Bricks are created by extracting clay from the earth, mixing with water, cutting, firing and drying to form all manner of shapes, sizes, colours and densities, all of which can change entirely the material's aesthetic. Most people who grow up in the UK will have enjoyed the warmth and certainty of a clay brick home and it may for them hold a subtle, almost nostalgic quality.

A mainstay of our construction industry, clay brick has existed for thousands of years with evidence of its use dating back as far as the Roman Empire. An abundance of raw materials and a well-established domestic supply chain facilitated the proliferation of clay brick and continues to do so, complemented by extensive choice and the population's affection for it. Clay brick is a material ever-prevalent across the UK's built environment today and is considered to be a fundamental ingredient in contemporary architecture.

Developers favour the component for its tolerance, versatility and availability, as well as the obvious commercial benefits of longevity, and its simple application in property developments of all sizes and sorts. Clay-brick built homes represent a sound financial investment with access to finance and high resale values. Residents know that a brick home will last a lifetime, two or three, with very little maintenance and a high degree of flexibility when it comes to altering or extending for growing family needs.

But it takes more than functional benefits to become the nation's most loved building material. We all find comfort in the familiar, especially when that familiar is a feeling of certainty. Certainty of safety, of warmth, of a long future. This most humble of building units stands the test of time because despite the obvious beauty and technical feats possible with modern brick manufacturing, essentially it continues to do what it has always done: quietly provide us with a comfort and surety seldom enjoyed in this modern world of disposable goods.

To learn more about the process of clay brickmaking here in the UK, download the guide from the technical section of this website.