This old brickworks lies just North-East of the small hamlet of Picton in the far Northern reaches of Yorkshire, a mere few hundred metres from the former train station that would have served it, which has since been readapted as a village pub after it’s closure in 1964. I made my way to it from the nearby village of Kirklevington along a footpath that that didn’t look as if it had been used in months – having overgrown to the point of needing something to hack your way through the waist high nettles and thistles (which stung nicely) that have now encroached on it and are a hassle to traverse.

Outside the old brickworks on the outskirts of Picton.
Outside the old brickworks on the outskirts of Picton.
Sections of the kiln walls slowly falling away.
Sections of the kiln walls slowly falling away.
Not cooked, just covered in cobwebs.
Not cooked, just covered in cobwebs.

The works itself was constructed circa 1920 by the Picton Junction Brick and Tile Company, and would have used material from the nearby clay pits to form the bricks which would then be baked in one of the 5 kilns. Fires would have been lit below the kiln entrances in ‘Fireboxes’ which would carry heat and gases underneath the floor, and into the kiln via vents and then out again through the chimneys and holes pockmarking the roof which, thanks to an abundance of moss, is now a fetching shade of Green.

Most of the kilns are now used for storage, presumably by the owners of the nearby farm.
Most of the kilns are now used for storage, presumably by the owners of the nearby farm.
The only kiln to have retained it's frontal facade. You can see the 2 lowered fireboxes on either side of the main loading entrance.
The only kiln to have retained it's frontal facade. You can see the 2 lowered fireboxes on either side of the main loading entrance.
Underneath this pile of clay is actually the last load of bricks - still in place when it was shut down in 1938.
Underneath this pile of clay is actually the last load of bricks - still in place when it was shut down in 1938.
Inside one of the 5 kilns. The holes in the roof and floor would have been used for airflow as part of a Hypercaust system.
Inside one of the 5 kilns. The holes in the roof and floor would have been used for airflow as part of a Hypercaust system.

The brickworks closed in 1938 with the last load of unbaked bricks still inside one of the kilns, and has since fallen into ruin. Upon my visit, it was being used as storage for fencing, pallets, and other odds and ends; possibly by the railway company or the nearby farm. What little information I can find for this place was mostly obtained from the excellent Hidden Teesside blog, which I highly recommend looking into if you’re in the area and want to find some of the lesser known historical oddities that dot the region.

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