Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Annan, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire

Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Annan, Dumfries.

Many thanks to Iain Gow with regards to much of the information herein.

Canmore

Bonshaw Tileworks entered use after 1857 and became disused about 1900. It is partly demolished and has one kiln of Newcastle type.

Bonshaw Tileworks was established in the latter half of the 19th century and is depicted on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Dumfriesshire, sheet lviii, 1900). Of the buildings shown on this map, only the kiln survives, and this is a two-chamber example of the Newcastle type; the outline of the drying sheds and the other buildings are now indicated by a pattern of robber trenches. The map indicates a pond to the SE of the kiln; this was still water-filled on the date of visit, but there is also evidence of several other dammed ponds, now breached, to the N. A tramway is also depicted, running from the processing plant to the clay pit, but only a short stretch now survives and the clay pit has been removed by the construction of the new motorway. Strewn across the area, there are fragments of red bricks and drainage tiles, but most of this appears to be wastage. The Tile Works was connected by a siding to the Kirtlebridge, Annan and Brayton Branch of the Caledonian Railway.

Visited by RCAHMS (ARW, SPH), 1 December 1994. Bonshaw. Listed as tileworks. RCAHMS 1997.

The monument consists of the upstanding remains of the former Bonshaw Tileworks, comprising a two-chambered Newcastle Kiln and associated earthworks marking the site of workshops, processing plant and drying sheds. The Bonshaw Tileworks was established in the latter half of the 19th century to produce lightly fired tile field drains and from 1896-1911 also produced common pressed red brick. Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated February 1998.

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AD2136 – William Jolly, Master Mariner of Doubletrees, St Blazey Gate

AD2136/2 – Papers – schooner Margaret Murray of London.

A letter from Archibald Murray, Annan Dumfries to Captain Jolly.

Dated 03/08/1887

Description “He has just got strong enough to go downstairs. He hopes that Captain Jolly will find something suitable soon. The ship ( The Margaret Murray) went into dry dock yesterday to be repaired and he is currently waiting for the official survey. John Murray is going to Liverpool to see to it. He encloses the average adjuster’s statement ( not present). On the reverse in pencil are calculations probably relating to Jolly’s share. All on notepaper of J and A Murray, Quarry Owners, Corsehill Quarries and Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Annan, Dumfries.  Source

Scheduled monument – The monument consists of the upstanding remains of the former Bonshaw Tileworks, comprising a two-chambered Newcastle Kiln and associated earthworks marking the site of workshops, processing plant and drying sheds. The Bonshaw Tile Works was established in the latter half of the 19th century to produce lightly fired tile field drains and from 1896-1911 also produced common pressed red brick.

The horizontal draught kiln is constructed of squared rubble, with substantial masonry buttresses at the SE and NW and is characterised by two brick-lined vaulted chambers each incorporating a pair of fireboxes and four flues which lead to a single chimney. The fireboxes are now partially blocked with brick rubble and the chimneys are no longer extant. A linear feature to the E of the works marks the track of a tramway which linked the complex with a clay pit from which the raw material was extracted. To the W, a siding connected the tile works to the Kirtlebridge, Annan and Drayton branch of the Caledonian Railway. SE of the kiln, a swampy area denotes the former site of a pond while depressions indicative of several other dammed ponds, now breached, are just visible to the N.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 125m NW-SE by 160m NE-SW as marked in red on the accompanying map extract, to include the upstanding remains of the two-chambered Newcastle Kiln, earthworks indicative of former buildings associated with the tile works, depressions marking the site of former ponds and a portion of trackway. Excluded from the scheduling are the remains of a World War II Nissen hut which lies at the extreme N end of the site.

1848 – 1858  – Scotland Places – Bonshaw Tileworks. John Burnie Manager. A newly constructed Ttilework on the property of the Revd. [Reverend] John Irving of Bonshaw Tower. Tenanted by Mr Moffat.

Below – 08/07/1857 – Dumfries and Galloway Standard – Fatal accident  – A young lad named Porteous died while building the kiln when the brick arch fell on him crushing him to death.

fatal-accident-bonshaw-tile-works-1857

Below – 1858 – Bonshawside Tileworks – Note spelling and these original works appear to be situated about 200 yards from the 1898 position of the works. There was no railway link at this time.
1858 bonshawside tile works
21/01/1861 – Invoice – Messrs Fergusson & Moffat, Bonshawside Tileworks. Signed by James Moffat.

11/09/1863 – Carlisle Journal – Proposed railway – Port – Annan and Kirtlebridge Junction Railway  – Reference that it will pass the Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works and west of Whinnyrigg Brick and Tile Works.

10/02/1882 – Glasgow Herald – Man wanted to take charge of an engine and make himself generally useful. One with mechanical knowledge would be preferred. Apply to Moffat & Murray, Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Kirtlebridge, Ecclefechan.

Below – 22/03/1882 – Moffat & Murray invoice.
Moffat and Murray Bonshaws brickmakers invoice 1883

1882 -1885  – Bonshaw Tileworks, Ecclefechan. Moffat & Murray. T.O. Kirtlebridge Station, 2.

05/12/1883 – Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser – Dumfries Sheriff Court – ln this court on Monday, before Dr Bruce. Hon. Sheriff Substitute, William McGuire, labourer. Rigg of Gretna pleaded guilty to having assaulted Mr Moffat, brick and tile manufacturer, Kirtlebridge, and having committed a breach of the peace at the same time while in a compartment of a train between Gretna and Kirkpatrick railway stations on Saturday last, and was fined £1 or 14 days’ imprisonment.

25/07/1884 – Annandale Observer and Advertiser – Melancholy accident at Kirtlebridge. On Monday afternoon, about half-past five o’clock as Mr Thomas Stothart, joiner, Eaglesfield, and his son Thomas a youth of 17 years, were engaged at Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works in sawing some timber for the erection of a new drying-shed there, a slab, about an inch square and eleven feet long, on being removed from the saw accidentally caught it and being thrown with great violence, struck Mr Stothart Senr in the region of the heart, killing him almost if not quite instantaneously. Mr Stothart was a widower, having lost his wife about two years ago. He leaves a family of seven, the youngest child being about six years of age. Mr Stothart was an elder in Middlebie Parish Church, an able and energetic workman, and was much and deservedly respected in the neighbourhood.

21/07/1884 – Thomas Stothart killed at Bonshaw Tileworks. The inscription reads “In memory of Mary McDougal wife of Thomas Stothart in Eaglesfield who died at Edinburgh, 23rd August 1882 aged 46 years. Also, the said Thomas Stothart who was killed at Bonshaw Tileworks 21st July 1884 aged 45 years”

1886 –  Moffat & Murray, Bonshaw Brick & Tile Works, Kirtlebridge.

Below –  1886 –  Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Ecclefechan.

1886 moffat murray bonshaw ecclefechan

1886 – 1889 – Bonshaw Tileworks, Ecclefechan. Moffat & Murray. T.O. Kirtlebridge Station, 2.

20/05/1887 – Annandale Advertiser – The business of the late firm Moffat and Murray, brick and tile manufacturers, Bonshaw Tileworks, has been acquired by us and will be carried on in all its branches under efficient supervision. All orders left at the tilework or at Corsehill will be punctually attended to. J & A Murray. Corsehill 23/04/1887.

05/04/1891  – Thomasina Blackstock’s father was John Blackstock and on the census of 05/04/1891 he is recorded as being a ’tile runner’ On Thomasina’s death certificate he is recorded as being the ‘foreman in a brick and tile works’.
Below – 05/02/1892  – Thomasina Blackstock aged 6 1/2 years dies at Bonshaw Tileworks, Annan. She died of acute peritonitis.
thomasina-blackstock-dies-at-bonshaw-tile-works-640x427
18/03/1892 – Annandale Observer and Advertiser – To let for the season. The making of bricks and tiles at Bonshaw Works. About a million and a half required. Steam and horsepower supplied. Apply to J & A Murray, Corsehill.

Below – 1893 – Advert Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Annan.

1893 J & A Murray BONSHAW
01/12/1893 – James Dalgleish b. 1873 and Janet Graham b. 1868 are married at Kirtlebridge and their address is noted as Bonshaw Tile Works.
19/04/1895 – Glasgow Herald – Desirable residential property for sale – The Estate of Bonshaw situated in the Parish of Annan … there is a considerable quantity of clay on the Estate and a portion of it is let to a tenant who carries on a tile and brick factory …

1896 – J & A Murray, Brick and Tile Manufacturer, Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works. Office Corsehill, Annan.

Below – 1896 – Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works, Annan.

1896-advert-murray-bonshaw

05/12/1898 – Glasgow Herald – To brick and tile makers – Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works near Kirtlebridge Station, Caledonian Railway.Good going business which may be largely increased by an enterprising tenant. Entry on Whitsunday 1899. Apply to Mr George Moffat, Factor, Kirtlebridge …

Below – 1898 – Bonshaw Brick and Tile Works. Railway link in place.

1898 Bonshaw brick and tile works
28/11/1935 – The Scotsman – Bonshawside Tileworks are referenced with regards a fox hunt.
1946 – Map – Bonshawside Tileworks no longer referenced although the clay pit and tramway are still detailed.
Below  – a series of photographs taken in March 2016. The Newcastle 2 chambered kiln still stands. The largest outside dimensions are approx 6m x 15m.
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Below  – The remains of the Kirtlebridge Annan & Brayton railway branch running back to the bridge under the B722
Bonshaw tile works
Below – The same branch running off towards Eaglesfield.
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Below – The railway bridge under the B722 loading platform.
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Below  – The remains of a burnt outbuilding on the side of the railway branch running alongside the brick and tile works. Kirkhouse and Sanquhar bricks were found as part of the structure along with unnamed hollow blocks. – Information from Iain Gow is that the burnt out building is actually an army “group office” as the MOD had a narrow-gauge railway and munitions along the old railway line.
Bonshaw tile works
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The following bricks of interest were found on site
From top left clockwise
1. Solid red brick. No brickmark.
2. A red brick which has been perforated with very small cores as can be seen on the broken edge below and in the next photo too.
3. A fire brick. No brickmark. Only present at Firebox/stoke holes. Probably manufactured elsewhere.
Below – A brick/drainage tile or brick.
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Below – The following bricks and tiles were found on the Bonshaw site by Iain Gow.
They include a fantastic Moffat and Murray marked brick and a fabulously ornate tile
ornate tile Bonshaw tile works
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Bonshaw tile works  .
Below – More examples found on site.

Below – The following brick is the middle left one on the photo above and clearly shows finger drag marks where someone has removed a scraping of clay.

Below – This is the cored brick depicted right middle on the assembly above with what looks like the holes left after being lifted by a 2 pronged lifting fork.

The left prong can be seen between the first 4 cores on the left. The right pong has just nicked the core on the bottom row, 2nd from right.

Below – Examples of field drains etc found on site.

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