Information on the Red Brick

The fired colour of clay bricks is influenced by the chemical and mineral content of the raw materials, the firing temperature and the atmosphere in the kiln. Pink coloured bricks tend to be the result of a high iron content, whereas white or yellow bricks are given a higher lime content. Most bricks burn to various red hues, thus producing the red brick. Should the temperature be increased the colour moves through dark red, purple and then to brown or grey at around 1,300 °C. Calcium silicate bricks have a wider range of shades and colours, depending on the colourants used. The names of bricks may reflect their origin and colour, such as London stock brick, Cambridgeshire White and the Welwyn Red Brick.

In the United Kingdom, the red brick has been used in for centuries. Until recently, the majority of houses were built from the red brick. Although many houses in the UK are now built using a mixture of concrete blocks and other materials, many are finished with a layer of bricks on the outside for an improved aesthetic appeal.

Education and the Red Brick

In the United Kingdom a red brick university is one founded and built during the Victorian era, often as a technical college. The term is used to distinguish them from older, more classics-oriented universities.