AN award-winning brick company has begun to manufacture yellow bricks, which were used to build millions of houses in London in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, has already received an order for 30,000 London Yellows, with an order for another 100,000 in the pipeline.

Guy Armitage, managing director, said: “This is a tremendously exciting and prestigious new project for us.

“There is a massive demand for the historic yellow bricks which defined late Victorian London and we are now able to satisfy it.”

The traditional London brickworks, which supplied the yellow bricks, have now been built on, so the vast majority are now produced overseas.

But Mr Armitage said: “It seems only right these quintessentially English bricks should be made in England. The buoyant London housing market is encouraging many homeowners in the capital to invest in their houses, with refurbishments and extensions, thereby fuelling the demand for bricks to match what is already there. This has provided us with a tremendous opportunity.”

York Handmade is working closely with Stevenage-based Marshmoor Bricks, who will distribute the bricks to builders’ merchants across the south of England.

Alex Wheeler, of Marshmoor Bricks, said: “As well as selling to key builders merchants who serve London, we will promote these special bricks to London architects.

“Originally, London Yellows were made along the Thames Estuary, thrown by hand, fired with coal and household waste.

“The refurb market and the desire for traditional forms in architecture has fuelled demand for these bricks in London and York Handmade is potentially the only company in the UK who can make them.

“The potential is immense. If York Handmade can manufacture these yellow bricks consistently, then we can sell a million a year.”