Avonbridge Brickworks, Avonbridge, Stirlingshire

(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 asistanace to clarify matters for me will be gratefully received.)

Canmore – Alternative Name(s) Afton Brick Co Ltd; Avon Brickworks; Redford Fireclay Works; Candiehead, Brickworks.

Avonbridge Brick Works, Falkirk The Avonbridge Brick Works in Avonbridge, Falkirk were established about 1952 by Afton Brick Co Ltd. They were operated for a time by the Caledonian Peat Co Ltd, and latterly by the London & Northern Group. The works were closed on 9 September 1977. They used a  continuous kiln, which was fan-assisted. The tapering chimney measured 4m across at ground level and is 23.5m high. The kiln is a 28-chambered, brick-built and barrel-arched Hoffmann, one of the most popular types in Scotland. Conveyors were used to transport raw material around the site and the crusher used in the works was a Mitchell. The works made building bricks marked ‘Avonbridge’, ‘A B L’ or ‘Afton’. A stamp marked ‘AFTON BRICK’ was found at the site and is now held at Falkirk Museum.

(Note – SBH – Canmore infers that the Avon / Avonbridge Brickworks were also known as the Redford Brickworks. I am not convinced by this at all and believe they were situated at different locations, albeit nearby – for further research and in the meantime I have created an individual page for the Redford Brickworks.)

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It was known locally as ‘the Tinplate’ and, with a Hoffmann continuous kiln of 28 chambers, it operated from 1952-1977 – source

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Site names  – Avonbridge Brickworks, Candie and Redford Colliery, Redford Mine, Redford Fireclay Works.

Established prior to 1876. Closed 1978

In the Falkirk Herald 29th April 1876 an entry appeared advertising the Redford Fire Brickworks attached to Redford Colliery. The site was therefor producing firebricks prior to this date. There is no evidence to indicate when these works closed. However in 1952 a composite brickworks was opened on the same site. It did not become a profitable concern and was burdened by continued financial problems. After changing hands twice it finally closed in 1978.

The older site consisted of a steam engine, 2 kilns a pan mill and 2 drying stores. The more recent site consisted of a 28 chambered Hoffman Kiln, 1 Mitchell crusher, 1 pan mill, 1 Chimney, a workshop and a store next to the kiln.

The earlier works obtained a good supply of fireclay and coal from the pit adjoining the works. Common clay was also available on the surface.

The earlier works produced firebricks.

Later works produced composition bricks frequently using the brand name of Avonbridge.

The following bricks were found at the works during a survey – Afton, Avonbridge, ABL, Darngavil, Eagle, Etna, Falcon, Micona and Newmains.

Source Falkirk Archives.

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Falkirk Museums and Archives  FMA

Rectangular iron nameplate, painted blue with white lettering. Circa 1945

Associated with Avonbridge Brick Company Limited, Avonbridge. Avonbridge Brick Company Limited ceased operation in 1978.

This is probably the makers name plate from the Mitchell Crusher referred to above.

Mitchell

Below – 29/04/1876 – Falkirk Herald – Fire brick work to let. To be let, for any length of time which may be agreed on, Redford Fire Brick Work. This work adjoins Redford Colliery on the Slamannan Branch the N.B. Railway (near Bowhouse Station), from which there is a Branch Railway into the work. The work consists of steam engine, pan mill, two drying stoves, two kilns, and other appliances. A supply of excellent fire-clay and coal can obtained from the pit adjoining the work. There is also common clay on the ground. The works can he viewed, and particulars learned, application to Richard Grant, the Colliery; and offers will received by Jas. Cadell & Co., Redford Colliery by Linlithgow, May next. 27th April, 1876.

Below – 10/01/1934 – The Scotsman – The late Mr John G Reid – The death took place at his home, Gowanbank, Falkirk, yesterday, of Mr John G . Reid, aerated water manufacturer , who was well known in business and sporting circles in central Scotland. Born at Slamannan, he was educated at Bathgate Academy, and for a time thereafter served with his  father at the Redford Brickworks, Westfield. In 1876 he went to Falkirk, and there established the Springfield Brickworks. In 1890 he opened up business as an aerated water manufacturer at the Crown Springs factory in Falkirk , and in this he continued until his death. For a number of years he was chairman of the Aerated Water Manufacturers Association for Stirlingshire. A keen sportsman, he was in his earlier years captain of the Linlithgow County Cricket Club, and later held the captaincy of the East Stirlingshire Cricket Club while he also was a member of the Grahamston Bowling Club and Falkirk Tryst Golf Club. He was for long one of the best known breeders of Scottish terrier dogs in the country.

Below – 1944 – 1967 –  Avon Brick Works.

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1952 – Avonbridge Brick Works, Falkirk The Avonbridge Brick Works in Avonbridge, Falkirk were established about 1952 by Afton Brick Co Ltd. They were operated for a time by the Caledonian Peat Co Ltd, and latterly by the London & Northern Group.

19/06/1954 – Falkirk Herald – Experienced Kiln Burner and all other classes of labour required for new composition brickwork at Avonbridge. Apply Manager Avon Brick Co.. Ltd.. Avonbridge. (Note – SBH – Did the Afton Brick Co Ltd start up a company called the Avon Brick Co Ltd when they build the brickworks at Avonbridge?)

Below – 09/11/1954 – Edinburgh Gazette – Petition presented on 30/10/1954 to wind up the Avon Brick Company Limited, 41 Merry Street, Motherwell was presented by Scott and Rae Limited.

Below – 17/12/1954 – Motherwell Times – Avon Brick Co.. Ltd. (In liquidation) –

Below – 25/06/1970 – The Glasgow Herald – Makers of composition bricks at Avonbridge and Brucefield Works and sole distributors of Dockra, Cults and Fort William bricks. (Note – SBH – Are these the same Brucefield Works)

Taylor Brothers Avonbridge

Below – 19/02/1971 – Edinburgh Gazette – The Avon Brick Company Limited in liquidation.

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