The bricks are very small, averaging approx 150x75x42mm. They vary in colour from buff/yellow to a few salmon pink, the latter being less hard fired. They show considerable deformation including creasing, sunken margins and underside marks indicating the clay was laid on bare ground. Those in sections are laid English bond in sand/lime mortar. One section has a larger red brick included.
A number of experts examined the bricks and provided an equal number of different period estimates. The most authoritative analysis was carried out by Terence Paul Smith of the British Brick Society. He concluded they were 'Gouda' bricks made in the Gouda region of Holland on the banks of the river IJssel. These bricks were produced from the 15th century but not widely imported into England until the 17th century. The deformations are evidence of the clay being dredged from a river bed and worked while still in a soft state. Gouda bricks are typically dense, hard fired and were commonly used for paving and floors. Their non-porous feature occasionally encouraged their use in vats and cisterns.
The Society carried out a number of digs to ascertain the extent of the apparent 'wall'. The first dig, just seven metres along from the original discovery, showed only three rows of old bricks under the existing wall. Another dig further along showed no evidence of them at all. However examples of the old bricks were found in an upper layer of 19th century fine builders rubble. This suggests loose bricks were being moved around during Victorian rebuilding of the church. Further digs around the south and east walls produced no evidence of the old bricks. The old north/west boundary is now within the graveyard and could not be explored.
It would be unrealistic to expect specific reference to these bricks in the archives, and such proved to be the case. The only interesting document is an invoice from a builder carrying out miscellaneous jobs for Nash in 1804. Here he makes particular reference to taking up 'Old Bricks' apparently at the entrance to the chancel. The term 'taking up' suggests a path, floor or steps. There is evidence of bricks being imported from Holland. Island wool exports promoted a lively trading relationship and a sample port record of 1702 has '3000 paving tyles' and '3000 bricks' into Cowes from Amsterdam.