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York Handmade win major award at Brick Oscars

The York Handmade Brick Company, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the country, has won a major prize in the prestigious 2015 Brick Awards.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, won the Best Outdoor Space category in the brick awards for its “magnificent achievement” in restoring the Belvedere and Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden at Dumfries House in Scotland, a pioneering restoration project masterminded by Prince Charles.

In addition the Belvedere was shortlisted in the Craftsmanship and Best Refurbishment Project categories, while York Handmade was also nominated in two categories for its work on Carmelite House on London’s Victoria Embankment.

David Armitage, chairman and manging director of York Handmade commented; “We are absolutely thrilled. This was a very exciting and challenging project for us, superbly supervised and executed by our sales manager Mark Laksevics and specials manager Mark Todd.

“It involved creating 47,000 bricks which fitted in perfectly with the ravaged boundary wall of the walled garden as well as unique specials for the Belvedere Folly and the Education Centre at Dumfries House,” he explained. “The project was overseen by Prince Charles and we were very proud when he praised the quality of our bricks at the opening of Dumfries House. Now this wonderful award had added to our delight.

“Huge thanks are due to the management team and employees at York Handmade for their imagination, enterprise and hard work, which all combined to make this award possible,” commented Mr Armitage.

The Brick Awards’ judges commented: “This project could be considered a winner over several categories. It is absolutely stunning, a magnificent achievement. The five-acre walled garden was derelict and within a twelve-month period the garden has been transformed into one of the most interesting walled gardens in this country.

“The external garden wall with its sloping brickwork has been repaired to a very high standard and the Belvedere sits as a crown above the garden. The centre piece of the garden is the brickwork walls and staircases associated with greenhouses giving a heart to the new garden. The project has given local employment to some 80 people and provides access for 5,000 primary pupils in the adjoining kitchen garden”.

The awards were presented at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton Park Lane in London’s West End this week.Run by the Brick Development Association in conjunction with Building magazine, and compered by television personality Nick Knowles, they are the brick industry’s Oscars.

York Handmade also provided the bricks for Boxmoor Construction’s Springfields development in Reading, which was short-listed for the Specialist Brickwork Contractor of the Year prize.

Chairman David Armitage said: “We are particularly proud to be involved in three fantastic projects this year, all of which were nominated for the Brick Awards.It is important to stress that our three short-listed entries are completely different jobs in design and execution, graphically illustrating our ability to work in a wide variety of colours and styles. We believe we can tackle any brickwork project successfully.”

York Handmade has a tremendous track record in the Brick Awards, winning a hat-trick of categories in 2012. The buildings which won the awards were: Four Oaks in Little Bedwyn, Wilts (Best Single House); Tupgill Cellar, near Middleham, North Yorkshire (Best Craftsmanship); and Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester (Specialist Brickwork Contractor).

In 2009 the company was short-listed for the Best Educational Building award for its work on De Grey Court at York St John University.

In 2007 the company was shortlisted for Best Refurbishment Project award for its work on the Murrays’ Mills development in Manchester.In 2006 it won the Best Landscape Project award for its acclaimed work on the walled garden at Broughton Hall, near Skipton.

In 2005 York Handmade was shortlisted for the Best Refurbishment Project for work on Millington Hall, a 16th century heritage public house and restaurant in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire and in 2004 the company won the same award for the acclaimed walled garden and new restaurant at Scampston Hall, near Malton.

York Handmade was also shortlisted in the Best Refurbishment Project category of the Brick Awards for its work in restoring Myton Bridge, near Boroughbridge, to its former Victorian glory in 2003, and also won the Best Single House award for a private house at Chirk, near Wrexham, in 2003. York Handmade won the Supreme Brick Building award for St Brigid’s Church, Belfast, in 1995.

For further information, please contact David Armitage of York Handmade on 01347 838881 or Robert Beaumont of Robert Beaumont Associates on 01423 323139. Alternatively, visit

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