The official brickmaker was an officer of the town who was given leave to dig clay on the Common for making bricks. He had a house and a garden to the west of the Cowherds public house on a site later occupied by Hawthorns Cottage. The first reference to a brickmaker is in 1551 and to his house in 1569. The brickmaker's workings are still visible in several location on the Common.
In 1696/7 another lease of land was granted at the north end the Common immediately west of what later became the site of the reservoir. This site was used for brickmaking until the late 19th century, and the workings extend westwards to points far west of Bassett Gate.
The name Old Kiln Bushes may indicate another site so far unrecorded.
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