Market Lavington Museum

A Fishtail Tile

The old brick and tile works is long gone. The clay pit is filled and the whole site now has other, light industrial uses. But at Market Lavington Museum we can preserve the memory of the heyday of brick and tile making in the parish. We have a couple of the slightly fancy fishtail tiles.

Fishtail tile from the 1870s at Market Lavington Museum

This one dates from about 1870 and is clearly labelled with the brickwork owner’s name – ‘W BOX’

The tile is clearly stamped W BOX. William Box owned the brickworks

With a little digital jiggery-pokery we can get some idea of what these bricks might have looked like when laid together.

The tiles could have looked like this when hung.

It has been said of Christopher Wren, in St Paul’s Cathedral, ‘if you seek his momument, look around you’. The same could be said for the brick masters of Market Lavington. And you don’t have to look far from the museum to find fishtail tiles. Indeed, the nearest building, now The Old School, is covered in them.

A part of Market Lavington Old School roof – it is covered with fishtail tiles.

We can see that the tiler had a course with a triangular, rather than rounded tail, to make a pattern across the roof.