Friday, 16 December 2016

Calcutt (the old brickworks and a trip to Leam)

When Buddy and I walked around Napton on Tuesday this week we visited an old clay pit at the top of the hill.  The clay was dug out and used for making bricks at the, long demolished, Napton brickworks.  I knew I had seen the remnants of the brickworks when cruising on the South Oxford canal a few years ago so on Thursday we went for a walk to see if we could find them again.

The remains of the wharf at Napton brickworks which closed in 1970

Coal was brought in by the canal for the brick kilns and the empty boats were then loaded with bricks for transporting to London and around the Midlands.

We had good views of Napton-on-the-Hill as we walked along the canal as it goes practically ¾ of the way around it.

View of the hill from the north side – the windmill can be seen dead centre at the top

A better view of the windmill with a newly built half stone/half brick house. 

Remains of medieval strip farming can be seen in the picture above.  Each strip used to be farmed by a different family and as non-reversible ploughs were used the ridges and furrows built up over the centuries.

There are many examples of these old fields in this area and they are protected and cannot be ploughed up, just grazed.

This is an early picture of the clay pit.  The windmill can be seen at the top and the rail lines ran all the way down the hill to the brickworks to carry trucks of clay.  (Copyright Warwickshire County Council).

In the evening Karen and I went into Leam to do any remaining present shopping that couldn’t be done on line.  Fortunately most of it involved picked up parcels from shops where Karen had already ordered the goods on-line.  We finished off with a pleasant dinner out.


  1. Peter Nichols was the last legal tenant of the old wharf at Napton and he had his boat building business there. I can't remember what year he moved out probably somewhere around 2000.

    1. Thanks you - I'll do some research on him and it :)