Saturday, March 28, 2015
When brick works
Just a short distance away from the ghost sign I noticed in my previous post is this building. I know a number of my regular readers appreciate a bit of brickwork, and the top of this structure seemed to fit the bill.
Now an office block, it began as Brown’s Barley Kernels Mill – barley-crushing being part of the brewing process – and was built for W. & G. Brown in the late 1880s. Although many of the more ornate Victorian industrial buildings used different colours of brick quite liberally and some are very plain, there are many that look plain at first glance but repay a second glance that allows you to take in the details. The Barley Kernels Mill is a good example. It shows only slight variations in colour – apart from the dark brick plinth and a very small amount of stone dressing, there are just a handful or two of blue bricks among the expanse of red. But up at the top of the walls, at cornice level, these bricks are handled with great vigour. The dentil course and the uppermost corbelled part with its ‘inverted triangle’ details exploit their material with economy but also, I’d say, considerable style. The brickwork seems designed to work well in good light and I was pleased I came across it when the sun was shining.