The British Brick

Did British brick making stop for hundreds of years when the Romans left?

In the 19th century it was rumoured British brick layers took a millennium long tea break that only ended when Henry VI was crowned in 1422.

This throwing back of the date has further interest in view of the fact that the Bar is a brick building, as it is another nail of considerable dimensions in the common, oft-repeated, but wholly erroneous superstition, that there were no brick buildings of any importance in England, between the Roman era and the reign of Henry VI.

The Building of Beverley Bar – Arthur F Leach
Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society – Volume 4 – 1896

https://archive.org/details/transactions05socigoog/page/n58/mode/1up

Henry VI (1421-1471) was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VI_of_England

The Province of Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43AD to 410 AD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Britain

Nowadays, the headlines proclaim British brick makers took a 600 or 700 year long tea break after the departure of the Romans in 410 AD.

In the British Isles, the introduction of Roman brick by the Ancient Romans was followed by a 600–700 year gap in major brick production.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_brick

But behind the headlines the story shows British brick makers took a 850 year long tea break that ended with the construction of Little Wenham Hall in 1260 AD.

It is usually supposed that the use and knowledge of brickwork disappeared with the departure of the Romans and were not rediscovered until the thirteenth century, when Little Wenham Hall arose in Suffolk about the year 1260 A.D.

Their reintroduction was due to the industrious Flemings who migrated into East Anglia and brought with them the art which they had long practised in their own country, where there is a complete absence of building stone.

Probably they brought their bricks with them, and it is supposed that those which were used for Little Wenham Hall were imported.

The Manor Houses of England – Peter Hampson Ditchfield – 1910
https://archive.org/details/manorhousesofeng00ditcuoft/page/86/mode/1up

The village is home to Wenham Castle, a castellated manor house and one of the oldest houses in England; built by John de Villabus in the 13th century, it was built using some of the first English-made bricks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Wenham

The Little Wenhan Hall construction period of 1260-80 isn’t unreasonable as there are details of British brick transactions going back to 1303.

A little further North, in the County of Suffolk, is Little Wenham Hall, c. 1260-80, which is probably the earliest brick dwelling- house of its kind in England.

The bricks used are of the true Flemish or Low Country type, measuring 9 by 4½ by 2 inches, some 2¼ inches thick.

These vary in colour, most being cream and greenish-yellow, with occasional pinks and reds.
They are rough in texture and warped. The bases of the walls are of stone and courses of roughly knapped flints. A few feet up the brick walling begins.

It has been suggested that the bricks may have been imported from Flanders by way of Ipswich, but it is at least equally probable that they were made locally, for we have authentic record of regular brick making in England from a period shortly after this.

A History of English Brickwork – Nathaniel Lloyd – 1925
https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n23/mode/1up

https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n36/mode/1up

Aligning the British brick data with Leona Libby’s chronology shows there’s a problem with British chronology during the first half of the 14th century.

The regnal calendar (“nth year of the reign of King X”, etc.) is used in many official British government and legal documents of historical interest, notably parliamentary statutes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnal_years_of_English_monarchs

The problem involves an [estimated] 45 years being misplaced to create the Short-Cross Sandwich that’s filled with the fictional Richard I and King John.

Allocating Henricvs Rex Short-Cross Pennies to Henry III is suspect because his Long-Cross Pennies are actually inscribed with “III” or “TERCI”.

The suspect allocation to Henry III creates the Short-Cross Sandwich.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/matthew-paris-and-the-replica-royals/

The Short-Cross Sandwich charade attempts to gloss over:

a) No English minted coins exist for Richard I.
b) No English minted coins exist for John.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2020/06/18/willy-the-fink-and-the-replica-royals/

Problems involving “some forty or fifty years” are not without precedent.

In the next place, they throw the date of the building back some forty or fifty years, as it has hitherto been commonly attributed to about the years 1450-60, in the reign of Henry VI, whereas in fact the building appears in the accounts of the then Corporation of Beverley, the twelve Keepers or Governors of the Community of Beverley, for the year 1409-10, and was begun and finished in the year.

The Building of Beverley Bar – Arthur F Leach
Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society – Volume 4 – 1896

https://archive.org/details/transactions05socigoog/page/n58/mode/1up

The adjusted data suggests brick making was suspended between [about] 1315 and 1405.

The earliest example with which I am acquainted in our own immediate neighbourhood is the transept of Holy Trinity Church, Hull (c, 1315-1320), the walls of which are wholly of brick, with the exception of the windows, quoins, and other dressings, which are of stone.

The North Bar, Beverley, – John Bilson
Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society – Volume 4 – 1896

https://archive.org/details/transactions05socigoog/page/n86/mode/1up

Hull Minster is an Anglican minster in the centre of Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The church was called Holy Trinity Church until 13 May 2017 when it became Hull Minster.

The church dates back to about 1300 and contains what is widely acknowledged to be some of the finest mediaeval brick-work in the country, particularly in the transepts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_Minster

Coincidentally, the Radiocarbon Calibration Curve loses touch with reality [for the very last time] just before the Hecker Horizon in 1295 CE.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/deranged-dating-the-roman-problem/

The Hecker Horizon [1300-1400 CE] explains why bricks only emerged as a “common building material” during the 15th century.

Though bricks were used so extensively in this Suffolk house, they did not become a common building material for some time.

In the fifteenth century we find many notable houses built of brick, such as Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire ; the old Palace, Hatfield (now the stables) ; Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk ; Hurstmonceaux Castle, Sussex ; and Layer Marney, Essex. Wherever the Flemings settled, there we find the early use of brick.

The Manor Houses of England – Peter Hampson Ditchfield – 1910
https://archive.org/details/manorhousesofeng00ditcuoft/page/88/mode/1up

https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n128/mode/1up

Tattershall Castle is a castle in Tattershall, Lincolnshire, England, about 12 miles (19 km) north east of Sleaford.

Tattershall Castle has its origins in either a stone castle or a fortified manor house, built by Robert de Tattershall in 1231.

This was largely rebuilt in brick, and greatly expanded, by Ralph, 3rd Lord Cromwell, Treasurer of England, between 1430 and 1450.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattershall_Castle,_Lincolnshire

It’s generally assumed Roman bricks were reused before the 13th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Martin%27s_Church,_Canterbury

But the old tradition is doubtless correct, and we may assume that whatever bricks were used prior to the thirteenth century were the old Roman bricks taken from disused villas or abandoned walls.

The Manor Houses of England – Peter Hampson Ditchfield – 1910
https://archive.org/details/manorhousesofeng00ditcuoft/page/86/mode/1up

After the Western Roman Empire fell in the 5th century many of the commercial stone quarries in Europe were abandoned. This led to a consistent pattern of reuse of Roman building materials throughout the next several hundred years.

Like much of the Roman stone, Roman bricks were gathered for reuse throughout this period.
….
In Great Britain, where construction materials are less plentiful, Roman structures were quarried for their stone and brick and it was commonly reused.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_brick

https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n124/mode/1up

Coggeshall Abbey, situated south of the town of Coggeshall in Essex, was founded in 1140 by King Stephen of England and Matilda of Boulogne, as a Savigniac house but became Cistercian in 1147 upon the absorption of the order.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coggeshall_Abbey

Roman Remains At Coggeshall – Edward L Cutts – 1852

In the recent restoration of the Parish Church, pieces of brick were found built into the old wall as rubble, and among them were some fragments of scored and flanged tiles, which are undoubtedly of Roman date.

The existing remains of the neighbouring Abbey, are built partly of bricks of the Roman type; but since there are also moulded bricks of the same type of undoubted 13th century date, it is doubted whether any of these bricks were actually of Roman date ; the monks may have used bricks which they found upon the spot, and imitated them in their own manufacture ; but, on the other hand, they may have imitated those which were so abundant at Colchester, and which were so profusely used in the ecclesiastical buildings there.

Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society – Volume I
https://archive.org/details/transactionsess08socigoog/page/n148/mode/1up

However, re-using Roman bricks is easier said than done:

a) Roman bricks are mainly limited to archways and wall quoins
b) Roman brick mortar has “stood the test of time well”
c) Roman bricks are best described as 1½ inch thick tiles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pevensey_Castle

Walls built of, or faced entirely with, brick were frequent in Rome at a late period, but were exceptional in this country, the use of brick, or, as they are usually called, tiles, being generally confined to the construction of hypocausts and furnaces, and to form lacing-courses.

Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks – John Ward – 1911
https://archive.org/details/cu31924097264539/page/n288/mode/1up

Arches were frequently turned in them, and sometimes they served as quoins in flint and other walls constructed of small stones.

Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks – John Ward – 1911
https://archive.org/details/cu31924097264539/page/n288/mode/1up

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgh_Castle_Roman_Site

At Burgh Castle, pink or fine brick mortar was used for the pointing.

These brick mortars, whether fine or coarse, have generally stood the test of time well, and they were much used in the construction and lining of hypocausts and baths, and generally where strength and tenacity were required.

Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks – John Ward – 1911
https://archive.org/details/cu31924097264539/page/n288/mode/1up

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portus_Adurni

Roman bricks are almost invariably of red clay.

The kneaded clay appears to have been first rolled out on sand to the desired thickness, and then cut into suitable sizes to be transferred into shallow frames or moulds, in which they were pressed out.

When removed, the soft pieces were finally scraped or trimmed with knives.

Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks – John Ward – 1911
https://archive.org/details/cu31924097264539/page/n288/mode/1up

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewry_Wall

Four sizes are commonly met with in this country, three of them square, approximately 7¾ by 7¾ ins., 11 by 11 ins., and 16¼ by 16¼ ins., and an oblong, approximately 16¼ by 11 ins.; and less frequently a larger square, about 23 by 23 ins.

These are the average dimensions: actual specimens may vary from ½ to ¾ in. in the smaller, and 1 in. or more in the larger sizes.

Intermediate sizes of rectangular brick are decidedly rare.

Half-round bricks are occasionally met with, and were probably used, as in Pompeii, in the construction of pillars.

Roman bricks rarely exceed the limits of 1½ and 2 in. in thickness.

Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks – John Ward – 1911
https://archive.org/details/cu31924097264539/page/n288/mode/1up

These issues raise eyebrows in St Albans where it’s said [amongst other things] the “all-brick external walling of the tower” was built in 1077 with recycled Roman bricks.

St. Albans Cathedral, c. 1100, in the centre portion of which Roman bricks from the city of Verulamium were used, is an excellent example of good effect produced by use of thin bricks built with thick joints on a large scale.

At St. Albans Cathedral we have Roman bricks in courses, with rough flint, also in courses, as well as the all-brick external walling of the tower, etc. In each of these the use of brick was for structural, not for visual, reasons, and the surfaces were afterwards cement rendered.

St. Albans Cathedral. 11th century. Roman bricks, from the ruins of the Roman city of Verulamium, re-used. These long thin bricks, laid with thick joints, produce a wall surface of good texture.

Pages 2, 60, 103
A History of English Brickwork – Nathaniel Lloyd – 1925

https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n122/mode/1up

Verulamium was a town in Roman Britain. It was sited in the southwest of the modern city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, Great Britain. A large portion of the Roman city remains unexcavated, being now park and agricultural land, though much has been built upon. The ancient Watling Street passed through the city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verulamium

We have no further record of this church, but we know that the ninth Abbot, Eadmer, began to collect materials for rebuilding the church ; but the work was not begun until the time of the fourteenth Abbot, Paul of Caen, who was appointed by William I.

So enthusiastically did he work, that in the short space of eleven years (1077-88) the church was rebuilt.

The rapidity of the building was no doubt chiefly due to the fact that there was no need of hewing and squaring stone, for the Roman bricks from the ruins of the old city of Verulam were ready at hand, and the timber collected by Paul’s five predecessors was well seasoned.

It is said that the new church was not dedicated until the year 1115, but it is hard to believe that so long a space of time as twenty-seven years would be allowed to elapse between the completion of the building and the dedication.

It is possible there may be some error in this date.

The Cathedral Church of Saint Albans – Thomas Perkins – 1903
https://archive.org/details/cathedralchurch01perkgoog/page/n25/mode/1up

Above the crossing rose the central tower, much as we see it to-day, save that it was probably crowned with a pyramidal cap rising from its outside walls.

Probably also the tower as well as the rest of the church was covered with whitewashed plaster, thus hiding the material of which it was built — the Roman bricks of which mention has been already made.

These bricks surpass in hardness and durability those of modern days, and are of different size and shape from those we are acquainted with.

Those used in St. Albans are of two sizes, 17 x 8 x 2 and 11 x 5½ x 2.

The joints are wide, the mortar between the courses being almost as thick as the bricks.

The window jambs and the piers were built or faced with brick ; even the staircases were of brick.

The Cathedral Church of Saint Albans – Thomas Perkins – 1903
https://archive.org/details/cathedralchurch01perkgoog/page/n28/mode/1up

These issues also raise eyebrows in Colchester where responsibility for building the castle has [over the years] been assigned to the Romans, Saxons, and Normans.

Three theories have been held with regard to the origin of the existing Castle of Colchester.
It has been in turn attributed to the Romans, the Saxons, and the Normans.

The History and Antiquities of Colchester Castle
John Horace Round – 1882

https://archive.org/details/historyandantiq00roungoog/page/n27/mode/1up

The concept of Anglo-Saxon Architecture was only formalised in 1819 when Thomas Rickman theorised the substructure beneath a known Norman structure “must be of an earlier date” with an unquantifiable “probability it may be real Saxon”.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/catastrophic-english-anglo-saxon-architecture/

Currently, responsibility is assigned [by default] to the Normans.

It has now been shewn that Colchester Castle is (1) not Saxon, (2) not Roman (though erected on a Roman site).

Consequently, it can only be Norman, and this conclusion, as we shall see below, is amply confirmed by its Architecture.

The History and Antiquities of Colchester Castle
John Horace Round – 1882

https://archive.org/details/historyandantiq00roungoog/page/n37/mode/1up

Colchester Castle is a Norman castle in Colchester, Essex, England, dating from the second half of the eleventh century.

The keep of the castle is mostly intact and is the largest example of its kind anywhere in Europe, due to its being built on the foundations of a Roman temple.

The attribution of the castle as a royal foundation is based on a charter of Henry I dated 1101, granting the town and castle of Colchester to Eudo Dapifer “as my father had them and my brother and myself”, Henry’s father and brother being William I, “William the Conqueror”, and William II, “William Rufus”.

The somewhat unreliable Colchester Chronicle, written in the late 13th century, credits Eudo with the construction of the castle and gives a commencement date of 1076.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colchester_Castle

Eudo Dapifer (sometimes Eudo fitzHerbert and Eudo de Rie); (died 1120), was a Norman aristocrat who served as a steward (server, Latin ‘dapifer’) under William the Conqueror, William II Rufus, and Henry I.

He was involved in the building of Colchester Castle, the largest Norman keep built and the first stone keep in England, becoming its custodian until his death, when it reverted to Crown ownership.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudo_Dapifer

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held.

The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesque_architecture

The term Norman architecture is used to categorise styles of Romanesque architecture developed by the Normans in the various lands under their dominion or influence in the 11th and 12th centuries. In particular the term is traditionally used for English Romanesque architecture.

The Normans introduced large numbers of castles and fortifications including Norman keeps, and at the same time monasteries, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, in a style characterised by the usual Romanesque rounded arches (particularly over windows and doorways) and especially massive proportions compared to other regional variations of the style.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_architecture

The specific source of the “vast quantities” of recycled Roman bricks required to construct St. Botolph’s Priory and the nearby Colchester Castle is always left to the reader’s imagination.

https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n121/mode/1up

St. Botolph’s Priory was a medieval house of Augustinian canons in Colchester, Essex, founded c. 1093.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Botolph%27s_Priory

“In the ruins of the Abbey Church of St. Botolph at Colchester, an Anglo-Norman edifice seemingly late in style, vast quantities of Roman bricks from pre-existing edifices are worked up.”
Mr. Bloxam (Journ, Arch, Ass, I. 315. But compare Archcelogia IV. 87.)

“Composed almost entirely of Roman Bricks or wall-tiles with arches, columns and piers nearly resembling some Roman edifices.”
Britton Arch, Ant, I. 2.

“Built out of the ruins of some neighbouring Roman edifice with the same kind of materials and much in the same style.”
Carter’s Arch, of Eng. I. 17.

St. Botolph’ s was built within 20 or 30 years of the Castle, and by masons of the same “Roman” school.

The History and Antiquities of Colchester Castle
John Horace Round – 1882

https://archive.org/details/historyandantiq00roungoog/page/n85/mode/1up

In Colchester:

The 11th century Norman castle is protected by 1st century Roman walls.

Camulodunum, the Ancient Roman name for what is now Colchester in Essex, was an important town in Roman Britain, and the first capital of the province. It is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain.

Following the rebuilding of the town after 60/1, new walls and a large defensive ditch were built around the colonia (the first town walls in Britain, predating other such walls in the province by at least 150 years). They were completed by 80, twenty years after the revolt.

They were built with two external faces of alternating layers of tile and septaria mudstone containing a core of septaria boulders, with a 10 ft wide and 4 ft deep foundation trench, the whole structure taking up 45,000 cubic metres of stone, tile and mortar.

They were 2,800m long and 2.4m thick, and survive up to a height of over 6m in the 21st Century.

Later, in around 175-200 a large earth bank was built up against the inner face of the walls.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camulodunum#Walls

The D-shaped towers are typical of 3rd-century Roman forts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portchester_Castle

This site, like several others selected for the Castles of the Conqueror, was surrounded on three sides by mighty earthworks, raised, beyond a shadow of doubt, by the Romans, or, more strictly, by British hands directed by Roman taskmasters.

That these banks were purely Roman would be tolerably certain from their lines, but that certainty is rendered absolute by the remains which have been found beneath them.

The remarkable pavement of blue lias which underlies the Northern rampart is probably
unique in England.

For Roman earthworks see Mr. Parker’s letter on Early Borne {Antiquary Vol. I. p. 92),

“ The enormous fossae called by Festus the Fossae Quiritium can be distinctly traced, for . . . they are on such a gigantic scale that they have long been mistaken for natural valleys. They were at least as wide and as deep as the fosse of Servius Tullius, and that was 100 feet wide and 80 feet deep . . . The great agger just within this fosse is a bank of earth 50 feet high, &c.”

We are reminded of the dimensions of this Agger by the stupendous rampart in the grounds of the Holly Trees.
(The Roman ditch and rampart outside the town- walls were together 180 feet wide).

https://archive.org/details/historyandantiq00roungoog/page/n78/mode/1up

In modern scholarship, the “late” period of the Roman army begins with the accession of the Emperor Diocletian in AD 284, and ends in 476 with the deposition of Romulus Augustulus, being roughly coterminous with the Dominate.

Deeper (average: 3 m) and much wider (av. 10 m) perimeter ditches (fossae).

These would have flat floors rather than the traditional V-shape. Such ditches would make it difficult to bring siege equipment (ladders, rams, and other engines) to the walls. It would also concentrate attackers in an enclosed area where they would be exposed to missile fire from the walls.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Roman_army#Fortifications

In Portchester:

The 12th century Norman church is protected by 3rd century Roman walls.

An example of late Roman fortification.

Note the protruding towers to allow enfilading fire.

The original height of both walls and towers was clearly greater than today, and the crenellations are not the original ones, but crudely cut from the curtain wall itself in the medieval period.

The church visible inside the walls was built in the 12th century by the Normans.

Portchester Castle, England. 3rd century

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Roman_army

The strategic importance of Portchester has been recognised since at least the 3rd century when a Roman fort was established on the site of the later castle.

The evidence for this is that the stonework of the castle is similar to that of St Mary’s parish church, which was built in the 1130s in the outer bailey.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portchester_Castle

Differentiating between Norman and Roman structures can be difficult because there’s frequently “little or nothing to distinguish” Norman from Roman masonry.

The reader will have already observed that the masonry of the era varies considerably, and frequently has little or nothing to distinguish it from that of later times.

The Pennant-grit walls of the Roman fort at Gellygaer are precisely similar in their appearance and method of construction to the modern work in the same material in that district; and it would be a difficult task to point out wherein the walls of the Roman houses at Silchester differ from the flint walls of later date.

Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks – John Ward – 1911
https://archive.org/details/cu31924097264539/page/n284/mode/1up

Silchester was “levelled” and many of it’s wells are either “tumbled in” or infilled.

Silchester is smothered by a thick sloping layer of gravel.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/the-silchester-mystery/

If
Norman is a synonym for Roman masonry
then
perhaps the minimum at 1395 CE in Leona Libby’s Old Japanese Cedar Tree chronology aligns with the 225 AD minimum in the Roman Denarius Purity chronology.

The 1,170 year difference aligns the Antonine Plague with the Black Death
i.e. 180 AD + 1,170 years = 1350 CE.

The Antonine Plague of 165 to 180 AD, also known as the Plague of Galen (after Galen, the physician who described it), was an ancient pandemic brought to the Roman Empire by troops who were returning from campaigns in the Near East.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Plague

The Black Death resulted in the deaths of up to 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/alaskan-muck-layer-cake/

The difference of 1,170 years accounts for most of the 1,208 phantom years added into the Radiocarbon Calibration Curve between 465 BCE and 743 CE.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/deranged-dating-the-roman-problem/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/comet-venus-the-shrinking-violet/

The tiny inventory of Norman brick buildings [St Albans Cathedral and Colchester Castle] suggests their [misdated] activities were also interrupted by the Hecker Horizon.

Therefore:

Flemish is a synonym for Norman and Roman brickwork.

https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n126/mode/1up

Flemish weavers settled on the Tweed, in Herefordshire, and South Wales early in the twelfth century.

Refugees from the Low Countries settled in Norfolk at Worstead at the end of the thirteenth century — the name of this village is still connected with certain woollen products, the manufacture of which was introduced into England by these refugees.

These were followed at frequent intervals during the succeeding 400 years by similar immigrants, and the influence they exercised upon local architecture at various periods is obvious in those buildings which have survived.

They appear to have introduced the art of brick making just as they introduced other industries; indeed, it would be surprising had they not done so.

It is true also that bricks were imported from Flanders, but records of these refer to small quantities, which bear no relation to the immense numbers required to build a mediaeval castle.

A History of English Brickwork – Nathaniel Lloyd – 1925
https://archive.org/details/b1105040/page/n23/mode/1up

More specifically:

The Flemish “first wave” appears to be a synonym for Norman migration from North Africa and/or the Middle East.

Prior to the 1600s, there were several substantial waves of Flemish migration to the United Kingdom.

The first wave fled to England in the early 12th Century, escaping damages from a storm across the coast of Flanders, where they were largely resettled in Pembrokeshire by Henry I. They changed the culture and accent in south Pembrokeshire to such an extent, that it led to the area receiving the name Little England beyond Wales. Haverfordwest and Tenby consequently grew as important settlements for the Flemish settlers.

In the 14th Century, encouraged by King Edward III and perhaps in part due to his marriage to Philippa of Hainault, another wave of migration to England occurred when skilled cloth weavers from Flanders were granted permission to settle there and contribute to the then booming cloth and woollen industries. These migrants particularly settled in the growing Lancashire and Yorkshire textile towns of Manchester, Bolton, Blackburn, Liversedge, Bury, Halifax and Wakefield.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flemish_people#United_Kingdom

Worcester Cathedral, is an Anglican cathedral in Worcester, England, situated on a bank overlooking the River Severn.

The present cathedral church was built between 1084 and 1504, and represents every style of English architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic. It is famous for its Norman crypt and unique chapter house, its unusual Transitional Gothic bays, its fine woodwork and its “exquisite” central tower, which is of particularly fine proportions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcester_Cathedral

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cistercians_Abbey_in_W%C4%85chock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lund_Cathedral

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2020/06/01/bordeaux-bilge/

During the Early Middle Ages, following the disastrous Gothic War, new waves of Byzantine Christian Greeks may have come to Southern Italy from Greece and Asia Minor, as Southern Italy remained loosely governed by the Eastern Roman Empire.

At the time of the Normans’ late medieval conquest of southern Italy and Sicily (in the late 12th century), the Salento peninsula (the “heel” of Italy) and up to one third of Sicily was still Greek speaking (concentrated in the Val Demone).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Grecia

Dougga‘s monuments attest to its prosperity in the period from the reign of Diocletian to that of Theodosius I, but it fell into a sort of stupor from the 4th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dougga

It’s evident Islamic architecture in Europe has been rebranded Christian.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/ravenna-revealed-curious-clues/

Ironically, the only certainty seems to be:

Roman brick makers weren’t from Rome.

But

Norman brick makers arrived in Milan [from the East] in the 12th or 13th century.

The eleventh and twelfth centuries were marked by numerous disasters: fires, in particular, the terrible “fire of the Stork”, that in 1071 devoured the basilica, devastating the internal decorations, and earthquakes, that undermined the stability of the complex, making new restorations necessary between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Lorenzo,_Milan

And

Norman brick makers arrived in Rome [from the East] in the 12th or 13th century.

The evidence suggests Rome and the Roman Republic were dead and buried by 650 CE.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/roads-to-rome/

https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/iha-preindustrial-lime-kilns/heag222-pre-industrial-lime-kilns/

The curiously coincidental aspect of this tale of civilizations is that when the Romans adopted fired bricks they also adopted the foot [known as the pes Drusianus – the foot of Nero Claudius Drusus] of “about 334 mm” which is a rounded version of the foot used by the Indus Valley Civilization that was 333.5 mm long.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/indian-impacts-building-bricks/

But, as always:

Review the evidence and draw your own conclusions.

This entry was posted in Books, British History, Deranged Dating, Hecker Horizon, History, Old Japanese Cedar Tree, Radiocarbon Dating, Ravenna Revisited, Roman Chronology. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The British Brick

  1. CW says:

    Great work, Tim! The Romans went home in a huff, apparently taking their brick-making skills with them. MalagaBay has already noted that that departing Romans also seem to have taken with them the fruits and vegetables they introduced to Britannia. https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/a-canterbury-tale-by-saucy-chaucer/ Brick-making in England reappears, mirabile dictu, in the same century that AD dates begin to appear on English graves and monuments. I am still trying to find the earliest original AD date inscribed in stone or metal in England, or anywhere else. Meanwhile, follow the red brick road!

  2. CW says:

    I recall reading that the oldest AD date on a document signed by a Pope is 1435. For years I have been trying to find the oldest original AD date in Westminster Abbey.

  3. Patrick Donnelly says:

    I x referred this to the Thunderbolts FB page.

    Excellent research displayed here.

  4. The Roman’s also dropped production with the last major building in 376 Valen aquduct. The problem was not brick but the mortar no longer worked due to a change in cosmic function as shown by the geological boarders when you reduce the age by 80 fold.

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