Steenbakkerij De Schelde
THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN BELGIUM
This is the abandoned brick factory ‘Steenbakkerij De Schelde’ situated along the Schelde river. Already in 1880 there were more than 100 brickyards along the canal in this region.
The last owner of this brickyard was the Austrian company Wienerberger. They took over several Belgium brick works during the 1990s. Due to the bad economy they had to close down various factories including this one. More than 1,200 employees produced 90 million bricks a year. In the 2000s, this yard was the last active one along the canal.
The bricks were made in a continuously burning tunnel kiln, in which the bricks are baked as they move slowly through the kiln on rails. In the end, this achieves a more consistent brick product.
After closing in 2011, ‘De Schelde’ was squatted by a motorcycle gang. But in 2016, the plans for demolishing of the buildings were made. The old smokestack will be saved and be a part of a new living quarter of the town. I took these photos of ‘Steenbakkerij De Schelde’ during two visits in 2016. Check out more abandoned brick works here.