17, Brickmakers Arms Lane, Doddington
(Nr March), Cambridgeshire. PE15 0TR
Telephone: (01354) 740370
Mobile: 07941 340363

E-mail:
waterside.email@btinternet.com
Website: www.waterside-guesthouse.co.uk

 
 

The Doddington Brickmakers

Waterside Guest House is built on the site of the old Doddington Brickyard, which was established in round about 1840, and closed in 1909. The lake (or “pit”), reputed to be 60ft deep, remains as evidence of it’s history, along with the name of the Lane; a few old bricks, and the scullery table from the Brickyard Owner’s cottage.

In 1877, it took 3 weeks to transport 47,200 Doddington bricks 5 1/2  miles by horse and cart, to build a school at Manea.

“The Brickmakers Arms” Ale House (1870’s), once stood at the entrance to the Lane. This was closed in 1950 after the Landlord retired, and was demolished a few years later.

In 1880, a large order of bricks was placed for the Wimpole Hall Estate by Charles Philip Yorke, the 5th Earl of Hardwicke, about whom the Victorian song “Champagne Charlie is my name” was written. His favourite tipple!

 

Towards the end of the 19th Century, the automation of brick manufacture at Peterborough meant the Brick makers’ of Doddington with their hand-made bricks, could no longer compete. The business was sold in 1900 to March Brick Company.  Machinery was installed, but the clay was not suitable for machine-made bricks, and the whole of Brick makers’ Arms Lane was sold in separate lots, in 1909, at the Three Tuns Public House in Doddington Village. The Grandson of the original Founder of the Brickyard purchased the cottages where he lived, along with part of the Brickyard, and raised a family there (two of his children being born in the cottages), until the age of 90.

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Further up the Lane are four terraced cottages, which were built around 1911, supposedly making use of the bricks from the kilns.

In 2001, three of the old Doddington Bricks were incorporated into the front of the new Doddington Village Hall (above the date stone).

Also in 2001, we purchased a building plot from one of the Great Great Grandsons of the Doddigton Brickyard Founder, which included the Brickyard Owners’ now derelict cottages and stables, and a section of the Lake. We wished to restore the remaining ruins of the cottages and stables, and also build another dwelling, but the plans we turned down, in favour of the two properties that are on this site today.

To this day, some of the machinery that heralded the decline of hand-made bricks, and forced the closure of the Doddington Brickworks, lies submerged at the bottom of the lake.

The site today has many charms and a new future, with Waterside Guest House. The Lake boasts a healthy population of many species of fish, ducks and other wildfowl.

We hope some day, you will choose to stay in our little piece of Fenland History!

Once visited, we are confident you will want to return!

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