The following extracts give insight into the history of the site:
History of the Duder Brickworks (Packington-Hall 1992)
“The site on which the R. and R. Duder Brickworks was built is part of a block of land purchased by Mr Thomas Duder from the crown grantee, Mr William White, in 1847 for £50 (Land Transfer Office, 3A 2015, 52240C, 22/5/1847). The land was subsequently used to graze stock (Philson M. 1990:78).
In August 1875 Robert and Richard Duder obtained ownership of the land (Land Transfer Office, 3A2015,52230C, 5/8/1875), and later in the year leased a few acres to a brick maker (Philson M. 1990:78). This brick maker erected a shed on the site and proceeded to hand manufacture bricks by hands in wooden moulds (Duder H. June 9 1967) on a small scale of about 600 bricks per day (Diamond, J. Dec 1983:26). The bricks were fired in “clamps”, which consisted of layers of stacked bricks with straw fuel between each layer (Duder H. June 9 1967). After a few years of operation the brick maker left for the Coromandel gold rush and, as he owed rent on the property where his brickwork were situated the Duder brothers took the brick making business in lieu of payment (Duder H. June 9 1967).
Robert Duder subsequently hired a brick maker named Andrews on wages, and the small scale
hand manufacture of bricks continued as previously (MacKay J. 1963).
During July 1890 new facilities were opened at the R. and R. Duder brickworks (Titchener P. Apr 1978, Mar 1979:11). The new brickworks were equipped with two kilns having a capacity of 20,000 bricks each (Cyclopedia of NZ 1902:533). One of these was a “beehive” down draught type (Brickell B. June 1991) approximately 15m in diameter, the other being a square down draught kiln approximately 15m long by 10m wide. A brickworks building approximately 45m long by 10m wide was also constructed at this time. Three brick drying sheds each 120ft long completes the structural inventory… [See Plate 1]
A 6hp Tangye steam engine and boiler…provided the motive power for the brickworks (Cyclopedia of NZ 1902:533).
The low rate of production of the brick making machine suggests that it may have been an earlier man-powered machine modified for steam motivation (Diamond J. 1983:26). No further detail is known about these machines…
Sometime prior to 1924 a Siemens alternating current electric motor was installed (Crum J. 14 July 1944), and this probably replaced the previous steam plant.
Sometime between 1934 and 1936 the 100ft high brick chimney collapsed in a storm, and as R. and R. Duder had been unable to operate the brickworks on an economic basis for many years prior (Crum J. 14 July 1944), it seems likely that the brickworks stopped production at this date.
Little modernisation apart from the installation of the electric motor prior to 1924 seems to have been undertaken. The brickworks machinery and buildings in [sic] used in the middle 1930s were those installed in 1890 (Crum J. July 1944).
…In May 1942 the Army occupied the brickworks and demolished the remaining part of the chimney, taking the 1000 bricks to Camp Takapuna. The Army also demolished the brick drying sheds at this time, using the 6000 to 7000 super feet of 9” x 1” timber to construct ammunition stores (King R. 9 Dec 1942).
In July 1944 the brickworks remained intact with the exception of the chimney and brick drying
sheds. The 1890s brick and pipe manufacturing machine also remain on the site at this date (Crum J. 14 July 1944).
An aerial photograph taken in 1946 [Whites Aviation 1946 – Devonport X4066] shows only the
circular beehive kiln and brickworks building remaining on the site. The square kiln had been demolished between July 1944 and 1946.
…In February 1953 the General Government acquired the R. and R. Duder brickworks property by proclamation under the Public Works Act.
An aerial photograph dated 1955 [Whites Aviation 1955 – Narrow Neck 36937] shows the preparatory land development prior to the construction of Naval residential units, with the circular beehive kiln and the brickworks building no longer there.” (Packington-Hall 1992:18-21). [see Plates 2-3].
R. & R. Duder Brickworks Archaeological Description (Opus International Consultants Limited 2010)
The R. & R. Duder Brickworks (R11/1795) is located within the Mary Barrett Glade and above the coastal escarpment on the land previously occupied by the Wakakura naval housing estate. Packington-Hall recorded this site in 1992 following an intensive ground survey of the location and soil resistivity testing (see section 4.3 below). Packington-Hall found the physical remains of a wharf, a coastal stone retaining wall, scattered bricks and machinery parts, late-19th century domestic rubbish, a brick clamp under a large pohutakawa tree, various earthworks and possible subsurface evidence for the chimney and rectangular down-draft kiln on the grassed area above the glade (see Figs. 3-4).
The Duder Brickworks were known to have produced common and ornamental bricks, special bricks for chimney heads and basements and tiles for baker’s ovens (Packington-Hall 1992:17). They made flowers pots. Handmade garden urns and terracotta garden chairs were also produced (Packington- Hall 1992:17-18).
Major projects associated with the Duder Brickworks include the pump house and chimney at Lake Pupuke in Takapuna and the Mt Victoria reservoir in Devonport (Packington-Hall 1992:18). The house at 31 Lake Road, adjacent to the Mary Barrett Glade, is also built entirely of Duder bricks (Packington-Hall 1992:18). It was built for Mr. P. Johnson, a part owner of the brickworks and relative of the Duder brothers.