Not a subject that anyone, well anyone I know, ever mentions, and why would they? Bricks are just …… well ……. there and not something you think about but although I’m not about to alter that perception I do think that brickwork in general is worth a mention. I want this to read by anyone so I won’t go into detail about bonds and the rest, that is not what this blog is about, it’s trying to get people to look at the many different styles of brickwork throughout the country, indeed the world and the innovative way in bricks have been used for all matters of construction.
This is just an ordinary door with a brick arch over the top and the amount of work to get all this together is awesome. A template would have been used for the arch to be constructed on and then all the cutting of the bricks around the arch itself is near on perfect. The bricks themselves are wedge shape and all the brick joints are equal giving a very tidy appearance.
The same arch but looking underneath to see how the bricklayer was a real craftsman to get everything to look so tidy. You may also notice that there are some different coloured bricks, that is because the walls inside are of a glazed brick and totally different to the ones on the outside.
All in all a very decorative way in which to bridge a door opening, lintels, wood and stone, have been used since the beginning of building and in later years concrete became plentiful and when metal rods were bedded inside gave incredible strength over wider areas and so brick arches became a luxury.
Churches were always big users of arches in both brick and stone and some are just truly magnificent. How some of that stonework got put into place many centuries ago, without the help of mechanical means, one can only guess at. But there are plenty of arches of brick within Church buildings and when I was out and about on my bike, (cycle), I came across this small Church but only had my mobile (cell) phone with me so took these pictures, sorry if they are not all that good.
As you can see these arches to a point and are known as Gothic arches, there are semi-circular and segmental, as well a many more. But a closer look at these arches display, yet again, both the craft of bricklaying and the effects on what would otherwise be just a blank brick building. Not to mention that the arches match the shape of the windows and doors themselves, all very symmetric.
This is just a small example of the effective use of different coloured bricks in an imaginative way and if you notice the picture of the smallest of the windows you will see alongside the window is another use of brickwork first used centuries ago, the buttress. Used to strengthen walls and sloped at the top to finish off another decorative effect. I hope to expand on more decorative uses of bricks and brickwork in future blogs without any technical jargon.