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Staffordshire blue brick

Staffordshire blue brick, used here for its appearance rather than its high strength
Viaduct carrying the line and platforms of Birmingham Snow Hill station
Contemporary steps at Brindleyplace, Birmingham

Staffordshire blue brick is a strong type of construction brick, originally made in Staffordshire, England.

Brick made by H Doulton & Co. of Rowley Regis, displayed in the Black Country Living Museum

The brick is made from the local red clay, Etruria marl, which when fired at a high temperature in a low-oxygen reducing atmosphere takes on a deep blue colour and attains a very hard, impervious surface with high crushing strength and low water absorption.

This type of brick was used for foundations and was extensively used for bridges and tunnels in canal construction, and later, for railways. Its lack of porosity makes it suitable for capping brick walls, and its hard-wearing properties makes it ideal for steps and pathways. It is also used as a general facing brick for decorative reasons. Staffordshire Blue bricks have traditionally been "Class A" with a water absorption of less than 4.5%.

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