Dominic Sullivan, Director of PAYCE, comments on plans to commemorate the rich history of the site.

The South Village residential, commercial and retail project, currently under construction on the former Kirrawee Brick Pit site, is to incorporate a heritage display of the brickworks history as part of the development.

Kirrawee Brickworks had a Direct Relationship with Urban Growth in the Sutherland Shire – Dominic Sullivan

Plans to capture the brickmaking history of the site are detailed in a heritage interpretation strategy document that forms part of the original development application approved by Sutherland Shire Council.

For half a century, between 1912 and 1961, the brickworks produced millions of bricks and clay pipes a year for the rapidly developing areas of Sydney. The Kirrawee brickworks had a direct relationship to the local construction industry and urban growth in the Sutherland Shire and surrounding regions up to its closure in 1961.

Archaeological Remains to be Detailed in a Heritage Centrepiece – Dominic Sullivan

Centrepiece of the historical display would be the archaeological remains of the bee-hive shaped Pipe Kiln 1, one of the last kilns of its type in the final stages of development of pipe kiln technology spanning five decades.

The remains of Pipe Kiln 1 would be conserved within an interpretative area located on the north-west portion of the site near the Princes Highway. Salvaged bricks and pipes and the remains of the kiln floor and footings of external walls would form part of the display. Historical site and aerial photographs and interpretative panels would describe how the brickworks operated.

PAYCE Director Dominic Sullivan said it was important the new development reflected the history of the site.

"What we are building is a new community, but the site has a rich history and we want that incorporated and recognised on site," Dominic Sullivan said.

"The plan is to recognise and educate the community and visitors about the site and the critical role it played in the development of the area.

"It is also recognises the many workers who spent time at the brickworks," continued Dominic Sullivan.

The Kirrawee brickworks was one of many similar factories scattered across metropolitan and regional locations of NSW during the 1990s, producing not only bricks for the construction industry, but also clay pipes for sewers.

Soon after production started in 1912, the works were turning out up to 2,000,000 bricks a year and by 1939 the annual number had reached 7,000,000.

Materials Transport Kept Brickworks Competitive for Many Decades – Dominic Sullivan

Clay and shale quarried from the southern portion of the Kirrawee site significantly reduced the cost of transporting materials from other areas and kept the factory competitive with other suppliers, particularly through the war years and Great Depression era.

Records show that the brickworks had several owners over time, starting with the Sutherland Brick Company (1912-1917), then the Refractory Bricks Limited (1917-1926) and finally the Punchbowl Brick and Tile Company Limited (1927-1961). Following its decommissioning in 1968, the site was cleared of all buildings and the landmark brick chimney was demolished.

Project Partners Recognise the Brickworks Significance - Dominic Sullivan

South Village project partners, PAYCE, Mirvac and DeiCorp hope the historical display will convey the brickworks' significance and contribution to the early character and development of the Shire.

Acknowledging the former history of the site, the 9,000 square metre public park that is being constructed as part of the South Village development will be named Kiln Park.


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