Rye Conservation Society is a registered charity - Charity No. 283888 | Site by Webinsite
In 1377 most of the timber houses in Rye were destroyed when the French set fire
to the town. They were rebuilt using timber, notably oak frame constructions, because
there was a plentiful supply of wood but no good local stone.
Demand for oak, including that for shipbuilding, outstripped supply. Brick-making
started using the plentiful supply of local clay in wood fired clamps.
Variety in the colour and texture of brick comes from the choice of clay, the method
of manufacture and the temperature and length of time for the burning - for example
dark purplish headers are produced by putting the end of the brick facing the hottest
part of the kiln.
Brickwork, Temple House
Decorative brickwork using overburnt headers
Images and text by John Griffiths, Rye Conservation Society