Weekend 467.0

(1) A quote from Brick A Social History by Carolyne Haynes:

“Bricks do not stand alone, they work best with a sticky material to bind them together. So, wound into this story of bricks is an exploration of the use of lime. If bricks are mostly ignored, lime is rarely mentioned at all. Even the literature about it is thin on the ground, and yet arguably it is right up there as one of the most important chemicals in our history. Still widely used today, lime was the material that allowed us to build our houses, fortifications, churches and other structures for hundreds of years. Without lime it would have been very much harder to make brick walls strong. There are alternatives. We could have stuck them together using clay, but lime is long lasting, versatile, relatively easy to use and surprisingly strong. It’s an unsung hero that played a huge part in our history and I think it is time that we took a bit more notice of it.”

“The stones for these early churches were rarely freshly quarried out. With Roman ruins near to many monastic settlements there was generally a rich source of materials to plunder. Scavenging building materials from these ruined settlements was easy. The builders were able to bring in dressed stone, window and door surrounds that were already carved and ready to be fitted into the new buildings.”

“The first monastic settlement there had been built using timber, but as the abbey grew in importance so did the buildings. In the tenth century, the church [St Albans Abbey] was reconstructed using stone and bricks. With a dearth of available new stone in the area, the Roman ruins of Verulamium became the adopted ‘quarry’. Probably in part because of the lack of stone, the Romans here had used bricks extensively and as these were still in good condition they were used alongside the stone.”

(2) Poems on the Underground: Note by Leanne O’Sullivan

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