What is significant?
The Thompson brothers, George and Joseph, formerly of Ballarat and the new owners of Yallum Park, established the Glenthompson Brickworks in 1900. The clay in the area was already known for its suitability for brick making. The business prospered and consolidated with the increasing demand for the red bricks that it could produce using traditional manual methods. With the decline of that demand, the Thompson family sold the business to Donald Forbes, a local pastoralist and Reg Williams, a local master builder in 1947. They made immediate improvements to the plant and, in 1949, sold out to Glenthompson Brickworks Pty Ltd, with Forbes remaining as Managing Director. The company prospered with the post World War Two boom. Again, it invested in substantial plant and equipment resulting in a production of 18,000 bricks a day. Forbes died in 1953, and his successor, Frank Borbiro began to explore alternative fuels for firing the kilns. In 1956 the Brickworks became the first in Victoria to make the transition to oil firing. Borbiro, a Hungarian refugee, served on the Shire of Mount Rouse Council, the Portland District Development Committee, Glenelg's regional planning authority and Willaura Hospital Board. Borbiro was awarded an MBE for community service in 1979. Countless buildings have been constructed throughout the region using Glenthompson bricks, including many of great architectural significance. Angora Banner Pty Ltd purchased the Brickworks in 1988 and is the current owner. The Brickworks, the most important supplier of bricks in the Western District outside Ballarat, is of particular interest because of its traditional method of firing in single kilns rather than the Hoffman process of continuous firing in circular kilns used in Melbourne. The Brickworks are in full working order and retain an excellent degree of integrity.
How is it significant?
The Glenthompson Brickworks are of historical, scientific and architectural significance to the Southern Grampians Shire and the township of Glenthompson.
Why is it significant?
The Glenthompson Brickworks are of historical significance to the township of Glenthompson as a representation of a new industry, which started in 1901, which became one of the major employers in the town. The Glenthompson Brickworks are also historically important as one of the most substantial industrial complexes in the study area and for their regional market share. It is of technical significance for replacing the laborious and strictly limited production of bricks in other towns and on major properties, but still using strictly traditional, although much improved methods. It is of architectural significance for its long-term connection with the construction industry generally and especially through the master builder, Reg Williams and his connections including the architects, Seabrook and Fildes.