Some of you may be familiar with the former Stanley Brothers brickworks in Nuneaton but how much do you know about the man behind it? Whilst doing some research for a project I came across some fascinating facts!
Reginald Stanley was born 2nd May 1838 in Hayle, Cornwall.
At the age of 18 he boarded a ship for America, seeking fortune and adventure. He travelled to Montana during the 1864 Gold Rush, and found success mining for gold.
Returning to England in 1866 he used some of his wealth to buy into a brickworks in Stockingford. Over the next 20 years the business expanded, producing high quality bricks but also diversifying into coalmining and engineering.
Reginald Stanley invested a great deal of his wealth in Nuneaton. He was a Liberal Party member and helped in the building of the Nuneaton Liberal Club on Abbey Street. Another of Stanley’s creations reflects his Methodist beliefs. The extraordinary Gate Temperance Hotel on Abbey Street reportedly cost £8000 to build in 1895, a huge amount of money at that time.
His biggest donation to Nuneaton was the gift of a hospital to the town. The Cottage Hospital on Manor Court Road was opened in 1893 using Stanley Brothers distinctive detailed terracotta brickwork. Today a memorial to Reginald Stanley can be seen in the grounds of his former home in Manor Court Road, but take a look at the chimney pots and bricks around the town for more tributes to the man that helped shape Nuneaton!