This green space alongside the bypass, between Graylands Road and Alvega
Close was originally a clay pit. Clay was extracted from here for
decades for making bricks, and a brick kiln was located in the bottom of
the pit. A brickworks once stood on the shoreline where boats could
collect bricks to take downriver to Birkenhead and across to Liverpool
for building purposes, but the works disappeared in the 1930s when the
silting ponds were constructed on the river shore (now the former tip
site) and when brick-making here ceased.
In the early years of the 20th century, the owner of the brick-making
business fancied himself as a developer. Realising that more people
were able to buy their own houses, he decided to build a small “village”
of terraced houses next to Port Sunlight village. Although small, these
homes were just affordable to those people whose salaries were rising as
people began to to become better off. This “Brickfields Village”
consists of the houses in Beaconsfield Road, Elmbank Road, Willowbank
By the 1950s, the
brick making process had long since ceased, and the “hole” was being
used by the Council as a tip for household rubbish. In the hotter
summers of the 1960s, local residents remember seeing rats from the tip
running around their streets and gardens, looking for food in bins and
in garden sheds.
When tipping had finished, part of the site was levelled and now has two
large football pitches on it which are well used during the summer
months. An underpass beneath the bypass (built in 1960) links Mayfields
to Beaconsfield Road.
The part of the
former clay pit not filled in with rubbish became the site of the water
Brickworks circa 1914. The work must have been hard
and the pay poor. In this picture, the boy on the
right and the young man in the centre both have bare feet.
The large chimney stack - behind the boy on the right - was
demolished in 1924. This very spot is now occupied by the
United Utilities water treatment works (see picture below) which is next to the