Bourtreehill Fireclay Works, Dreghorn, North Ayrshire

Bourtreehill Fireclay Works, Dreghorn, Ayrshire.


23/12/1871 – Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald – Fire clay goods. Composition and fire bricks now on sale here. Bourtreehill Fire Clay Works by Irvine. 27/10/1871.

1872 – James Findlay, Bourtreehill Coal Co and Fire Clay Manufacturers, Dreghorn, Irvine, Kilmarnock.

1886 – the Bourtreehill Coal Company extended it’s Broomlands No.9 Pit to work under Newmoor, however by 1928 production had ceased.

1893 –  Bourtreehill Coal Co, Dreghorn, Kilmarnock – Coal and Fire clay – John Walker.

16/06/1883  – Irvine – Two Miners Killed – Two miners named John Ramsay, aged 36, and John Heron, 22, were killed on Saturday morning at Caprington pit, Irvine, belonging to Bourtreehill Coal and Fire-clay Company. They were engaged in making communication through twelve feet of solid coal when a quantity of rubbish came away without warning and buried both men. The bodies have not yet been recovered. [Scotsman 18 June 1883].

01/10/1884 – Freemans Journal – The Sanitary Congress and Exhibition Dublin. The Bourtreehill Colliery and Fire Clay Works Co, Dreghorn, Ayrshire N.B exhibit various specimens of their specialities consisting of white and yellow enamelled kitchen sinks, slop stones and washing tubs, white enamelled bricks, facing and fire bricks. The company claim for their sinks and wash tubs a cheapness and durability above that of iron or wood. The appearance presented is that of porcelain while the material is held to be much stronger.

Certificates: Bourtreehill Coal Company, Dreghorn, Ayrshire – For stoneware drain pipes and for white enamelled fire clay sinks.

Deferred exhibits: Bourtreehill Coal Company – Washing tubs.

1893 – The Holmes, Firebrick manufacturer Boutreehill Coal Co Derghorn, Ayrshire .

Below – 1895 –  Bourtreehill Fire Clay Works, Kilmarnock.


9/09/ 1895 – Pit Explosion At Dreghorn – Yesterday morning as the men employed in the Churrlands pit, Dreghorn, belonging to the Bourtreehill Coal and Fire-clay Company, were about to start work an explosion occurred by which four men, whose names are Charles Durnie fireman; John Strachan, miner; Hugh Parker, miner; and Adam Lorryman, miner, were severely burned. The fireman was making his usual inspection before the men commenced work for the day, and, it would appear, was closely followed by a number of the men. The party, it seems, was proceeding along the main road, and in passing an old disused part of the workings, which opens into the main road, there was an explosion of fire-damp, which appears to have collected in this part of the workings. The four men were severely burned about the head and face, and during the forenoon two of them – Durnie and Strachan – were conveyed by ambulance waggon to Kilmarnock Infirmary. Parker, who appears to have been knocked about a little, also sustained several bruises about the body. [Glasgow Herald 10 September 1895]…

1896 – Bourtreehill Coal Company  – sewerage pipes, chimney cans, fire bricks, gas retorts, flooring tiles, flower vases and other clay goods. Specialities – white and yellow enamelled kitchen and scullery sinks. wash tubs and milk coolers, enamelled fireclay closets and bricks. Armstrong’s patent improved inspection openings, Fulton’s patent grease traps, Cowans patent ventilating drain traps and patent grease traps. Bourtreehill fireclay works. Warrix Fireclay Works, Irvine. Lochhead Fireclay Works, Dunfermline and at Leith. Shipping ports – Irvine, Ardrossan, Troon, Greenock and Glasgow.

26/10/1886 – Edinburgh Evening News – International Exhibition – Bourtreehill Coal Company, Dreghorn, Ayrshire  Honourable mention – enamelled fireclay bath.

12/08/1901 – The Scotsman – The Glasgow International exhibition … Bourtreehill Coal Co, Dreghorn Irvine and Dunfermline show feeding troughs, water cisterns, sinks, washtubs and sewer pipes and connections in salt-glazed and enamelled ware.

1903 –  Bourtreehill Coal Co. Bourtreehill & Warrix Collieries & Bourtreehill, Lochhead & Warrix fire clay & enamelling works, Dreghorn S.O. Ayrshire.

Below – 1918 – This table was taken from an Inspectors Report in 1918. The final 3 columns refer to the manager, number of persons employed below ground and then the number above ground.

Bourtreehill Coal Co Ltd., Dreghorn Bourtree-Broomland No.8 Dreghorn Robt. Banks 27 4
Bourtreehill Coal Co Ltd., Dreghorn Bourtree-Broomland No.8 Capringstone No.6 Dreghorn Robt. Banks 20 3
Bourtreehill Coal Co Ltd., Dreghorn Bourtree-Broomland No.8 Capringstone No.6 Bourtree-Broomland No.8 Capringstone No.6 No.7 Dreghorn Robt. Banks 56 5
Bourtreehill Coal Co Ltd., Dreghorn Warrix No.2 Irvine Daniel Sinclair 76 15

1936 – 1937 – James Findlay of Bourtreehill Coal Co Ltd. House 2 Springvale Road, Ayr

1936 – 1937 – Bourtreehill Coal Co Ltd manufacturers of every description of fire-clay goods for home and export trade, specialities  – white and yellow enamelled scullery sinks, was tubs, baths, closets, and milk coolers, enamelled bricks, white and coloured enamelled tiles for conservatories &c. Works Dreghorn and Irvine, Ayrshire. Glasgow office – 120 130 Salkeld Street. C5. Tel no 45 South.

Below – c.1947 – 1966 – Bourtreehill Fireclay Works.

Below – 24/10/1963  – Bourtreehill Coal Company dissolved – Edinburgh gazette 05/11/1963


Below – 27/11/1963 -Bourtreehill Coal Company dissolved – Edinburgh Gazette 29/11/1963.


Below – The following drain related items were photographed at Muirhouses Farm, Perceton/Dreghorn, Kilmarnock.

Bourtreehill Dreghorn


Bourtreehill Dreghorn drain Muirhouses Farm, Dreghorn

Below- Cast iron drain cover stamped Bourtreehill Coal Co, Dreghorn

Bourtreehill coal co Dreghorn

Below – Unmarked but believed to be a Bourtreehill, Dreghorn product.

20160619_141940 (640x480)

Below – A drain cover marked Bourtreehill Coal Coy Ltd, Dreghorn seen at Whitrig Bog, Berwickshire.

 a drain cover marked Bourtreehill Coal Coy Ltd, Dreghorn seen at Whitrig Bog, Berwickshire

Below – A section of white glazed garden edging stamped ‘Bourtreehill Dreghorn Kilmarnock’. This is in the possession of Colin Gilbert, Dalry.

Bourtreehill dreghorn kilmarnock garden edging

Below – Another section of garden edging found in Edinburgh by Graeme Watson

Below – Tokens such as this were unofficial pieces of money which were substituted for a proper coin when the mint was issuing insufficient coinage and could be redeemed for official money when it was available.  Different companies and merchants produced their own individual tokens which make them highly collectable.  This one would have been used in exchange for coal from the Bourtreehill Colliery near Irvine in North Ayrshire.


bourtreehill colliery



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