The history of York’s back alleys – and particularly the small double-hexagon bricks that many of them are paved with - will be explored at a special talk in Clifton next week.

The bricks are known as scoria bricks.

First designed and sold in the 1870s by Darlington industrialist Joseph Woodward, they have been used to create distinctive patterns in many of York’s back alleys.

Local historian Susan Major – who was a consultant for the 2016 BBC series Railways: The Making of a Nation – will give a talk about the bricks at 6pm on Monday April 22 at Clifton Community Hall on Evelyn Crescent, off Burton Stone Lane. 

Gazette & Herald: Scoria bricks in a York back alleyScoria bricks in a York back alley (Image: Supplied)

Clifton ward councillor Danny Myers said: “The scoria brick is an attractive design and lends character to the back lanes behind people’s homes across many parts of York, including the terraced streets of Clifton.

“The story behind how they came to York is a fascinating and one.

"Susan’s talk about these special silvery-blue tiles is based on her research into their intriguing origins and use. As well as hearing about the role scoria bricks played as York approached the 20th century, we’ll hear about the less pleasant Greek origins of the word.

Gazette & Herald: Susan MajorSusan Major (Image: Supplied)

“As Clifton councillors we’re pleased Susan has agreed to do this and we encourage new and existing members of Clifton History Group to join us”.

The meeting is free to attend and all are welcome.