Wednesday 22 February 2023

Kiln Tile from Bradshaw Mill

This fragment of a floor tile has been recently given to us by a local man who found it several decades ago in Bradshaw Brook.

Kiln floor tile found in Bradshaw Brook #1

The clayware fragment looks to be part of a floor tile used in a grain drying or malting kiln used in the milling or brewing industries.  On one side the holes were made too small for the grain to fall through, but enlarged on the other to let the heat rise through the tile.  The thickness of this fragment would not be sufficient to bear much weight but it is only part of a greater tile generally 12" x 12” which would usually be ribbed on the underside to give it greater strength.

Damp grain had to be dried before it was milled (in Lancashire anyway) and coal was supplied to the mill in Bradshaw for this purpose until about 1750.  The original corn mill for Bradshaw was close to where the Jumbles dam is now, and the tile was found a few hundred yards downstream from it.

Kiln floor tile found in Bradshaw Brook #2