Archiver > AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS > 2001-07 > 0994682646

From: "promac systems" <>
Subject: Lal Lal Brickworks (and other interesting snippets)
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 22:44:06 +1000

Hi Russ

Here is what I have found .....


Knight's Brickworks - Lal Lal's first brick works were founded by Mr Charles Knight in 1862, where ornamental bricks, pottery, malting tiles and other clay products were made. Local clay was used. Several old places were built of these bricks, one being the old brick hotel on the corner near the railway line. Bricks cost 2 shillings and 6 pence per 100, or 25/- per 1,000. This kiln closed down in 1898. Mr Knight had owned a hotel with his brother in Ballarat, from there he came to Lal Lal and worked under contract with the railway. He and his wife had a hotel and store at the post office site.

Lal Lal Brickworks - This brickworks was opened in 1913, but were not very successful because the bricks were very soft and of poor quality. This brickworks was Ballarat owned and all shareholders lost their money when it closed down in 1915. Lal Lal people were refused shares in this business so Mr Viccars kept the secret of brick-making to himself. Mr R Viccars was originally in partnership with Mr Charles Knight.

One of the Lal Lal kilns tried to make briquettes from the local lignite, the first attempt of this kind in Australia, but with the primitive methods used, it was a failure.


There is lots of information on the Blast Furnace, so I'll just type bits of it, (unless there is something specific I can help you with?)

Lal Lal Blast Furnace was Victoria's only venture into making pig iron from local ore resources .... Iron ore came from the west bank of the Moorabool River, for the Lal Lal Iron Company Ltd .... The iron works site is constructed from 5 hand-hewn terraces into the side of the hill over the river ... The fifth or lowest terrace holding the blast furnace; the next two levels were for the machinery. Two stone pillars can be seen on the fourth level and they carried a large pump which lifted water from the river for piping throughout the works ... At the peak of operations in 1884, some 160 men were employed in this unique Victorian industrial venture.


(Again this is a shortened version ....)

Lal Lal's first attempt at lignite was in January 1859. Mr J Ralph formed a company, but the venture failed. In 1863 Mr Ralph formed another company with seven shareholders and 1,000 pounds capital. This was known as the Victoria Lignite Company, Lal Lal. Lignite is described as coal still in the woody stage. A shaft was sunk to 110 feet with poor quality lignite until 60 feet, then having two layers of good lignite, each twelve feet in thickness, with twelve feet of clay between. Between 1859 and the closing of the mine in 1892, approximately 44,000 tons of coal were taken from the mine.

In 1914 the Victorian Central Coal and Iron Mining Company began drilling a bore on the western side of the railway line, producing 24 feet of good quality lignite, but could not support constant work. This company started again on the eastern side of the line in 1920. This mine closed down in 1927 because Government support of the Morwell coal scheme meant the mine could no longer work at a profit.

If you are interested in the Kaolin Mines at Lal Lal, I have that info as well.

Hope the above helps.

Sue Prosser

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