BRICK & POTTERY
Brickyards were set up in and around Sydney from the time of first settlement including the Brickfield Hill site which was the centre of brick making up until the 1840s. When settlement spread west brickyards often evolved in developing towns. Bricks were originally made by hand in moulds then baked in kilns, eventually this process was mechanized. Some of the larger brickworks established in Western Sydney included Strathfield & Enfield Steam Brick Company, Harper's brick pits & kilns in Parramatta, the Eight Hour Co-Operative Brick Tile plus Try's Brickworks at Granville, Goodlet & Smith at Merrylands, Sherwood Pottery & Tile Works at Prospect. Smaller brickyards were operated by Christiansen's at Liverpool, Isaac Dowse in Campbelltown, Nepean Brick & Tile Company at Penrith, Castle Hill Brick Works, the Brickfields west of Liverpool and at various sites in the Hawkesbury, Parramatta, Auburn and Riverstone. The Holroyd and Fairfield districts were also involved in the manufacturing of roofing tiles and pipes.
Alcohol was often part of the daily rations of the early settlement. Illegal stills were set up to produce alcohol but these were banned by Governor Hunter in 1796 and a licensing system was set up to try and control the problem. Early licences were given to six ex-convicts in the Hawkesbury district in 1798.
In 1804 a brewery was constructed in Parramatta and 12,000 gallons were produced in 1805. The business failed shortly after however there were at least three breweries operating in the late 1840s, situated along the Parramatta River.
In 1806 Andrew Thompson was given permission to set up a brewery in the Hawkesbury district. Other early brewers in Windsor were Richard Woodbury and Henry Kable. Thomas Cadell commenced brewing in Windsor in 1832 and in the mid 1840s opened a very large brewery and stores on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in Windsor. The site was seriously damaged in the 1867 flood and the business never recovered.
During the 1830s John Tooth of Tooth & Newnham of Kent Brewery were operating mills at Narellan possibly in connection with their malt brewery.
An extensive brewery was established by 1839 by Blaxland on his Luddenham Estate, the property was valued in the vicinity of £7000.
In the early days of settlement diets depended heavily on wheat and maize. It was necessary to grind grain to produce flour to prepare bread and damper. Originally grain was hand-milled which is a very slow process. Mill stones were used to grind grain and produce flour and were powered by wind, animal labour, water and ultimately steam. Eventually farmers investigated processing grain in their own districts for their own needs.
There was a mill in Parramatta by 1793 but it often malfunctioned. A steam mill was built by James Byrnes in Parramatta in the 1840s and was originally used to grind flour. Several large mills were established in the Parramatta district late last century including Austral Flour Mill at Parramatta and Brunton's Flour Mill at Clyde.
The first known mill in the Hawkesbury district was apparently erected by Thomas Arndell on his Cattai property about 1806-1809. Laurence May erected a horse-driven mill at Windsor in 1815. Other mills were established by Benjamin and James Singleton who set up water mills in Kurrajong around 1818 and on the Hawkesbury River by the early 1820s. James established another water mill at the aptly names Mill Creek in about 1833 or 1834 and powered by a water wheel. By 1830 the Hawkesbury had a total of seven mills and this peaked to thirteen a decade later.
Milling was an important industry in Campbelltown. Richard Brooks had two windmills on his property at Denham Court and John Coghill operated another at Kirkhill. William Mannix operated Minto Flour Mill near Campbelltown during the 1820-30s and employed several employees. Several mills were operating in the Camden district by the 1840s including a water flour mill. Joseph Thompson built an extensive mill in 1858 but due to the decline of the wheat industry it went out of business. A water mill was established in Camden by Henry Thompson and this was converted to steam in 1847. Flour mills also operated at Kirkham, Luddenham, Bringelly, The Oaks and Appin.
The Darling Mills near Parramatta was originally established as a steam operated flour mill in the mid 1820s. The mill had many uses over the years eventually it was converted to a woollen mill in the 1870s. John Horsley operated a flour mill in Liverpool during the 1830s.