HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > West Berkshire HER Result
West Berkshire HERPrintable version | About West Berkshire HER | Visit West Berkshire HER online...

West Berkshire HER logo

The West Berkshire Historic Environment Record (HER) is the primary index of the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire Council. Limited elements of the West Berkshire HER are available online via the Heritage Gateway, therefore it is not suitable for use in desk-based studies associated with development, planning and land-use changes, and does not meet the requirements of paragraph 194 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2021: 56). Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data. For these purposes and all other commercial enquiries, please contact the Archaeology team and complete our online HER enquiry form.

HER Number MWB15880
Record Type Monument
Name Site of Pinewood Estate Brick and Tile Company

Grid Reference SU 513 738
Map Sheet SU57SW
Parish Hermitage, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Former location of hand-made brick and tile works, opened in 1908 and closed in 1967, with associated railway; much of site developed for housing in early 21st century

Other Statuses and Cross-References

  • National Monuments Record No.: SU 57 SW 22
    SU 512 737

Monument Type(s):

Full Description

The Pinewood works was especially noted for the manufacture of hand made bricks and tiles. A sale catalogue of 1914 describes it as a large and successful pottery and brickworks, extending to nearly 60 acres <2>. This site was first shown on the 1912 Ordnance Survey edition, showing two buildings and a round kiln, but was extensively developed by the time of the 1933 edition <1>. It closed in 1967, but was surveyed and photographed the following year by F Roberts <3><11>. Samples of both products and manufacturing equipment were also given to Newbury Museum (FWB11632 and FWB11633). According to Prof Roberts in his 1974 article, "no trace now exists of this one-time extensive works, the site having been levelled and a new factory erected" <4>. However, disused pits and earthworks, probably associated with this industrial use, are visible on 21st century OS map layers.

The site had a private railway siding from c1907, known as Brain's Siding after the owner of the Pinewood Estate, who wanted to work the sand and chalk there. The official title of the company that was recorded in 1909 was the Pinewood estate and Kilns Company Ltd. Trains served both the sandpits and brick kilns. Coal was received for the kilns: inside the works coal was conveyed to the kilns in horse-drawn skips along a narrow gauge railway. In 1933 Pinewood Halt was opened as a stop for passenger traffic. A stone-crushing plant also existed for some time after the Second World War <5>.

The rise of Pinewood Brickworks seems to be linked with the Didcot-Newbury-Southampton railway <6>; it is suggested that bricks were made on this site for the building of the railway bridges, although this may have been on a cottage industry basis as nothing is marked on late 19th century maps. At its peak 50,000 bricks a week were transported by rail from a siding there. In the early 1920s a large continuous burning kiln was erected, used for machine made bricks. St Joseph's Church in Newbury was built of Pinewood bricks in the early 20th century. During the Second World War production ceased and the land was used for military storage, but brick making was resumed for a few years after the war, although the large kiln was not used. The site was then taken over by the Cementation Company and used for storage of road-making equipment <6>.

At the beginning of the 21st century the cementation site was developed for housing. Although a desk-based assessment considered that there was potential for archaeological remains to exist on the site <7>, later work in connection with this development failed to find any features or deposits due to late 20th century activities <8>. An archaeological watching brief in 2007 during the digging of foundations trenches for the housing only gained access to limited areas, and only observed made ground or heavily disturbed natural geology <9>.

West Berkshire Museum has a pair of photographs showing the main building in 1968-9, plus some earlier photographs from the 1950s and 1960s <13>. The Museum of English Rural Life has a small collection of items from the Pinewood Brick and Tile works <14>.

The GIS polygon for this site describes the area of industrial activity and has been derived from the 1912 OS map and the 1968 survey plan.

Sources and further reading

<01>Roberts, F. 1971?. A Brief Survey of Brickwork Sites in West Berkshire. WBC Network. Site 15. [Unpublished document / SWB13393]
http://www.archaeologyuk.org/cbasm/index_htm_files/APRIL%201971%2016.pdf (Accessed 21/12/2015)
<02>n/a. 1914. Sale Catalogue of the Pinewood Estate. [Unpublished document / SWB13107]
<03>Roberts, F. 1968. Plan, sketch drawings and photographs of the Pinewood Works. [Unpublished document / SWB13593]
<04>Newbury District Field Club. 1974. TRANS NEWBURY DISTRICT FIELD CLUB 1974 VOL 12 NO 3. p28-35 A Brick and Tile Works near Newbury by Prof Fred Roberts. [Article in serial / SWB11243]
<05>Karau, P, Parson, M & Robertson, K. 1981. Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway. P101. [Monograph / SWB12968]
<06>Marr, R (compiler). 2000. Hermitage 2000. p2, 6, 8-9. [Unpublished document / SWB14467]
<07>Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA). 30/11/2004. Hampstead Norreys Road, Hermitage, Berkshire - Archaeological Desk-top Assessment. No reference given. 2021 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB14585]
<08>Pre-Construct Archaeology. Dec-05. Land off Hampstead Norreys Road, Hermitage, Berkshire - Rapid walkover assessment. No reference given. 2021 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB14586]
<09>Thames Valley Archaeological Services. 2007. Hermitage Depot, Hampstead Norrey's Road, Hermitage, West Berkshire. HNH06/12. In ADS Grey Lit library. https://doi.org/10.5284/1000588. [Unpublished document / SWB147214]
http://dx.doi.org/10.5284/1000588 (Accessed 05/09/2013)
<10>Mitchell, V & Smith, K. 1998. Didcot to Winchester. [Monograph / SWB148539]
<11>1963-80?. National Record of Industrial Monuments. Record No. BK50. [Unpublished document / SWB148175]
<12>Hermitage Parish Council. 2004. A Village Design Statement for Hermitage. [Unpublished document / SWB149155]
https://info.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=35719&p=0 (Accessed 16/08/2021)
<13>Museum Curator. Newbury Museum Accession Records (West Berkshire Museum since 1998). 2022 WBC Network. NEBYM:1993.96.3-4; 1995.65.30-32. [Unpublished document / SWB14452]
<14>Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) - Accession Register. 97/7/1ff. [Unpublished document / SWB149809]
https://merl.reading.ac.uk/merl-collections/search-and-browse/ ()

Related Monuments

MWB17775Pinewood Cottage, Chapel Lane, Hermitage (Building)
MWB16001Site of Pinewood Halt RAF maintenance unit - unknown exact location (Monument)
MWB16449St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Newbury (Building)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB399Survey of Brickwork sites in 'West Berkshire'
EWB852Archaeological Desk-top Assessment of land at Hampstead Norreys Road, Hermitage, Berkshire (Ref: No reference given)
EWB853A report on a rapid walkover assessment of land off Hampstead Norreys Road, Hermitage (Ref: No reference given)
EWB976Hermitage Depot, Hampstead Norrey's Road, Hermitage, West Berkshire (Ref: HNH06/12)