Woodfired Bricks

HG Matthews Traditional Brickmakers logo

History of woodfired bricks

Brick buildings predating the 19th Century are widely considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the country. It is the subtle colour shades and glazes that characterise bricks from this era, and that comes from the way the kilns were fired, using wood.

There has been a sad decline in local character and distinctiveness of buildings. Handmade bricks have been replaced by those that are mass produced. Our view was that the industry was lacking woodfired bricks to enable ultra-authentic conservation of some of our most important historic buildings.

We took the decision to learn the woodfiring art and in doing so, successfully reignited a lost technique which was the dominant method of brick production for many centuries.

Woodfired Bricks by H.G Matthews

Being situated in the Chiltern Hills, there’s an abundance of beautiful buildings built from local bricks fired using wood from the abundant Chiltern woodlands. It is these unspoilt villages, market towns, manor houses and stately homes that share woodfired bricks as their defining element.

So when one of the country’s leading brickwork historians, encouraged the collaboration between ourselves and Colonial Williamsburg, where the practice of wood firing had been preserved, we were inspired. And when two of their brick experts came over to teach us the lost art, the rest as they say, is history.


The re-introduction of wood fired bricks enables, for the first time in over a century, the construction of buildings of the distinctiveness, character and beauty of former times, that will also be admired for generations to come.

H.G.Matthews handmade woodfired bricks are arguably the most beautiful brick available and there is no better investment in realising the optimum value and integrity of buildings. Our woodfired bricks are the ideal brick for conservation, restoration work as well as extensions to historical buildings or for new builds requiring a heritage feel.


Woodfired Bricks

H.G. Matthews are proud to play our part in supporting not only the heritage of the Chilterns, but of buildings of beauty around the country.