Bricks and lime mortars came to this country with the Romans but for most people bricks become popular a little later. After the Great Fire of London, whole buildings had to be built from non-flammable materials and brick buildings came into their own. The Georgian town house became the epitome of urban design; bricks and mortar built the infrastructure of industrial Britain. Mortars had to be created that could set under water for canals and be strong enough to build long railway tunnels, whilst bricks had to be made in huge quantities. They also built the worst slums this country has ever known, contributing to the early deaths of thousands. The love affair with bricks continues today, with exposed brickwork on show in many modern buildings. This is the surprising social history of bricks in Britain.