Brick bonds and details

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A basic photographic illustration of various brick bonds (brick work) and brick detail found within Great Britain.

Stretcher bond

The simplest to lay, and therefore the most common, the bricks are laid flat long side to the face of the wall.

TQ5941 : Stretcher Bond Wall of Colebrook Changing Rooms by Oast House Archive

Header bond

Using only the header (end) of the brick as the facing wall. This is particularly strong as the width of the wall is the whole length of a brick.
TQ8209 : Header Bond in Old Town by Oast House Archive

Flemish bond

SU4548 : Manor Farm, Whitchurch by Graham Horn
Bricks are laid flat one long side face and another to header end face. Also known as Dutch bond.

TQ5615 : Flemish Bond by Oast House Archive
Variants have the header bricks at every third or fourth brick.

SO8454 : Brick patterns in a wall by Philip Halling
Variation showing protruding headers.

English bond

One course in stretcher bond, and one course in header bond.
TL1965 : English Bond by Richard Croft

English Garden Wall bond

Three courses of stretchers to one of headers.
SE2424 : Section of brick wall, English garden wall bond, East Bath Street, Batley by Tom Jolliffe

Flemish Stretcher bond

One course of flemish to three stretchers courses. Also called Garden wall bond but despite the name, most garden walls are built in flemish or stretcher bond.
SO7844 : Flemish Stretcher Bond by Bob Embleton

Scottish bond

One header course to five stretcher courses.

TL1683 : Chevron Wall, Annesley Close by Michael Trolove

Rat-trap bond

Headers and stretchers laid on edge. Usually used for garden walls. Laid on edge as a money saving method, but not particularly strong compared with a conventional flat laid brick. Also known as Chinese bond.

TQ4427 : Rat Trap Brick Bond by Oast House Archive SU0486 : Gable end, Pear Tree Cottage, Braydon by Brian Robert Marshall

Herringbone bond

Often used as infill to timber frame buildings, the bricks are laid at 45 in a zig-zag pattern.
SK5722 : 28 Wymeswold Road by Alan Murray-Rust SK6812 : Dry Brick Wall by Andrew Tatlow

Basket bond

Bricks are laid in squares of three at 90 to each other square.
SO1091 : Fancy brickwork, Newtown by Penny Mayes

Stack bond

Stretcher layers of bricks are placed directly inline above each other. This is often used in modern slip cladding, rather than traditional brick walls.

Other patterns

Ventilation holes

SO2092 : Vents in a brick barn by Jonathan Billinger SO8341 : Barns, Hanley Castle by Bob Embleton TQ7423 : Disused Barn at Redlands, Redlands Lane, Salehurst by Oast House Archive

Brick burr wall

TQ8864 : Brick Burr Wall by Penny Mayes
Brick burr walls are most likely to be found in brick making areas. A brick burr (or burh) is a waste product of the brick industry. Two or more bricks fused together in the kiln as a result of an over-hot firing. The bricks are often distorted and some have a vitreous appearance. They are not suited for structural use, so are generally found in garden walls.

Brick details

Soldier Course
TQ8209 : Soldier Course by Oast House Archive

Rubbed brick header
TQ8209 : Brick detail on Old Hastings House by Oast House Archive

SK4833 : Old Door by David Lally

String Course
TQ8209 : Brick Detail at 6 High Street, Hastings by Oast House Archive

Lacing Course
SY7099 : Brick and flint, Piddletrenthide by Maigheach-gheal

TQ8209 : Brick Detail at 9 High Street, Hastings by Oast House Archive TQ7751 : Dated Brick of Lyewood Farm Oast by Oast House Archive

TQ8209 : Brick Quoin detail, Rother House by Oast House Archive

TQ7651 : Brick detail on Cart Lodge Oast by Oast House Archive The brick steps out as the wall rises. Often used in chimneys.

TQ3206 : Through the Round Window by Simon Carey

Decorative Bricks
TL8338 : Moulded and Decorative Bricks by Gareth Hughes NO2323 : Brick sign for brickworks by James Allan

SP8641 : Old brick kilns in Great Linford by Wendy Carey

Tumbled-in gable
SK9982 : Tumbled gable by Richard Croft SK9896 : Quaint Gable End by Ian Paterson

SO8698 : Chimney and window detail, Wightwick Manor by David Martin

Dutch gable
Also known as Flemish gable.
TR1035 : Port Lympne North Lodge by Oast House Archive

Bell shape gable
Originating from Amsterdam. A variation of the Dutch gable.
SP9211 : The Dutch Houses, Park Road, Tring by Gerald Massey

TQ1440 : Village Hall, Ockley by Colin Smith
This grand village hall has numerous brick details, including string courses, corbeling, circular window surrounds, arches, dentils, label moulds and Dutch gables.

Bee Boles
A recess in a wall to hold a bee skep.
TQ4454 : Bee Bole on Cottage behind Quebec House by Oast House Archive

Decorative patterns

TQ0556 : The Clock House by Colin Smith TL5438 : Saffron Walden Police Station by Trudi Barr SJ7055 : Crewe Electricity Works: detail by Espresso Addict TL1683 : Chevron Wall, Annesley Close by Michael Trolove
Using different colour bricks, and the different types of brick bonds above, many patterns can be achieved.

❖ Further reading

Wikipedia: BrickworkExternal link

illustrations Oast House Archive
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