The Brickmakers of St Albans
A Talk given to the St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society at St Albans on 7th January 2003

Water End House

Sandridge, ~1610

[Now in Wheathampstead]

Bricks were usually made close to the buildings where they were to be used and the 1726 survey of Sandridge shows a Brick Kiln on Bernards Heath, a Brick Close (possibly the earlier Brock Close), three Brick Kiln Fields, a Brick Kiln Wood and Brickmeadows. One of these is close to Water End House, which was built by Sir John Jennings.

The house is best known for having been the birthplace of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. In addition my Great Great Grandfather, Dolphin Smith, lived there in the mid 19th century, and one of his sons, William Atherton Smith became a farmer at Hatchen Green, Harpenden, and also made bricks.

Talk: This is an early example of bricks being used to build a farm house near St Albans. It is older than any surviving brick-built houses in St Albans.

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Supplementary Information

Picture from Victoria County History of Hertfordshire, Vol. 2, p. 419

For further information see Water End, Sandridge, & Dolphin Smith

If you can add to the information given above tell me.