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Castle Espie

Past Work

Client:- Wildfoul & Wetlands Trust

Project:-  A Reconstruction cutaway illustration of a Hoffman brick Kiln in Castle Espie, Northern Ireland

Castle Espie Brickworks, Near Comber Co Down.

The first rectangular Hoffmann Kiln in Ireland and probably the first rectangular Hoffmann kiln in the British Isles was constructed at Castle Espie industrial complex to the south of Comber in 1866 and first fired March 1867. This kiln was a 24 chamber rectangular (actually octagonal) Hoffmann and was built by Robert Murland to potentially fire both lime and bricks, though actually only bricks were fired in it, with the lime from his quarries being fired in a series of nearby pot kilns. It is probable that Murland got the idea to construct the Hoffmann at Castle Espie at a lecture given by Professor James Thompson in Belfast in 1864 when the construction of the Hoffman kiln at Hay Park Brickworks was described. The bricks produced were pressed, and were stamped with the name Castle Espie.

An aerial drawing of Espie Castle Brickworks. Smoke coming out of the chimney.
Aerial oblique view, reconstruction cutaway of Castle Espie brickworks