Monday, September 23, 2013

Follow the yellow brick road...

White Horse, Road, London E1

Steve the Wargamer and Scott have wondered, following my previous post, whether the yellow bricks seen in the East End of London are a post-blitz phenomenon.   They are not.

St Matthew's vicarage Commercial Road, London E1 (1871)

These yellow bricks are known as London Stocks and were extensively used in the nineteenth and early twentieth century before being largely replaced by the machine-made, red Flettons.  The London Stock brick was handmade and the colour came from the clay used in their production, many of which originated in Yiewsley (incidentally, where the Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood grew up), Hillingdon, in Middlesex.  Similar bricks were also made in Kent and Essex.

Fournier Street, London E1, where two of Jack the Ripper's victims were seen before their demise.

Brickfields were opened in Hillingdon in about 1815 and in 1876 a branch of the Grand Union canal was cut from Yiewsley to West Drayton to transport the bricks into central London along the Paddington branch of the canal to Paddington Wharf.  The brickworks were churning out 5 million London Stocks a year at this time.

Anchor Brewery building (1872) Whitechapel Road, London E1

By the beginning of the twentieth century the clay deposits had become largely worked out and production dropped to 2 million bricks a year by 1930. The last brickfield closed in 1935 and now you have to pay premium prices for reclaimed London Stock bricks.

The trees mark the former course of the canal

The special branch of the Grand Union Canal, known as Otter Dock was closed and filled in.  Trees were planted where the canal had been in what is now Colham Avenue, Hillingdon.

The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London E1

So, I want to see some yellow bricks from the likes of 4Ground for their Whitechapel to Baker Street range. Much of London was yellow!

Whitechapel Station (1884), London E1 


  1. Going to link this post to our club forums, Legatus. There's a bunch who are working on IHMN / EotD stuff, and this may be of use.


  2. Beautiful old buildings - can you imagine the rubbish they build now lasting half the time of these yellow bricks have been standing?

  3. I know. Worse than that buildings I remember being built in the City are now being demolished and replaced with new ones.

  4. I love the yellow bricks.

    I recall when I first came to london, the predominant colour of everything was black!

  5. Great article - good to see the history. My choice of colour too for my Sarissa warehouse!

  6. Fascinating post, Sir. thank you for going to the trouble of posting this - it will give me some variety in the appearance of the buildings I plan to make :-)

  7. Excellent post - I had no idea the yellow bricks had such provenance...

    Re. the malware, some Google Chrome users have reported it... it's the little smiley faces I use, the image is hosted on some site that they don't like.. I've changed them now...

  8. Thanks for posting this helps a great deal with colour variation.