Auchenheath Tile and Brickworks, Auchenheath, South Lanarkshire.

Auchenheath Tile and Brickworks, Auchenheath, South Lanarkshire.


Below – 1858 – Auchenheath Tile Works.

21/09/1870 – Glasgow Herald – Brick and tile work to let on the Hamilton Estates. To let, Auchenheath brick and tile works in the parish of Lesmahagow for such a number of years as may be agreed upon. The work is in excellent condition and is capable of producing a large make of bricks and tiles for which there has been a large demand. The clay is of an excellent quality and unlimited quantity … Hamilton  19/09/1870

1878 – James Baird – Brick and Tile Works, Lesmahagow.

Below – 18/03/1878 – Glasgow Herald – Drainage prices for various works at Auchenheath, Kirkmuirhill, Stonehouse, Glenburn, Dalserf, Drumclog and Eastwood Mains Works.

1886 – James Baird Jun – Brick and Tile Works, Auchenheath, Lesmahagow.

Below – 1886 – James Baird Jun, Auchinheath.

01/12/1888 – Hamilton Herald –  Reference to Mr James Baird, brick and tile manufacturer occupying the chair of a local fundraising event.

20/04/1892 – Edinburgh Evening News – Scottish Bankrupts – James Baird Junior, brick and tile manufacturer, Auchenheath Tile Works, Lesmahagow.

16/07/1892 – Lanarkshire Upper Ward Examiner – On Thursday last, a working man named Abbot was accidentally drowned in a pond at Auchenheath brick and tile works. It appears he had been standing on a plank along with another man when the plank gave way and both fell into the water. The other man got out all right but Abbot was dead although his body was recovered almost immediately.

07/08/1894 – Edinburgh Gazette – To the creditors on The Sequestrated Estates of James Baird, Junior, Brick and Tile Manufacturer, Auchinheath Tile Works, Lesmahagow. By virtue of an Order by the Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire, James Baird, junior, above designed, hereby intimates that he has presented a Petition to the Sheriff of Lanarkshire at Lanark, to be finally discharged
of all debts contracted by him before the date of the Sequestration of his Estates, in terms of the Statutes. Wm Stoddart, Writer, Hamilton, Agent for Petitioner. Hamilton, 3rd August 1894.

1896 – James Baird, Brick and Tile Works, Kirkmuirhill.

Below – 1896 – Auchenheath Tile Works.

1903 – Archibald Brown, Auchenheath Brick & Tile Works, Auchenheath, South Lanarkshire.

Below – 1909 – Auchenheath Tile Works.

28/07/1911 – Dundee Courier – Inverness Highland and Agricultural Society Show – Horse or pony any height (handicap) 2nd – Archibald Brown, Auchenheath Tile Works, Hamilton – brown gelding Kildare. (Note: There are many newspaper references to Archibald Brown showing and racing horses).

Below – 21/02/1914 – Hamilton Advertiser – Fire at Auchenheath Brickworks owned by the Clydesdale Brick and Quarry Company Limited.

Below – 21/02/1914 – Carluke and Lanark Gazette – Further info on the fire and description of the drying sheds.

22/04/1916 – Hamilton Advertiser – Stallion parade at Hamilton Fair – … a third exhibit was the fashionably bred Clydesdale stallion “Alpha” the property of Mr Arch Brown,  Tile Works, Auchenheath. His sire was “Sir Galahad” and his dam “Nancy Queen”. A fine promising three-year-old colt,  “Alpha” is a good quality horse with nice straight black hair, although he was a little back in condition when shown yesterday. He was a first as a foal and a yearling at Lesmahagow Show.

15/07/1922 – The Scotsman – Blackwood Estate – Having received instruction from Col J.C Hope Vere, his portions of Blackwood Estates have been sold. Auchenheath Farm, Quarry and Coalfield to the Clydesdale Brick and Quarry Co.

1942 – 43 – Archibald Brown, Auchenheath


John and James Baird Co – partnership

Date of formation – 1870’s

Date of Dissolution – 1880’s

Background – Valuation rolls list John and James Baird as proprietors of Kirkmuirhill oil works, which appeared to share a site with a brick and tile works and was operational for a few years during the 1860s. The Bairds seem also to have been owners of Auchinheath tile works, about a mile distant, and therefore may have been involved in the operation of the Auchinheath oil works.

Census information shows that John Baird was a master tile-maker, born in Tillicoultry, who operated various works before settling in the Lesmahagow area. One of his sons, James, followed him into the business. Interestingly John Baird is described as oil and tile manufacturer in both the 1871 and 1881 census; whereas valuation roles suggest that oil production at both Kirkmuirhill and Auchinheath had ceased by 1870. Presumably, the retorts used were small scale affairs, perhaps sharing a heat source with brick and tile kilns?


Census data – It is difficult to determine precise addresses from census entries, however, a reference to adjacent household schedule numbers suggest that “West End Cottage” lay the village of Kirkmuirhill, and that “Brickwork Cottage” lay in Auchinheath.

1851 Census – John Baird, aged 35, Master tilemaker employing 4 men and five boys, resident at Barskimming tile work, Stair, Ayrshire. The household contains son John, aged six months

1861 Census – John Baird, aged 46, Tile-maker, resident at Hamlet of Shirlaw tile works, Carham, Northumberland. The household includes John Baird aged 10 and James Baird aged 7.

1871 Census –

  • John Baird, aged 56, Tile and oil manufacturer and a small farm of 6 acres, resident at West End Cottage, Parish of Lesmahagow. The household includes John Baird, aged 20, and James Baird aged 17.
  • James Baird, aged 17, Labourer in Brickworks, resident at West End Cottage

1881 Census –

  • John Baird, aged 66, Oil and tile manufacturer, resident in Parish of Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire
  • James Baird, aged 27, Tile manufacturer, Resident at Brickwork cottage

1891 Census –

  • John Baird, aged 76, Brick & tile maker (retired), resident at West End Cottage, Kirkmuirhill,
  • James Baird, aged 37, Drain tile manufacturer, resident at Brickwork cottage

1901 Census –

  • James Baird, aged 47, Fruit Grower, resident at Tile works cottage, Auchinheath

While the above John and James Baird seen likely to have been proprietors of Kirkmuirhill oil works, the census reveals other members of the Baird family active in the local brick and tile trade.

  • The 1861 census lists James Baird, aged 42, tile manufacturer employing 10 labourers and 6 boys, resident at Union Cottages, Union St. Stonehouse.
  • The 1871 census lists James Baird, aged 52, tile manufacturer employing 8 labourers and 3 boys, resident at Blackwood cottage, Parish of Lesmahagow.

Below – these 3 drainage tiles were found on Auchenheath Farm. They are most likely to have been manufactured at the Tile works which was based very nearby.

Top – 14″ long, 3 1/2″ flat base, 4 1/4″ at widest and 5″ high.

Middle – 14″ long, 2 ” flat base, 3 ” at widest and 3″ high. (The opening is circular).

Bottom – 14″ long, 2 1/4″ flat base, 3 1/4″ at widest and 3 1/2″ high. (The opening is elliptical).


Below – An unmarked brick also found on Auchenheath Farm. This was also most likely made at the nearby Auchenheath Brick and Tile Works.

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