In Redcliffe and the surrounding areas from the early sixteenth century there were many tall brick kilns which were used for "firing" the materials used to make glass and pottery. Bristol had an advantage for the production of glass since the coal was available from Bedminster and the sand could be easily mined from Redcliffe Caves. I did find a reference to the sand from the Redcliffe area being used in the Glassmaking trade -
FELIX FARLEY’S JOURNAL 24TH JANUARY 1778
For Sale by Auction
At the EXCHANGE COFFEE-HOUSE, on Saturday the 31st Instant at One o’Clock,
An Estate near Temple-Gate, in the City of Bristol, Part Leasehold and Part Freehold. The Leasehold Part consists of Five Tenements, a Limekiln and some Garden and void Ground; its held by Lease under the Merchant’s Hall for a Term of 40 Years, 29 Years and Half of which are unexpired, at the yearly Rent of £6. It is renewable every 14 years; the Fine for the first Renewal is £14 - for every renewal after, one Year’s Rent.
The Freehold Part consists of several tenements, for which a clear yearly Rent of £8. 4s. 6d. is paid to Freeholder the Saracen’s Head Inn near Temple-Gate, four tenements and two Gardens, in which are two Summer-houses, a Hot-house a Fish-pond, two Stables, a Brick-yard, on which is a Brick-kiln and a Pantile Shed; this Freehold Part is about five Acres. Besides the Limeburning trade and Brick and Pantile trade, now carried on this Estate, for which it hath peculiar Advantages, many more large Trades may be carried on it. It is an exceedingly good Situation for a Rope and Twine Trade, a Rope Walk being already there of the Length of about 300, and may be extended to the Length of about 620 Feet. A Glass Bottle Trade may be carried on there to an Advantage, a loamy Sand being to be dug there, with which and Lime and Kelp, Bottles are generally made, except in this City, where on Account of the former Cheapness of Soaper’s waste ashes, they are made chiefly with Soaper’s Ashes, Kelp and Sand; but Soaper’s Ashes being now used as a Manure for Land are advanced from 6d to 2s. 6d. a Cart Load, and as it gets more Use for manure will probably get dearer.
For further Particulars apply to Mr CANNNGTON, at the Glass Warehouse near Temple-Gate, Bristol. Conditions of Sale may be seen at the Broker’s Office six Days before the Day of Sale.
J. BONBONOUS, Broker.
The sand from these caves produced a brown/green coloured glass that was used in the production of thick bottle glass. On a map of Bristol dated 1780 this glass cone is shown; these is no evidence to show what type of glass was manufactured there and in the year 1812 the site was taken over by H & T Proctor.. In 1936 it developed a crack and was reduced in height. The ground floor of this kiln is now the Kiln Restaurant the Hilton National Hotel in Redcliffe Way.
One other point of interest that I am sure they will not tell you when you are eating your meal in the restaurant is what H & T Proctor produced but I did find an advertisement for their factory from which I will provide a short extract -
Bristol Times and Mirror 21st March 1867
H AND T PROCTOR
In calling attention to their SPECIAL MANURES, have much pleasure in stating that they will be found of superior quality, and the most economical which are manufactured. TURNIP, MANGOLD AND POTATO MANURES have produced results of the most satisfactory and remunerative character on every description of tillage land.