Brora Brick
Brora Heritage Centre

This simple-looking brick is actually one of tens of thousands produced by the Brora Brickworks and gives us an insight into this very significant, Regency-era industry.

In 1818, the Sutherland Estate established the brickworks next to the Brora coal mine. It used Brora coal to fire the kilns, and clay for the bricks was extracted from a nearby pit.

In its first year, the brickworks exported 4,000 bricks and 2,300 tiles from Brora Harbour. However, by the following year, this had more than double, rising to 10,700 bricks, showing the demand around the Moray Firth for Brora bricks.

However, ten years later, the fate of the brickworks was intertwined with that of the mine. When the mine suffered a substantial loss of income after the abolition of the salt tax, both the mine and the brickworks closed. Coal was no longer in demand for the Scottish salt-making industry.

That wasn’t the end of coal in Brora, however. Brora’s coal and brick industries were revived by the third Duke of Sutherland in 1870.

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Date: 1818-1828
Materials : Clay
Size : 22cm x 10cm x 8cm

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