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York handmade plays pivotal role in new porters’ lodge at historic Cambridge college

The award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has played a pivotal role in the creation of a new Porters’ Lodge at Jesus College, Cambridge.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, supplied more than 20,000 bricks for the state-of-the-art building at the historic college.

The contract is worth £33,200 for York Handmade, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the UK.

David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, commented: “It was a tremendous honour to be asked to provide our bricks and tiles for such a prestigious project. Jesus College has a proud cultural heritage and this stunning new building reflects this.

“Our popular Old Clamp blend bricks have been used for the new Porters’ Lodge, complementing the unique surroundings and fitting in in with the College’s architecture and landscape.


“This commission continues our strong relationship with colleges and university buildings at Oxford and Cambridge. We have provided bricks for Christchurch College in Oxford, as well as Oxford’s Said Business School, and are currently working on a new library at Magdalene College, Cambridge.


“It is an immense privilege to be associated with such important buildings and projects in historic and sensitive environments. It is also testament to the renaissance of brick as the building material of choice for significant and prestigious developments,” he added.


Paul Vonberg, the architect who designed the new Porters’ Lodge at Jesus College, commented: “I selected York Handmade Brick for this project after discovering that they had supplied bricks for earlier projects at Jesus College.


“The brand-new Porters’ Lodge adjoins a Grade 1 listed building and a Grade 2 listed wall and so needed bricks which would blend happily with those buildings. York Handmade were certainly good to work with and the result is splendid. The walls look absolutely fabulous,” said Mr Vonberg.


David Armitage added: “York Handmade are currently extremely busy. Apart from our £300,000 contract to build a new library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, we are working on prestigious housing developments at Lancer Square in Central London and King’s Cross and a significant restoration project at St Albans Cathedral.”


He added: “Looking ahead, it is encouraging to report that brick remains the building material of choice for many architects and specifiers across the UK. Providing the economy doesn’t implode, we anticipate a very successful and enjoyable 2020.


“It is especially encouraging to report that York Handmade is going from strength to strength in the wake of our 30th anniversary. The company was founded in 1988, taking control of a redundant pipeworks in Forest Lane, Alne, with only some excellent clay being of any use for brick-making. Since then we have grown to 30 employees with a turnover of £2.5 million, with a target of over £3 million this year.”