Another gentleman who had Norwood Court built was a Mr Henry Dodds. He started a Vitriol Factory (where the RSPCA centre now is) and we will hear more of his generosity later on. He died in 1843.
The Plough public house dates from the fourteenth century and, for a good number of years, was a shop as well. Over the years it has retained its old world appearance and has a very large lime tree and garden at the rear with Bowling Green attached. Rateable value in 1821 was £16.0.0d per year. John Filby was Landlord in 1821, George Roberts in 1896. The Dean family were licencees for over 70 years.
The Green itself was originally 11 acres, with a pond, but this was filled in in 1930 and the roads around have been widened leaving the Green now approximately 10 acres. Some splendid elm trees on the Green were all destroyed by Dutch elm disease in 1977. There is a small area between Norwood Green and Norwood Bridge known as Frogmore Green. Here in 1688 four almshouses were built for four widows, who each received 6/- (30p) weekly. They were rebuilt in 1814 by John Robins (more about these later). Records show three farms — Old Court Farm, Manor Farm and Alleyn Park.
Here we will leave Norwood for the time being, but much more will be mentioned as our story unfolds.
From early in the seventeenth century when it was discovered how good the earth was for brickmaking, stock bricks were made in the district. This continued until it finally finished around 1928. Some of the names of the brickfield masters were Reeds, Cullis, Hammonds, Watsons, Strouds, Newells, Braveys. Frankly, Newells brickfield alone produced 8.8 million bricks in one year. Most of the bosses had rows of small cottages for some of their employees. They were of a very low standard, but they were an advantage to the brickmaster because men would always be on hand to attend to the kilns. These names come to mind — Woodlands Place, Shuffy Row, Tilly Billy Bottom, left hand side Pluckington Place — all these have now disappeared.
The first strike ever to hit the district took place on 24th April, 1887. The brickmakers wanted another 2/6d (12½p) per week but, after a fortnight, it collapsed and they actually went back for slightly less.
Records show that rates on brickmasters were `Strouds’ — ten cottages, eight brickstools, cottage as office near canal Rateable value 1886 £231.13 .7½d (£231 .68p) per year. Braveys brickfields, Southall Green, 8 cottages, 15 Brick Stools, Pond and office, 1863 rateable value £934.0.0d per year.
Southall Brick Company — 32 cottages, pond, dock, 14 brick sheds, all on the Hambrough Estate, rateable value 1863 £613.15.0d (£613.75) per year. This was the last company in Southall. When the canals came stock bricks were loaded in barges to London. They were of good quality, and some were used at Buckingham Palace. In 1890 the price ranged from £1 for 250 delivered. Just recently, when some houses were being demolished in Featherstone Road, the asking price was 10p each – 100 years old.