (2009) Drying pallet (2013) Switch (2014) Isolator (2014) Golem (2013) Shoe (2007) Machine mounting (2013) Ruins of brick dryer (2013) Regulator (2013) Ducting (2009) Tunnel kiln (2014) Stoke holes (2014) Kilns (2007) Inside a kiln (2007) Inside a kiln (2013) Finished product (2014) Lighting controls (2013) Sub-station (2013) Amperes (2013) Brimstone butterfly (2014) Enamel fire warning sign in nearby woods (2014) Ex-deer (2014)

The works closed c.1977 and by the early 1990s had become a haven for wildlife, home to bats, foxes, deer and owls. It was here that I first experienced derelict spaces, c. 1995 and I found plenty here to hold my interest: trees sprouting up through cracks in the roofs, coats still hanging up in the canteen, the last load of bricks still in the kilns and unidentifiable machinery slowly rusting into the ground. In 2004, however, the main factory roof collapsed and diggers were brought in to clear the wreckage, also demolishing the canteen and sand hoppers, thus opening for the first time large areas of the site to become a canvas for graffitists who covered them in bright murals and tags. Since then, although several plans have been raised for dealing with the redundant site, none have come to fruition. Once again nature is colonising the bare concrete and for the most part Ewhurst Brickworks is being left to its own devices.

Bibliography

Mitchell, V. and Smith, K. (2003) "Surrey Narrow Gauge including South London" Midhurst: Middleton Press.

Payne, G.A. (1977) "Surrey Industrial Archaeology" Chichester: Phillimore.

Surrey County Council (N.D.) "Site L5 Ewhurst Brickworks" Kingston upon Thames: S.C.C. [ret. 24/1/14 from http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/166908/SAR-2D-Site-L5.pdf]

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The Derelict Miscellany: website and all content © D. A. Gregory unless stated to be otherwise.