Dutch bricks from Exeter

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Dutch bricks from Exeter

When Exeter’s trade with the Netherlands was at its height in the 17th and early 18th centuries, ships returning to Devon were commonly loaded with mixed cheap cargoes including bricks, which acted as ballast on the journey home. Dutch bricks were much smaller than English ones, and were often cream or fawn in colour, contrasting with the red bricks of Devon, so they can easily be distinguished nowadays.

Many examples of such bricks can be seen in the buildings and garden walls of Topsham, close to the quays where they were unloaded; they are found in smaller numbers at Exeter and in the neighbouring villages and towns.

Acknowledgments: Exeter City Museums