Bricking it!


A historic handmade fired red clay brick found during Southsea Coastal Scheme excavation works is winging its way to the World Brick Museum in Maizuru, Japan.

Lord Mayor Cllr Tom Coles is delivering the brick as part of a wider tour of the area to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Portsmouth being a sister city to Maizuru, as well as the 80th anniversary of Maizuru becoming a city.

The brick was found under the old promenade in front of Southsea Castle during coastal defence construction works.

It was part of an excavated structure designed to hold a swivel mount gun, dating back to the early 19th century.

Lord Mayor Cllr Tom Coles said:

“It’s a privilege to donate this brick to our sister city as part of our 25-year commemoration as a sister city with Maizuru.

“The brick will sit aside worldwide examples of red brick, including one from the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth which was donated in 1993.

“The fact that the brick is likely of military origin and discovered during coastal works makes it even more appropriate to Maizuru, given both of our cities’ coastal locations and rich naval and military history.”

A second red brick from the swivel gun mount will be displayed in the Portsmouth Museum from July 2023 as part of an ‘Ocean at the End of the Lane’ exhibition.

Maizuru is renowned for its abundance of red bricks, visible in buildings across the city. Its World Brick Museum was built from red brick by the former Navy in 1903 when it was used as a torpedo warehouse.

According to the museum’s website: ‘Inside this museum you will find bricks from all over the world, hence the name the World Brick Museum. On display are bricks from the four great civilizations of the world, ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Greece’.