Dating buildings brickwork
Before the Industrial Revolution most houses were built with local materials.
You can find out more about general building materials on the Looking at Buildings website.This technique was popular and continued to be in use, with ever more intricate designs and workmanship until the 19th century.Carstone was used widely in the Saxon period and can be seen in many Saxon churches in Norfolk.There are some local brickworks in Norfolk that can be identified by the colour, shape and size of the bricks.These include the Heacham Brickworks (NHER 1422) that were famous for the deep rich red colour of the bricks and also for the production of decorative moulded plaques.It wasn’t until the 16th century that smaller houses were constructed entirely of brick.
Until the advent of the railways bricks were made locally and from the 17th century permanent kilns were built near to major towns.
There may also be collections of old postcards and photographs that might feature your house.
You can find out a lot about the history of a house just by looking at it.
The Gunton brickworks at Costessey were also famous for their moulded and decorative brick tiles known as Cosseyware.
Bricks have been used consistently since the 16th century and gradually replaced timber.
It wasn’t used for major buildings or those of higher status until the 19th century when it was used extensively in Hunstanton (NHER 44245, 427) and Downham Market (NHER 12227, 1222) and surrounding villages.