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Brick Gable with Jeffery Long, Bricklayer. May 2011



Flemish garden wall bond is the brick pattern in evidence in the brick walling to these hovels, but was not always strictly adhered to, as was noted in the original brick gable end to the hovel illustrated being hovel number 1. The bond pattern consists of three stretcher bricks placed in a row, with a header brick being placed at 90 degrees, as seen from above, following with another three row stretcher bricks. The header secures the two deep brick row courses together. The header and stretcher pattern alternates every course so the header crosses over the middle of the three stretcher bricks in the course below. Also the mortar bed is shallower than that of modern mortar bed and appears to be finished in the manner as what is termed a mortar Flush Joint Profile.



The three types of brick used in the construction of the shelters. In order from left to right: Evesham, sometimes called Honeybourne; Pershore and Common brick, likely made at the former Honeybourne brick works and manufactured by means of a steam press machine. Recorded use of these bricks is noted from the 1840's. A very commonly used trio of bricks in the construction of buildings throughout the Vale of Evesham and on the Lenchwick, Norton and Bishampton Estate. In the construction of the shelters-hovels, Evesham, the first brick served as a stretcher, with its twin fluted openings running the length of the brick; the second Pershore brick as a header with four circular holes each running the depth of the brick and positioned where the end of the brick was to be exposed, such as the exposed side of the 9" width brick gable; and the third brick, a Common brick being a solid brick piece was used sometimes for the paved floor as found in Hovel number 7, whereas in hovels 1 and 3 the floor is found to be laid with Evesham bricks. Consequently with their twin fluted voids, unable to resist internal collaspe from weighted sharp objects hitting the paved flooring, have various replaced brick pieces different to the Evesham brick originally used.


Photo showing the brick laid pattern: Flemish Garden Wall Bond




Detail of gable wall, Hovel number 7, illustrating Flemish Garden Wall Bond, which lends itself well to a decorative pattern. Flemish garden wall bond, also known as Sussex bond, this is a version of Flemish bond that served the same function as English garden wall bond.


Referring to the first whole brick course seen in the lower part of the illustration above, as noted by a blue line; if seen from above and from left to right, from the outside edge of the gable wall to the edge of the chimney, seen first is a header brick, laid at 90 degrees to the outside and inside face at the wall, equalling the 9" width of the wall. This is then followed by a closer brick, as noted by a red line, again laid at 90 degrees and alongside the header brick. This closer brick is a header brick but cut in half along its length and reduced to 2" roughly in its width, in this case this type of closer brick is referred to as a Queen Closer and also a Closer Half. This closer brick is then followed by two parallel lines of bricks, as noted by the three yellow lines, each consisting of 3 stretcher bricks, likely being Evesham bricks. In sequence and bonding these two parallel lines of stretcher bricks together, a header brick, as noted by a green line, being a Pershore brick, is seen laid at 90 degrees against the ends of the stretcher bricks. The wall and brick pattern then continues with another two parallel lines of 3 stretcher bricks, with a header brick laid as described, but unseen here in the photo.

The brick course above the one first described, is seen from the outside edge with two Pershore bricks, commonly used as a header brick, but placed as stretcher bricks adjacent to each other, their solid ends, sealing the end of the wall. This is then followed by Evesham bricks laid beside each other, with one in each row only, followed by a header brick. Then follows two parallel lines of stretcher bricks and then a header brick laid at 90 degrees. The brick course continues with three stretcher bricks found in the inner course, but the outside course consists of a single stretcher brick, then a narrow closer brick, as noted by a orange line.This closer brick is in fact half a brick, cut in half . This closer brick is laid against a chimney brick, as noted by a white line. If seen in plan view this brick is positioned at a right angle to the gable wall. As seen in the photo this chimney brick serves as a brick key, to tie the chimney to the gable wall; we only see half of the brick length, the remaining half is recessed in the wall. The upper two alternating brick courses show this brick again as highlighted by white lines.



Detail of gable wall, Hovel number 7, illustrating a constrasting brickwork pattern in the lower left section of the brick gable end

In the layout of the brick gable end to these hovels, the width of both the brick gable and of the fireplace was confirmed before the brickwork began. After the footings and dwarf walls were completed, at floor level the fireplace within the existing layout of the chimney was set out in the first course of bricks. How the Flemish garden wall bond pattern was laid in the brick courses about the height of the fireplace was up to the bricklayer. We see in the illustration above, the inclusion of the chimney in the gable wall, caused the bricklayer to deviate from the bond. This is noted by the brick course as seen at the bottom of the photo, subsequent to the header and queen closer bricks laid from the outside edge of the brick gable, a line of five parallel stretcher bricks is seen completing the brick course.

After the brickcourse at the top of the fireplace had been reached, the inner brick course viewed from the within the smallholder's room, across the line of the chimney, consists of only stretcher bricks. This line of stretcher bricks is mainly a single line of bricks, being only a single brick wide and with the open space of the chimney behind, there is no need for inclusion of a header brick, since its purpose is to join two parallel brick lines together. The chimney at this point outside, several brick courses up, then tapers in forming the chimney stack and we see the brick pattern change from that seen in the photograph above and the partially seen brick course at the very bottom in first photograph of the brickwork, to that seen as a whole and first described as Flemish Garden Wall Bond.

The importance of the closer brick, as seen by the red lines, was to break the arrangement of vertical mortar joints possibly appearing in a straight line upwards from one brick course to the course above. It meant bricks laid in the course above the course below always crossed either side of the vertical mortar joint between bricks in the course below. This is especially noticeable in the preceding second illustration. Instead of the brick arrangement in this brick bond of a header and then a Queen Closer, other brick bonds may start with a header brick cut to a 3/4 brick length, known as a 3 Quarter Bat Brick, which equates to the same measurement length of the header and closer brick used Flemish Garden Wall bond. The closer brick also served as an infill brick piece, as seen by the orange lines, as seen in the illustration above in the second from bottom brick course.This brick closer, is in fact a stretcher brick having been cut to 2/3 length and is seen butting against the chimney brick key. This chimney brick is a stretcher brick, as noted by the white lines, and serves as a structural hold, entering the gable wall from the chimney brick course at 90 degrees. This pattern of brickwork continues in every alternative brick course, as seen by the coloured lines, where the gable wall brick course meets the chimney. For a complete view of the gable wall to hovel number 7, please see Restoration


Interior view of brick gable end. Hovel number 7.



Brick Footings. Please click a photo to see an enlarged view. To return to page click on image.


Footings, Photos: 2004, likely two courses high with remenants of a third course of stretcher bricks laid in the adopted brick pattern.

Photo 1. View from north-east side of outside of hovel foootings, alongside Lenchwick Lane. Footings turn 90 degrees to right, see botton middle of enlarged photo

Photo 2. View from inside area of hovel observing east, towards Lenchwick Lane.

Photo 3. As Photo 1. but viewed from the south-east. Footings turn 90 degrees to left, see top middle of enlarged photo.

These footings would have been laid in a trench below ground level. First and third photos show spread of first course acting as a platform support for two brick width courses above. These footings are thought to be those belonging to a demolished hovel, noted as hovel number 4. See Aerial photograph for location. These remains were unearthed during construction of the rerouted Lenchwick Lane adjoining the A44 link road. Summer 2004. Currently the brick footings to hovel No 1. are exposed, allowing them to be seen. The concrete blocks laid beneath the brick footings and under ground level, provide sufficient stability for the structural load of the brick walling.




Photo 1.



Photo 2.

First and second photograph - in the centre of the image, underneath the partition screen timber soleplate as seen in blue outline, is the position of the brick key in the top brick course of the dwarf wall, and found either side of the building. Either side of the brick key is a packer brick piece, as noted by blue outlines. These brick pieces ensure the brick key butts centrally against the side of the outside stretcher brick, as also seen in blue outline. The brick key serves to lock the dwarf wall, to the paved floor and footings underneath to the timber partition sole plate at junction to the dwarf wall.

Photo 3.

Third photograph shows the single brick course footings laid without mortar and at 90°counter to the direction to the line of paved floor bricks above. This line of bricks contain the brick keys at either end.



Views of brick paved flooring and dwarf wall. Please click a photo to see an enlarged colour view. To return to page click on image.


Photo 1. shows stable floor with Pershore brick laid staggered and side down. A large middle area of the stable floor's damaged bricks were replaced and surfaced with railway sleepers, likely as a result of damage to the original brick floor by the hoofs of the stabled horse. The railway sleepers were eventually hollowed by the horse's hind feet.

Photo 2. shows the former dwarf wall at west elelvation.

Photo 3. shows the larger smallholder's room floor with various brick types, laid staggered and face down. The different brick types were likely used as the result of repair due to the original bricks cracking and disintegrating through footfall or heavy sharp implements hitting the paved floor. The Evesham brick used for the paved floor proved inadequate. The twin fluted open channels running the length of the Evesham brick ensured the weakness of the brick's structural integrity to impact. Also there possibly being a lack of support from a sufficiently compacted and deep enough absorbent base beneath the paved floor added to the floor's demise. This base varies from being made of either fine crushed brick or a shallow bed of sand. The well preserved brick floor in hovel number 7 consists of solid common red brick and so proved adequate for use. Rabbits had undermined the floor in Hovel number 1 and also the stable floor bricks. A shoe was found underneath the smallholder's room floor with a piece of paper within, noting the written date of 1954, perhaps placed when the floor was repaired.



Photos 1. and 2. show an area of hollowed earth within the stable floor, this is where the railway sleepers were placed. In the back and foreground of these two photos, there is what is left of the brick stable floor and the remnants of sloping drainage gully from the far side downwards to the near side dwarf wall. This dwarf wall is found under the present timber gable end. Photo one shows in the middle, on the upper most course visible a brick laid as a header, this brick course is in fact the second down from the finished top course. Positioned behind, is another brick laid in line and counter to the bricks either side. This brick layout can also be seen at the rear and middle of photo 2. Photo 1with the header brick in its middle, shows the exit point for horse waste to drain out of the stable under the timber sole plate. In the finished dwarf wall at this point, there is positioned a brick course above and either side of this header brick, forming an opening in the top course of the brickwork. This opening in the top course of the brickwork is evident in the very middle of photo 3 under the timber sole plate with the bottom of this gap noted by the header brick with two fluted cavities facing outwards. Photo 2. See rabbit hole to right against dwarf wall in side elevation. Also see timber panelled partition wall in background.




Photo: 2017, Blue line notes fall of stable brick paved floor alongside brick dwarf wall at timber gable, meeting at waste point opening in brick top course.




Detail of stable floor against dwarf wall at west elevation. Note bricks are laid side down and staggered. Note the rear bricks are at the same height as the top face of the top course of bricks in the dwarf wall. The stable floor consists of header bricks and are presumably used for strength as opposed to the dual fluted stretcher bricks.




Blue parallel lines mark solid common bricks laid face down. These bricks laid 90° counter to the adjacent Pershore floor bricks and form the low point, being the drainage channel in the brick paved floor. The rear of the floor against the timber panelled tongue and groove boarded screen is at the same height has the dwarf wall. The slope gradient of the gully from the rear against the partition screen, running to the waste opening in the top course of the dwarf wall underneath the timber gable, is a height of a brick, being 3inches.




Blue parallel lines note brick paved channel sloping downwards from rear of stable to waste exit point opening in dwarf wall. The acsending blue lines either side of the drainage channel notes the angle of the internal paved floor. Red lines mark brick top course of dwarf wall with gap forming waste exit opening.



Chimney to Hovel number 7. Photo 2020. Sloping mortar laid 15mm high against the side face of a header brick to help disperse rainwater; thus preventing the welling of water on the brick ledge and possible resulting frost damage.



Please click a photo to see an enlarged view. To return to page click on image.


Photo 1. Newton concrete block being laid 2 courses high with upper course overlapping bottom course. Note original gable brick wall still in position with timber mantle shelf.

Photo 2. Brick footings laid on concrete blocks



Please click photo to see an enlarged view. To return to page click on image.


Photo shows trial layout of bricks laid dry in Flemish Garden Bond.


Brick Gable End rebuild in progress. Please click a photo to see an enlarged view. To return to page click on image.


Photo 1. View from north-east shows original brick gable wall down.

Photo 2.View from south -east, shows new brick gable end in progress and

Photo 3.View from south-west, shows its completion.



Brickwork around fireplace being replaced. Brickwork at this point after rebuilding of brick gable end was found not to follow correct brick detail. Three fanned timber support holds metal former to underside of brick arch in position during work.