Whitrig Bog or Whitrighill Brick and Tile Works, Scottish Borders

0 165

Whitrig Bog or Whitrighill Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells,  Scottish Borders

*********************************

Whitrig Bog -Mr W. Whitehouse. Mr R. Rae, Whitrighill J W Ross, Manager of Tile Works. An extensive tract of land originally overflown with water but having been drained by means of a Tunnel driven through a hill it has become good pasture land. It is the property of Lord Polwarth.  Source

*********************************

16/11/1855 – Kelso Chronicle – Desirable Farm In Berwickshire – To be let with entry at Whitsunday 1856 and separation of the years crops from the ground.

Whitrighill in the parish of Mertoun and presently occupied by Mrs Dunlop containing 193 acres or thereby, exclusive of a small part of the Bog Park which the proprietor proposes to reserve. The land is of superior quality and capable of yielding all kinds of crops. The dung and straw are to be left in steel barrow.

Particulars will be communicated and offers received by Messrs Curle and Erskine Melrose till 3rd December next. The farm will be shown by Robert Whitson at Whitrig Bog Tile Works, Melrose. 02/11/1855

whitrig-bog-tile-works-robert-whitson

*******************************

13/07/1865 – Southern Reporter. Accident – An accident occurred at Whitrig Bog Works the other day buy which a labourer named Thomson got his hand caught by machinery and nipped off at the wrist while engaged at the mill for making tiles. The patient was speedily attended by Mr Purves, Dryburgh Mains and Drs Brown and Smith of Melrose. From the extent of his injury amputation was deemed necessary and the operation was performed by Dr Smith. Thomson has since been progressing favourably.

*******************************
23/02/1872 – Berwick Journal. Birth – At Whitrig Bog on 13 inst, the wife of Mr George Hogarth, Tile Worker, of a daughter.

********************************

During a visit to the kiln in September 2016 the following brickmarks were noted. The kiln itself appears to have been built with Smeaton and Hood bricks along with unmarked fire bricks. There may of course be many others in there. Also lying around are Whitehill, Edmonstone Patent and Loch-head Patent bricks.

The kiln was still standing but it is falling away at either end and at several places along the sides. Cattle have use of the kiln for shelter which is increasing the rate of deterioration as they move in an out.

The existing structure measures approx 12m long x 8m wide. It is stone built with buttress wing supports. Fire bricks line the kiln in a single arch. I believe the floor is just normal brick but it was hard to see because of the cow muck. The kiln consists of 2 chambers situated back to back.

The vegetation was high at the time of visit and I will need to return during winter but you still could make out the foundations of several stone buildings next to the kiln and possible engine mounts. The clay pit to the west and south can still be easily identified.

****************************************

Below – 2016 Photos taken during a site visit.

Below – 3 photos from the public road  showing

  1. The depression in the field to west and south of the kiln – the clay pit
  2. The kiln in the distance
  3. What appears to the the original track connecting the kiln to the road.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish BordersWhitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below – 2 photos from the kiln showing the depression in the field to west and south of the kiln – the clay pit

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish BordersWhitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below – Photo from the front of the kiln to the Whitrighill Farm to the South.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below – Photos showing the East facing kiln front

20160915_113738-640x480 . Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below – Photos showing the West facing kiln front

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish BordersWhitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below  –

1. The North side of the kiln has what appears to have been some sort of access point to the internal firebricks? The top has fallen away but the sides are still straight faced and square indicating this was a design feature. Two arched metal bars are still in situ.

2. The opposite side shows a similar design feature which has been walled up.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders . Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below – Some internal view of the kilns showing design features.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish BordersWhitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders . Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below –  2 photos showing the relationship between the sandstone outer walls and the firebrick lined internal structure.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish BordersWhitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

Below – Photo showing the North side with a buttress support at the far end which has fallen away from the main structure.

Whitrighill Bog Brick and Tile Works, Near Mertoun, St. Boswells, Scottish Borders

***************************************

Firebricks marked Smeaton and Edmonstone Patent and Loch-head Patent were noted as forming the fabric of the building.

The following bricks and tiles were found on site and are assumed to have been manufactured there.

Below 6 bricks of various shapes and composition shown from the top and side. the bottom right appears to be an unmarked fire brick and was probably not made on site. It is tapered and measures 8″ x 4 1/2″ with the taper ranging from 3″ to 2 1/2″

Below 2 different types of drainage pipe.

Oval Drain – 14 1/2″ long x 4 1/2″ high x 3 1/2″ flat bottom x 3 3/4″wide

Square drain – 13″ long x 4 1/2″ high x 2 3/4″ wide. Oval hole measures 2 3/4″ x 1 1/2″

***************************************

Below – Newcastle type kiln.

Source Brick, Tile and Fireclay Industries in Scotland. RCAHMS Publication. Drawing by Graham Douglas 1983.

whitrig-bog-brick-and-tile-works

***************************************

Below – 1858 – OS Map of Whitrighill or Whitrig Bog Brick and Tile Works, Scottish Borders

1858-whitrighill-or-whitrigbog-brick-and-tile-works

Below – 1858 – OS Map of Whitrighill or Whitrig Bog Brick and Tile Works, Scottish Borders

1858-whitrighill-or-whitrigbog-brick-and-tile-works

Below – 1897 – OS Map of Whitrighill or Whitrig Bog Brick and Tile Works, Scottish Borders

whitrighill-bog-brick-and-tile-works

1906 – OS Map of Whitrighill or Whitrig Bog Brick and Tile Works, Scottish Borders – marked as disused.

Below – 2016 – Google satellite map view of Whitrighill or Whitrig Bog Brick and Tile Works, Scottish Borders

whitrighill-brick-and-tile-works-scottish-borders

Similar articles

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *