Firm receives Royal praise for bricks

HIGH PRAISE: The complex Belvedere Folly designed by Prince Charles

HIGH PRAISE: The complex Belvedere Folly designed by Prince Charles

First published in Business Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

AN award-winning brick company has won high praise from the Prince of Wales.

York Handmade Brick Company, of Alne, near Easingwold, was awarded a £50,000 contract to supply 47,000 specially- made bricks for Dumfries House, a pioneering Scottish restoration project masterminded by Prince Charles.

The order saw the company create Dumfries Blend bricks for the Walled Garden and the Belvedere Folly and their quality was praised by Prince Charles at the opening ceremony attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

David Armitage, chairman and managing director of York Handmade, said: “We were glowing with pride about the quality of our bricks and were delighted when the Prince of Wales himself mentioned them in his opening speech. “This was an extremely exciting and challenging project for us. It involved creating bricks which fitted in perfectly with the ravaged boundary wall of the walled garden, as well as unique specials for the Belvedere Folly and the Education Centre.”

Oliver Middlemiss, estates manager at Dumfries House, said: “We wanted this project to show off the best of British brickwork and these bricks, laid by our team of highly accomplished brickies, has certainly achieved that aim.”

York Handmade was originally approached in March 2012, by project builder Sam Templeton, to supply a few dozen bricks to repair an area of the Walled Garden wall.

A range of sample bricks was approved by Keith Ross, project architect, and Prince Charles himself, and a substantial order placed for the handmade bricks, which became known as the Dumfries Blend.

The company was then approached to provide bricks for the education centre and, in July last year, to provide very specific bricks for the Belvedere Folly, designed by Prince Charles himself from a brick similar to those at Hampton Court.

The opening of the garden at Dumfries House came almost seven years to the day since Prince Charles led the consortium that first purchased the house in June 2007.

In a speech thanking those who helped restore the garden, Prince Charles said: “It was always my intention in saving Dumfries House we should open the house and its estate to the public for the community to share and enjoy.”

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