Monday, April 11, 2011

A bricks mystery: St Andrews Church, Mission Bay

I've just received the following email and photos from Peter Jeffs, on behalf of the St Andrews Parish at Mission Bay.

I just happened upon your blog yesterday and discovered that you have a great deal of knowledge on Auckland brick history. So I was wondering if you might be able to help me to identify an old church brick?

The parish is looking to renovate and extend the church, and for the fa├žade we would like to match the existing brickwork as closely as possible. I don’t know any historical facts about the church other than that it was built in 1957, and the hall was added in 1984.

The bricks are quite unusual. They have a wide variety of colour from Russet red and orange to almost black. The face is generally smooth but some of the darker tones have a very rumbled texture. Also and more unusual is the random colour patterning of the brick, in which each brick is often divided into several ‘bands’ of colour at different angles.

So my questions are:
1.  Where were the bricks made?
2.   Are the brickworks still running?
3.    If not, do any of the current NZ (or Australian) brick manufacturers produce a similar-looking  brick?
4.  If not again, is there anyone out there that can produce a small batch of bricks to match these?

Thanks, Peter. If anyone can help, send me an email or add a comment, and I'll forward things on to him.


  1. They look like what my Dad used to call Tapestry bricks (link HERE) they were available locally here in Oz, quite a lot were used, very popular so I'm sure there'd have been a local producer of them in NZ.
    Only other suggestion is to source a house wrecker for second hand bricks in similar style to build the extention (like this chap HERE.
    Hope this has been of help.

  2. Lisa I've done some digging on the internet and sent you an email with a list of Manufacturers in New Zealand plus some demolition places Peter might be able to try as well. Most are in Auckland so that should help make things a lot easier. Cheers!

  3. Thanks Jayne and Liz! I'll pass this on to Peter. Cheers!