Brickmakers/potteries at Loampit Vale, Lewisham
My Cole ancestors made bricks, tiles, chimney pots and other clay items for the major eighteenth century southwards expansion of London - see the Islington earthworks. This page flags up their work at Loampit Vale, Lewisham, then Kent and now greater London.
The Cole family at the Lewisham works
The Lewisham origins of the Coles can be traced from the census records for the potteries and brickyards in Green Lanes, Tottenham. These show that Daniel Thomas Cole, who later went on to work alongside another branch of the Cole family there was born in Lewisham, Kent. According to his 4th March 1821 baptismal record from the parish of St Mary, Lewisham, the occupation of his father, Thomas Cole, was tile maker, address Loampit Hill.
Thomas Cole's genealogical origins are of particular importance in this research because he was probably the son or nephew of our earliest confirmed Cole ancestor, potter Daniel Cole who worked in and around Islington (Somerstown or Somers Town and the parish of St Pancras) before moving to Tottenham.
The location of the brick and tile-making works at Lewisham
The main brick and tile making area at Lewisham at the time was Loam Pit Vale. (This information is courtesy of David Cufley.) So we can assume that Thomas worked the potteries at Loampit Vale in Lewisham (now part of Greater London.
Sadly the Lewisham Local Studies Library and archives were unable to help with genealogical data for Thomas. My visit yielded no Coles in the surviving rate books and hardly any potters or brickmakers in Loampit Hill in the 1841 census. (Time did not allow exploration of the side streets, and the later censuses seemed likely to be of less value since, by then, the family had moved away.) David Cufley's index did list a George Cole, brickmaker, in the 1881 Lewisham census. He was age 24 and born in Millwall, Middlesex, but available records show that he was born to a line of cutlers, rather than brickmakers, although there was a Clerkenwell connection (near Islington where Daniel Cole lived in the late 1700s).
The end of the Lewisham earthworks
Brickmaking in Lewisham ceased in the 1880s.