Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Hoffman Kiln Brick Works

Opened: 1901 
Closed: 1959
Status: Abandoned, 51+ years (apart of historic trust)
Located: Roslyn, Palmerston North.

Old Brickworks
Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.6
Aperture f/8.0
Focal Length 24 mm

Old Brickworks
Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 5
Aperture f/8.0
Focal Length 16 mm

Listed on The Historic Places Trust as one of New Zealand's 10 most important industrial sites is The Hoffman Kiln Brick Works in Palmerston North. Opened in the late 1890's by Frederick Hoffman the kiln was in continuous use with chambers being loaded, heated and unloaded in succession. About 9000 bricks could be made per day. 

Pieces of coal were fed through openings in the roof of the kiln every half hour to bring a chamber up to heat. Most firings went on for six weeks although their longest record to date is 3 months. Increasing labour costs, efficient kilns and use of materials other than bricks for building saw the works shut down in the late 1950's. During the early 1900's many towns followed the brick making industry and had their own Brick works but today the only other works that remains is in Douglas,Taranaki and Dunedin, although the South Island brick works is far more deteriorated then the Palmerston North. 

Used for making Bricks, the works contained 14 chambers. During the firing, as many as 6 chambers would be in some form of firing at a time. The other chambers would be in the process of cooling or being loaded.The kiln's interior is like a race track allowing the rotation of chambers without ever reaching an end. When in use an internal temporary wall was built between chambers.

These days, the surrounding property is utilized by a large Palmerston North private company, I believe they have owned the land since 1993, if not leased. In early 2009 there was a fire in the front brick offices/reception building, which was due to vandalism. This completely gutted the building, it was not in use, but was insured I was told. It currently still stands in disrepair.

1 comment:

Kipas said...

sheikh, supermoon malam ni. tangkap lah gambar dari palmy..nak tengok..hihi:)