Wainscott is a small village in Rochester, in Kent. It is in the civil parish of Frindsbury Extra, in the Medway Unitary Authority, that is Medway Council. By 1950 it had been absorbed into the neighbouring residential areas of Strood. Wainscott itself is located snappishly next to Frindsbury, and is amongst beautiful agricultural land, as with ease as ancient woodlands. It is speculated that the say is derived from the OE meaning Wagonner Cot or Wagon Shed.
Tilemaking at Wainscott
A map passÐ¹ 1711 shows this hamlet as consisting of a home and a few cottages known as Windscott, the reveal probably referring to a amassing of cottages in an exposed or windy place. The home was called 'White Horse' and, since the hamlet was situated on a crossroads on the road to the Isle of Grain, it may competently have been an inn. By 1838, the reveal had been corrupted to Wainscott and a local pottery industry was already in existence by 1842. The main works was the Wainscott Pottery owned by a Henry Hone and neighboring this was a smaller operation owned by Thomas Fox. The defense for their location is easily explained by assay of the local home ownership at this time.
Nearby at Four Elms Hill were two clay pits owned by a William Beadle, who was something of an entrepreneur. Beadle then owned the land to the terse east of the road in Wainscott and it was here that the potteries were set up. Thus, not isolated did he sell the clay to the potteries but he then got the rent from their premises as with ease as the next workers’ cottages. It must have been quite a monopoly for him as without difficulty as physical rather lucrative. Both potteries produced tiles for the expanding building industry and some may have found their quirk to London together as soon as the local brick trade.
The tithe records moreover list an Edward Hone (limeburner at Upnor) and a John Hone (brickmaker at Bill Street). It is not known if they were amalgamated to Henry Hone but it is doable that this was an example of a relatives diversifying into all aspects of supplying the building industry. Henry higher went upon to own the Kings Arms pub and John the Old Oak Inn.
By 1858, there had been a bend of proprietors and the potteries were now owned by Thomas Baker and Jesse Clark Foster. It is likely that the larger premises belonged to the latter since, in 1877, Foster bought the clay pits from the Executors of Beadle who had by then died. With this assumption, Baker must have sold out after a few years to Messrs Charlton & Matthews since, in the book "Industrial Medway" by J.M. Preston, they are mentioned in an public notice dated 1868. This suggestion is interesting past it shows the diverse range of products being produced i.e. oven & paving bricks and tiles; pan, plain & ridge tiles; sanitary & land drainage pipes; chimney, flower & paint pots; garden & edging tiles.
In the meantime, Foster continued to press on his pottery and took his son Theophilus into partnership in 1867. In 1871 they were shown as brick and tile manufacturers but there is no evidence that they had the essential equipment at their clay pits to make bricks on site. Since it was a competitive situation locally, it is more likely that they produced specialised bricks at their premises. In 1882 they sold out to Francis Hazell, who produced bricks, tiles, drainpipes and chimney & garden pots.
The 1862 Ordnance Survey map shows a draw capably next to each of the potteries. Whereas these may lonely be water wells, there is also the possibility that they were chalk wells. The census of 1871 lists a William Eloine of Wainscott who was described as an ‘excavator’. This is a unfamiliar term past men who dug clay were normally described as merely labourers and it seems to imply stock at depth. He could of course have been a local competently sinker but, again, the latter term is usually used in census job descriptions. One clue is given in an article upon deneholes written by F.J. Spurrell in 1882, when he mentions a denehole (properly termed a chalkwell) which was later being used at Plumstead for a tile works. It is known that a little quantity of chalk was added to usual bricks to prevent shrinkage during firing and possibly this was also ended in the accomplishment of tiles. If products of a orange colour were required, like the Stock Bricks, a greater proportion of chalk would have to be supplementary to gain the colouration. Thus, it is reachable that the local tile works had chalkwells upon the premises to get hold of their own supplies of chalk.
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