Mark Cranston, 56, a former Police officer, started his collection in 2010 after looking for a doorstop for his garage door, according to STV.

The brick he picked up had a name stamped on it. It was from the Whitehill Colliery in Ayrshire. His interest was piqued: "When I looked it up online I was surprised by the history behind bricks", he says.

The collection gathers bricks from all over the UK and abroad. Most are from Scotland however, and some of them have a historic connection, comming for notorious buildings.

After storing his collection in his garden for a while, Cranston, who lives in Jedburgh on the Scottish Borders, moved it to a shed but he is now running out of space.

He says that "ultimately the aim is a museum where people can come and see them all. Everything else like pottery, glass and iron go on display but not the humble brick."

Although there is no official count, the website Cranston created, which includes a database, lists over 3000 Scottish brick marks, and counting. Other enthusiasts help him in his quest, sending him tips, photographs and even bricks.