Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum, often shortened to Bursledon Brickworks, is a volunteer-run brickworks museum based in the village of Swanwick, Hampshire. It is thought to be the last Victorian steam-driven brickworks left in the UK
Bursledon Brickworks was founded in 1897 by the Ashby family who were partners in Hooper & Ashby, a successful builders’ merchants in Southampton. They also made bricks. The first brickyard was at Chandlers Ford but when an opportunity to start making bricks at Bursledon arose, they jumped at it. There was abundant clay at the new Bursledon site and very good transport links by both rail and river.
Volunteers, with the help of part time ‘staff’, currently run and manage the museum. The volunteers carry out most of the restoration work and help to man the site when the museum is open. The museum is completely independent and relies on visitors for its income.
Upon arrival we will be invited to take some refreshments in the way of tea/coffee and a piece of cake (there will be a gluten free option) will be provided whilst the tour guide limbers us up with some general facts about the history of the museum. Following our refreshments, we will then go on our Spice exclusive guided tour with one of the expert volunteer guides. This is expected to last 45-60 minutes, dependent upon how many questions you ask. Afterwards we will visit parts of the museum, not covered by the tour followed by a brickmaking demonstration.
Lunch will be served upstairs where you will have a choice of sandwiches to include: cheese and pickle, egg mayo, tuna cucumber, hummus and spinach, ham and coleslaw or bacon. There will also be a side accompaniment of crisps.
At the heart of the museum, and the heart of the collection, is the original brick making machinery, steam engine and related smaller equipment, such as barrows, shovels and wagons, once used at Bursledon Brickworks. The steam engine and machinery were restored about 20 years ago and is operated on special events. However, we have negotiated that our group has the opportunity to see the Steam engine being fired up to see how it all works. Afterwards, we can take a wander around the shop in addition to revisiting some of the key areas again. We could always end our day by making use of the coffee shop for some hot refreshments and maybe some more cake! We can stay on site until closing time of 4pm, or until we are ready to go.Please be aware that this is only a rough guide and therefore the order may change on the day.
Dependent upon numbers at the time, we may run two groups of 6 in which case the groups will be doing different things at different times apart from when its possible to socially distance.
Click on the link to see a map of the Museum: https://www.bursledonbrickworks.org.uk/map