De Groenlanden Brickworks

De Groenlanden Brickworks

De Groenlanden Brickworks
De Groenlanden Brickworks

The Ooijpolder is home to some fascinating remains from the De Groenlanden Brickworks. Firing bricks in a kiln is the oldest way of making bricks and the remaining masonry here is a unique symbol of brick manufacturing in this area. It is a reminder of the poor quality of life at the time. After all, working in the brickworks was tough.

In the 19th century, brickworks started to spring up out of nowhere along the banks of the major rivers in this area. One of these was De Groenlanden, which was founded in 1872 by Robert Jansen from Nijmegen and Frans de Loo from Doornenburg. The brickworks produced some 4.5 million bricks a year. In around 1900, a steam engine was installed and in 1915, a state–of-the-art ring oven. Unfortunately, the large-scale modernisation initiative of 1960 failed to stop the brickworks from closing down in 1972. 

Hard work
The brickworks initially employed 90 people, including 16 women and 20 children. The work was extremely tough. The clay had to be moved from place to place in wheelbarrows, kneaded, formed in brick presses and dried in drying sheds. The bricks were subsequently stacked between the two walls of the kiln – up to a million at a time. The front and back were sealed with old bricks and the top was covered with sods. Via the openings at the bottom, turf was thrown into the kiln and lit. After 2 to 3 weeks, the kiln was dismantled and the new bricks were stacked in brick fields to cool down.

The five-metre-high walls of the kiln have survived and tower proudly in the landscape. You can also find other remains from the brickworks in the surrounding area, including the former brick makers’ houses, the brick field on the other side of the dike and what is left of the electric crane they was used to load the bricks onto ships. Part of the ring oven from 1915 is still here, but is covered with soil.

De Groenlanden Brickworks
De Groenlanden Brickworks
5 Ubbergen De Veldoven

More information

De Groenlanden Brickworks
Kon. Julianalaan 1
6576AN Ooij

Marker of location