Afton Tileworks, Straid, New Cumnock, East Ayrshire

(Note – SBH – There is some confusion regarding bricks stamped AFTON with regards their exact origins. There was the Afton Brick and Tile Works at New Cumnock, the owners of which opened a brickworks at Sanquhar in 1852 and then much later there was the Afton Brick Company Limited which operated the brickworks at New Cumnock and is possibly the same company that opened the brickworks at Avonbridge. Any assistance to clarify matters for me will be gratefully received.)

Dr Jimmy Begg states – There is a  hand-drawn map of the turnpike roads of New Cumnock parish of 1851 (which show the new railway). On the west side of the turnpike road to Dalmellington, opposite Straid farm is clearly marked “Afton Tileworks”. Around 1850, the struggling Nithsdale Iron Company (1847-59), having run out of local ironstone, had built a tramway to Beoch to a new source of ironstone, and probably this tramway may also have used to carry clay from the Auchingee clay pit to the Afton Tileworks and certainly would have taken the finished bricks and tiles from Straid down to the furnaces for transport onwards by cart to New Cumnock Station. This ties beautifully in with one of the adverts in 1850-51, stating that the Iron Company was looking
to form a branch line to export its iron, bricks, tiles, etc

Below – 29/05/1850 – Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser – Article regarding Mr Clannell’s (Clennell) Afton Brick and Tile Works. The quality of the bricks and also that they are now transported by railway.

1851 – Map of New Cumnock turnpike roads, beautifully hand-drawn in 1851 by James McDerment & Sons. Afton Tileworks just to the north of Straid Farm.

Below – 30/07/1851 – Dumfries & Galloway Standard – Advert Dickenson & Co, Afton, New Cumnock.

Below – 19/11/1851 – Dumfries & Galloway Standard – Drain pipe tiles, fire bricks and fire clay). The subscriber has been appointed agent to Messrs Dickenson & Co., Afton, New Cumnock, for the sale of their superior drain pipe tiles, fire bricks and fire clay, which may be obtained on moderate terms, at any station along the line of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway, on application to  J.Bell, 10, Bank Street, Dumfries. 15th November 1851.

Below – 17/12/1851 – Drain pipe tiles, fire bricks and fire clay. The subscriber has been appointed agent to  Messrs Dickson & Co., Afton, New Cumnock, for the sale of their superior drain pipe tiles, fire bricks and fire clay, which may be obtained on moderate terms, at any station along the line of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway, on application to  J.Bell, 10, Bank Street, Dumfries. 15th November 1851.

dickson-afton-new-cumnock

Below – 27/10/1852 – Dumfries and Galloway Standard – Messrs Dickinson announce that in addition to their Afton Brickworks, New Cumnock they are now opening an extensive brick and tile works at Sanquhar. (Dickson or Dickinson or Dickenson!

Below – This salt-glazed paver was found on the site of the Afton Tileworks/Straid Brickworks by Ian Suddaby and is very likely to be a product manufactured there. It is not stamped.

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