With a long history of brick production since the 1880's and providing many Maitland buildings with their distinctive quality, the brickworks operating in the Metford area were part of established part of Maitland's commercial history.
The industry of brickmaking may have begun as early as 1857, when John Baker, who immigrated to Australia in 1852, and his sons, began making bricks there.
In the Metford area prior to 1870, a small yard specialising in hand moulded bricks was operated by Samuel Dawson
Robert Turton, an English brickmaker, arrived in Newcastle in 1851 and opened one of Newcastle's earliest brickworks, Turton and Sons.
After many years of managing the business, Robert's son Francis (known as Frank) decided to start a business of his own. In 1882, he paid the sum of £178 to purchase the small brickworks at East Maitland from Messrs Smith and Dawson.
Frank Turton was the first to introduce modern machinery into the East Maitland area, making bricks by extrusion methods, but he could not have forseen that his brickworks would continue to operate into the 21st century.
The firm remained in the hands of Frank's descendants until it was taken over by PGH Industries in 1969.
PGH had its origin in the mid-1920's when roof tile manufacturer, Maxwell Porter joined forces with David Galbraith to establish a terra cotta roof tile plant in Sydney. In 1949 a public company Porter and Galbraith was formed, later merging with Hanson Consolidated to form PGH industries.
PGH Industries purchased Turtons in 1969. Brickmaking continued until PGH's closure in 2006