Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Regional Historic Environment Record

Silica Brick Works, Porth Wen

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 3562
Trust : Gwynedd
Community : Llanbadrig
Unitary authority : Ynys Mon
NGR : SH40199465
Site Type (preferred type first) : POST MEDIEVAL BRICKWORKS
Status : Scheduled Ancient Monument

Summary :
A spectacular coastal site, dating from the nineteenth century, and occupying a spectacular coastal location. The site had been mechanised by 1889, when the Ordnance Survey shows an incline delivering silica sand to a brick-works complex on the coast. It may have gone through a period of closure and have been worked under successive lessees from 1906 to 1924.

The output was alumino-silicate bricks (those composed of compounds of alumina and silica), which retain their size when burnt in kilns. The process carried out at Porthwen was typical in that silica rock was crushed in a stone-breaker, of which the structural work survives, then added to lime and water in a pan mill. The paste thereby formed was moulded and pressed. The bricks thereby formed are allowed to dry in a drying house, which consists of a concrete foundation upon which is laid a series of low brick walls. They are then fired in circular down-draught or 'Newcastle' kilns. A warehouse/workshop survives at the northern limit of the site, a large two-storey building. Nearby are parts of a small stem engine.

Two tall square-plan brick chimneys survive.

The site is suffering severe coastal erosion. It was purchased in 1999/2000 by the National Trust.

Description :
Porth Wen Silica Brick Works. <1>

The above mentioned has been scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act, 1979. The extent of the area is shown in red on the attached map. <2>

Country Quest article. <3>

Scheduled area increased to include incline. <4>

Sources :
Cooke, N. , 2014 , Rhyd-y-Groes Repower, Anglesey: Cultural Heritage Assessment. ( © Wessex Archaeology)
Hadley, A. , 2016 , Proposed Wind Turbine at Nant-y-fran, Cemaes, Isles of Anglesey. Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment. ( © Archaeology Wales)
Cadw , 1986 , ANC-3292-1 , <1>
Cadw , 1986 , ANC-3292-1 , <2>
Hughes, E. W. , 1987 , Anglesey Brickworks , <3>
Guthrie, J. , 1989 , The Porth Wen Brickworks , <5>
, 1983 , Grosvenor Caving Club Newsletter , <6>
Lynch, F. , 2009 , Anglesey Past Landscapes of the Coast , <7>
Gwyn, D. & Williams, M. , 1996 , A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of North West Wales , <8>

Events :
45013 : Rhyd-y-Groes Repower, Anglesey: Cultural Heritage Assessment. (year : 2014)
45130 : Proposed Wind Turbine at Nant-y-fran, Cemaes, Isle of Anglesey. Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment. (year : 2016)

Related PRNs : 40742, 40751, 40741, 40749, 40745, 40746, 40748, 40738, 525338, 40739, 40747

Compiled date :


Images :



The above data are supplied by GAT in partnership with its Local Authorities (Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd County Councils, and Snowdonia National Park Authority), © GAT 2018 (and in part © Crown, 2018 - as indicated)
This information is supplied for the purposes of personal interest only and may not be used as part of a commercial project.

November 21, 2018, 3:58 pm - HTML file produced from Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Regional HER
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Craig Beuno, Garth Road, Bangor, Gwynedd.  LL57 2RT
tel (01248) 352535,  fax (01248) 370925, email her@heneb.co.uk, web www.heneb.co.uk