Stewartby has been involved in brick making since the turn of the 20th century.
B J Forder and Sons first started production here in 1897. After varying mergers and take overs the London Brick Company Ltd was founded in 1936.
The company had a keen interest in looking after their employees and planned and developed the model town of Wootton Pillinge. Which was later nown as Stewartby in honour of Halley Stewart who lead the way in looking after the workforce and their families.
Stewartby was the biggest brickworks in the world and was home to the worlds largest kiln. At its peak it produced twenty million bricks a week. With a workforce of over 2000 most of the Stewartby residents were involved with the firm.
In 1984 a £25 million plam was put forward to improve the production at the site. However Hanson Trust gained control of the company. Plans were put on hold and cost cutting was the main agenda. One year later 400 members of staff were made redundant.
Later in the 1990's there was a push for Stewartby to improve on emissions as old fashioned brickmaking isn't the most environmentally friendly process. Kilns were shut down and many of the chimneys were demolished.
Between 2005 and 2007 a project costing over £1million to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions was put in place. This was unsuccessful and the plant closed in 2008.
The remaining four chimneys and two kilns are now listed as a reminder to the heritage of brickmaking in Bedfordshire.