18th Century Brickmaking

The 18th Century Brickmaking Project is a history education program that gets the public directly involved in the preservation and restoration of New Castle’s historic Amstel House Museum and industrial heritage at Newlin Grist Mill. The public learns the entire process of making a brick by hand – from mixing the clay to firing the brick in the kiln.


Our project last year began on Memorial Day weekend and continued through Columbus Day. We made square bricks for the Amstel House kitchen fireplace as well as rectangular bricks for other restoration work.


The project culminated with a Harvest Festival at Newlin Grist Mill on October 5, when the construction of the kiln was completed. During the following week, the new bricks wree fired in the kiln. The new bricks were removed from the kiln by mid-October.

Get Involved

Members of the public can help in many ways. We invite the public to join us on brickmaking days (click here for our calendar of events) to mix clay, form and stamp bricks, and learn about the brickmaking process.

2012 Project Results

Our 2012 project was a remarkably successful educational program. Over 1,700 people participated in the project, which brought history, science, and environmental education together in a program that was fun and engaging for all ages.

Preservation & Education Goals
  • Making 200 square bricks by hand for use in the restoration of the 1738 Amstel House kitchen fireplace.


  • Educating the public about the brickmaking process of the 18th century, using bricks as building materials, and maintaining brick structures.


  • Engaging people of all ages – children, parents, and grandparents – with an interactive program.


  • Developing ongoing regional partnerships with businesses, schools, and historic sites.

Our Partner

For this project, we team up with the New Castle Historical Society in New Castle, DE. For more information, visit their website.

Supporting the Project

You can support the 18th Century Brickmaking Project by donating bricks for our kiln or through a monetary donation. We need about 1,500 bricks to build our kiln, and the bricks need to be of uniform size and shape but do not need to be of the same style or color. Acceptable bricks may be chipped or have other minor faults.


Financial support will be used to purchase supplies such as clay, wood, bricks, etc. for the project and to produce educational material for the public. The New Castle Historical Society and Newlin Grist Mill are both non-profit charitable organizations. Financial and in-kind donations to these organizations are tax-deductible. Please contact your tax advisor regarding the tax-deductibility of your donation. To arrange a donation to the project, please contact Newlin Grist Mill Executive Director Tony Shahan at 610.459.2359 or tshahan@newlingristmill.org.


Sponsors receive public recognition of their support through signage at the Newlin brickyard, in the newsletters and on the website of both the New Castle Historical Society and Newlin Grist Mill, and as a sponsor of the Fall Harvest Festival at Newlin Grist Mill. Complimentary admission tickets for both sites are also given.

Message to Our Community

As events develop with the COVID-19 virus, Newlin Grist Mill (NGM) continues to closely monitor the situation and follow guidance from the CDC and all levels of government including social distancing and restrictions on gatherings. The NGM will be taking the following steps, starting today March 16 through April 30:

  • The NGM Visitor Center, Archive, Blacksmith Shop, Millwright Shop, and public restrooms will be closed;

  • All tours, programs and events have been postponed or cancelled during this period;

  • Pond Fishing will remain closed until further notice;

  • The Fishing Breakfast has been cancelled;

  • Rentals and photography sessions are being cancelled for this period of time;

  • There will be no Volunteer Wednesday Workdays;

  • The trails will remain open but parking is limited

Decisions concerning additional closings will follow based on the developing situation. Please check back for updates.

While the trails at Newlin Grist Mill remain accessible while the site is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we do want to remind everyone of a few things:

  • Continue to observe proper social distancing when you are on the trails. If you are ill or have been around anyone who is ill or has been exposed to the virus, please remain at home. If you arrive and find that the parking lot is crowded, please postpone your visit to another time.  

  • Please remember that all dogs must be on a leash that is held securely by the owner at all times. This is a township law, and it is to protect the health and safety of all park visitors (human and canine) and the wildlife in the park.

  • The park contains unique habitats that are home to sensitive plants and animals, some of which are being monitored through ongoing scientific surveys.  Please stay on the trails to avoid disturbances (wading, dip netting, collecting, rock throwing etc.) that could damage wildlife and vegetation. 

  • Remember that collecting of any kind, including plants and animals, is prohibited in the park.

We appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time.

Newlin Grist Mill   l  219 South Cheyney Road   l  Glen Mills, PA 19342   l   610.459.2359   l   © Copyright 2014-2015 Newlin Grist Mill. All rights reserved.