Handmaking bricks in The Brick Shed at HG Matthews from the 1920s. Photo of the team at HG Matthews taken in the yard in front of the woodfire kiln

About Us

Henry George Matthews established H.G Matthews in 1923. The traditional techniques that he used have been passed on to his descendants who still run the works today. Although he may never have imagined, as a coal burner, that 90 years after he founded the company his yard would be firing bricks with wood, as even in his day wood firing was all but a distant memory. In our long history our bricks have been used on many of the most important and prestigious buildings in England.

Traditional skills

While investing in some of the latest technology in order to remain efficient we have vehemently maintained the essence of what makes our product unique, keeping the hand making skills alive as well as firing in traditional updraft Scotch kilns which are fundamentally unchanged in design since Roman times.

What makes H.G Matthews unique

Above all what makes our bricks unique is the clay they are made from. This clay, found only in the Chiltern Hills, has been used for centuries because of the beautiful colours that it lends to the finished brick. It is hard to find and extract as it is only found in small isolated pockets thus making very large scale brickmaking impossible in this area.

By focusing on quality and customer service, we are one of the few smaller scale yards to have survived a transition within the UK brick industry, which has seen the closure of hundreds of small brickworks over the last century. There were over fifty independent brick making companies in Buckinghamshire before the Second World War, we are now the last remaining works in the county.

The virtual eradication of traditional brickyards has led to a sad decline in the local character and distinctiveness of buildings, with handmade bricks being replaced by those that are mass produced. Despite this trend our bricks have always been in demand, especially in quality new builds and the conservation sector. We are proud to play our part in supporting not only the heritage of the Chilterns, but of buildings of beauty around the country.