52: A little bit of Southend in Wanstead

(dedicated of course to Wilko Johnson 1947-2022 who bought a whole lot of Southend joy to London and music in general. ) One of the annoying things about bricks used in London, or anywhere, is that the stamps which identify them, are not visible as they are almost always in the ‘frog’. [1] And yes […]

51: Burrs and wasters, clinkers and crozzles!

One of the fascinating materials that was used in building London is/are the melted, vitrified, burnt London Stock bricks that were a by products of the old inefficient London brick clamps and kilns. They are known as burrs, clinkers, wasters, crozzles or just burnt bricks. The bricks stacked nearest the heat source in the clamps […]

Building London 1-50 index

[1] Visit to Swelltor granite quarry in Devon – abandoned corbels for 1901 London bridge widening[2] Visit to Foggintor granite quarry in Devon – used for Nelson’s Column and more[3] Devon granite from 1830s London Bridge at Pickets Lock Sports/Leisure Centre[4] Visit to Lamorna quarries and port – granite used in County Hall and The […]

Building London hits 50 posts!

Well! There’s a thing! 50 posts on the Building London Blog in the past year or so!! Not something I originally expected thinking back to the spring of last year! So, very pleased! The original plan, aim, for this project was to produce a book, guidebook, to the materials, to their sites and buildings in […]

50: The Pulhamite Cascades at Battersea Park

Following on from the Building London introduction to Pulhamite, the best place to go and see Pulhamite artificial rock in London is in Battersea Park. [1] There is an amazing area of ‘rock’ faces and a waterfall called The Cascades though currently, sadly, dry, and a smaller ‘rock face’ nearby called The Owlery! Battersea […]

49: Pulhamite Pt1, an introduction.

Pulhamite [1] is a great Victorian invention! ( or two actually … read on! ) James and Obadiah Pulham in the 1840s pioneered the creation of landscape features using  “… stone-modelling skills to form artificial rocks from heaps of old bricks and rubble covered in cement, and ‘sculpted’ the surfaces to simulate the colour and […]

47: London Bridge balustrade in Gilwell Park?

The Building London Blog has covered London Bridge, and where bits of it ended up, in a number of posts: and e.g. And, someday Building London WILL go to Lake Havasu, but for now, recently, a visit was paid to Gilwell Park, Sewardstone, up the road from Chingford, on the edge of Epping […]

46: Ancaster stone Pt3! The Hackney Central Library.

Another great example of turn of the century Ancaster use is in the old Hackney Central Library, shut in the later 1990s and now mainly used by the Hackney Picturehouse cinema but also the Rising Tide music studios. The new Hackney Central Library opened across the road in the Town Hall Square in 1999. “After […]


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