Brickmaking on the Island
With suitable widespread clay deposits across the island, brickmaking was, until the late 20th century, a local industry. Often brickyards would be specifically operated just for a particular building - the pond at St Marys Hospital is reputed to be a clay pit used for making the bricks for the House of Industry (workhouse) built in the 1760's.
Old maps, and many modern place names, show widespread small brick making sites, some open for only short periods until the clay deposit was exhausted.
The Pritchett family probably had the most involvement with brickmaking on the island. With a brickworks in the New Forest in the late 18th C, various members of the family opened works all over the island to the mid 20th C. Their main works were Gunville and Rookley. Rookley was the last brickyard on the island and closed in 1974.
Brick Kiln, Hillis Gate
Cement Works, Brading
Downend Brick Yard
Minerva Brick and Tile Works