Oxford clay has been prized for building since Roman times, and the Hamptons was once a centre of a thriving brickmaking industry. In 1850, the opening of the Great Northern Railway mainline through Peterborough made it possible to distribute the local Fletton bricks nationwide, and the area was the UK’s leading producer of bricks for much of the 20th century.
The brick industry’s unique legacy is embedded in the Hamptons’ landscape. Elsewhere, brick companies dug down to extract clay. But around the Hamptons, where clay was close to the surface, they scooped it out in a series of strips, creating a landscape of ridges and furrows. These have filled with water to create shallow ponds which are now ideal habitats for a wide range of rare and unusual wildlife and plants.
Rather than simply levelling out the reclaimed land, O&H Hampton has worked closely with landscape architects and wildlife organisations to preserve a priceless historical and environmental legacy for everyone to enjoy. This includes country parks and numerous lakes across the development.