Callendar Brickworks, Glen, Falkirk, Stirlingshire


Below – Source Falkirk Museum and Archives  – Callendar Brick and Fireclay Works, Glen Village, Falkirk.

aka Callendar Brickworks.

aka Callendar Firebrick and Tileworks.

aka Glen Brickworks.

The Brickworks appear to have been constructed after 1820 as a set of plans of this date give no evidence for such a site.

In 1868 John Wilson held a lease for a coalfield and brickworks on the estate. Upon his retirement, in that year a partnership was set up to maintain the colliery which presumably also included the manufacture of bricks and tiles. The partnership originally consisted of James Dougal, James Potter and William Hamilton. Dougal was appointed Managing Director and during his control personalised the partnership to pay an annual rent of £2000 to the owner of the Callendar Estate in order to expand and maintain the brickworks.

In 1899 a Company was formed to take over the business and property of the earlier partnership. Ownership of the brick and coal works passed to the National Coal Board. upon the nationalisation of the mines in 1947. In 1960 the Company ceased the production of tiles and it was intended to end brick production also. However, the works manager, Mr Stewart, took over the brick making side. The workforce reduced from 170 to 15 employees and this with other savings enabled the business to survive another 20 years. In 1980 however, the increase in oil prices made the old fashioned kilns expensive to run and the decline in house building forced the works to close in October 1980.

Materials were, for the most part, pit blae obtained from the colliery for production of building bricks.

However, prior to closure the enterprise was obtaining non-fireclay blae from an open-cast quarry in Dunfermline and manufacturing a more diverse array of products.

At one point the Callendar Brickworks exported considerable quantities to Johannesburg but the export trade was taken over by G R Stein. In 1979 the site delivered mainly to Scotland.

Products – Glazed sanitary pipes, firebricks and drainage tiles produced at Colliery Works. Refractory bricks, building bricks, ridge tiles, chimney cans etc. were produced in conjunction with the Herbertshire Brickworks.

They claimed to have been the first Company in the world to sell a complete ‘baby bricks’ fireplace without having to cut a brick. In other words, each brick was manufactured for a specific place in the fireplace and assembled in situ. However only composition bricks were manufactured after 1979.


Below – Source Falkirk Museum and Archives.

Callendar had 2 works. There was the Callendar Brick and Fireclay Company and another at Glen Village making bricks and drain pipes. The last man to run Callendar, Mr Rule, sold out to Hepworth Ceramic Group when Mr Hendry was young. Hepworth also owns JG Stein now (1979). Between 1930 – 32, a private company – Cannerton Brick Company was set up. This consisted of 4 directors – Mr Anderson, Mr Stewart, Mr Ferguson and the father of Forbes Hendry (George Hendry?). This work was set up as a means of giving employment to the village of Banknock.

The Cannerton Brick Company took over the Herbertshire Brickworks for a while then sold to the McCaig family, who are the present owners of Herbertshire Brickworks (1979)

The Glen brickworks also made sanitary pipes and Eva day tiles? –


Below – Source Kenneth Sanderson.

Callendar Brick and Fireclay Works, Glen Village, Falkirk.

The business started as a small brickworks on the south side of Lock No 5 on the Forth to Clyde Canal, alongside the Falkirk Iron Foundry. It is shown on Alexander Black’s survey dated 17/07/1832 but it is not on the map of Parliamentary boundaries also published in 1832 – perhaps because it was surveyed a little earlier. John Anderson managed the works in 1852 and had started a pottery which grew to double the size of the brickworks. 3 old disused clay pits are shown on the map of 1858, which suggests that fireclay was being brought in from elsewhere. James Potter had taken over the Works by 1860 and James Potter & Co had been formed by 1886.

John Wilson held the leases of the Callendar Estate Coalfield until he retired in 1868 when the Callendar Coal Company was formed to carry on the business, with James Dougal as the Managing Director (not to be confused with James Dougall of Bonnybridge). James Potter of Glenfuir House and William Forbes, factor to the Callendar Estate were the other partners. In the 1880s the Falkirk Iron Company wished to expand into the brickworks site so the brickworks was moved to Glen village.

Records exist of the brickworks being supplied with a Bradley and Craven dry mill(no 820) in 1898, and a mixer the following year. By 1912 the Herbertshire Colliery and Brickworks had been taken over by the Callendar Coal Company, who now made a very wide range of fireclay products, including firebricks, chimney cans, grate and stove bricks, electrical ducts, drainage and sewage pipes. When coal was nationalised in 1947 the company continued to trade as the Callendar Brick & Fireclay Company, chiefly making pipes until it was bought by the Hepworth Iron Company in 1967 and closed down. About 170 men and women were employed and bricks were burnt in one 12 chambered Hoffmann kiln and two 12 chambered Belgian kilns.


Callendar Brick & Fireclay Co Ltd was formed in 1947 following the nationalisation of coal, but the company’s origins date back to around 1832 when brickworks were built on the south
side of Lock 5 of the Forth & Clyde Canal. These works were taken over by James Potter of Glenfuir by 1860 and James Potter & Co was established by 1886. James Potter was also a
partner in the Callendar Coal Co from 1868, along with William Forbes and James Dougal. Callendar Coal Co leased the mineral rights of Callendar Estate. The brick and fireclay
works were moved to Glen Village in the 1880s and thereafter were part of the Callendar Coal Co. When coal was nationalised in 1947, the brickworks were separated off into a
private company, the Callendar Brick & Fireclay Co Ltd. In 1967 the company was bought by Hepworth Iron Co and the works closed down (believed to have closed sometime after
1978 – skeleton staff in later years).


c. 1880 – 1890 – The Callendar brick and tile works are moved from Grahamston, Falkirk to Glen Village just south of Falkirk. – Link

Below – 1886 – 1887 – Callendar Coal Company Advert – (Note the spelling of Callendar – Callander – printing error?) – also note the very descriptive names for the different types of coal – splint, trissing and dross, although in the 1893 advert, trissing has been replaced by tripping? … Was trissing another typing error or did the word change over the years.

Callander Coal Company Advert 1886 - 1887

Below – 1889 – 1890– Callendar Coal Company, Falkirk  – Brick and fire clay pipe manufacturers.

Callendar coal company

07/05/1890 – Falkirk Herald – The late Mr James Potter, Glenfuir. It is with regret that we have to chronicle the death of this gentleman, which took place at his residence at Glenfuir yesterday …  Some thirty years ago he commenced a brick and tile work, which was also successful. In company with Mr James Dougal, he started the works of the Callendar Coal Company between twenty and thirty years ago, and latterly this company took up the brick and tile business which, in their hands, has largely developed …

04/06/1890 – Falkirk Herald – Breach of the peace – Nora Lynch, brick worker, Rashiehill Close, Falkirk pleaded guilty having, in the Callendar Brickworks, assaulted Margaret Sneddon, brick-worker, Wester Shieldhill, by striking her a violent blow on the left temple, and throwing her against a barrow. The Fiscal explained that the accused had received provocation by a barrow which Sneddon was driving having struck her on the arm. A fine of 7s 6d was imposed with the option of seven days imprisonment.

03/08/1892 – Falkirk Herald – About half-past seven o’clock on Friday morning, while two men named Patrick Bourns and Hugh McKindlay, both labourers in the Callendar Coal Company’s Brickwork in Grahamston, were employed in a clay pit filling clay, to be used for brickmaking purposes, a considerable quantity of the clay fell in upon them and partially buried them. They were unable to extricate themselves, and a number of men employed in the works set themselves to the task of digging them out. It was nearly nine o’clock, however, before they succeeded in doing so. Both men, who were severely injured about the legs and lower part of the body, had to be conveyed home, where their injuries, which are fortunately not of serious nature, were attended to.

Below – 1893 – 1894 – Callendar Coal Company advert.

Callendar Coal Co advert 1893 -94

01/04/1893 – Falkirk Herald –  The trade in bricks is in general very brisk, a large number of buildings now going on and about Falkirk taxing the energies of the producer to the utmost. But competition in this class of work has made prices low, even notwithstanding the increased demand. The principal works now going on which supply orders in this line are the tenements at Parkfoot (Mr Marshall’s), at Woodlands, those of the Building Society in Watson Street, and those Stenhousemuir. As an illustration of the output of bricks and the consumption, it may be mentioned that an ordinary brick cottage of two rooms and kitchen, with outhouses, may account for some 40,000 bricks. This is just about the ordinary quantity produced by two brickworks—Callendar and Firs—every day. And again, as showing the speed of erection, the order for, say, a building embracing double cottage and attics, so far as bricks were concerned, was given in the middle of this month, and the building—finished, roofed, plastered, and painted—will be occupied Whitsunday term. Wages in this variety of production, the bricks themselves are all made by machinery, run from a pound to 22s per week in the highest paid work in the neighbourhood. In Denny district, a good deal of brickwork is also being done in connection with extensions to paper mills as well as for private work, but Bonnybridge and Banton Brickworks supply the bulk of what is needed there.

Below – 05/07/1893 – Falkirk Herald – Death of Mr James Dougall of Arnotbank … Death of Mr James Dougall of Arnotbank – By the death of Mr James Dougall which took place at his residence at Arnotbank on Friday, Falkirk lost one of its oldest and most respected citizens. The deceased gentleman had been ailing for a considerable time, and though the sad event was not wholly unlooked for, the tidings of his death have been received with deep regret. Mr Dougall, who was 73 years of age was born in Linlithgow. He was employed in farm work in his early life, and subsequently in connection with the then-existing brickwork owned by Mr Potter at Gowanbank. Early in the fifties, the deceased joined with his brother, Mr John Dougall, and others, in the lease of Craigend Brickworks, south from Polmont Station, which Messrs J. Dougall carried on successfully for nineteen years. It was in 1871 that Mr James Dougall became connected with the Callendar Coal Company, of which he was managing partner up to the time of his late serious, and, as it proved, fatal illness. The prosperous condition of this company, whose works are among the most important in the district, has been in large measure due to his sagacity, foresight and administrative capacity, together with an untiring personal supervision of details. Of the splendid business qualities which enabled him to overcome the difficulties of his younger days, it will be sufficient illustration to mention the fact that his employer in Grahamston as a young man became one of his partners in his latest enterprise namely, the late Mr James Potter of Glenfuir. The deceased gentleman took a little share in public business being of an unobtrusive nature, and, though frequently urged, he refused to stand for public office





Below – 19/07/1895 – Portobello Advertiser – Fatal Accident at the Glen Brickworks, Falkirk. Alexander Taylor fell into machinery and died from his injuries.


Below – 1896 – Callendar Brickworks.

Below - OS Map 1896 Callendar Brickworks

Below – 1896 –  Callendar Brickworks.

Callendar brickworks 1896

03/03/1897 – Falkirk Herald – Accident to a brickworks employee. On Friday a man named Geo. Nelson, a labourer, employed the Glen Brickworks was admitted to the Falkirk Cottage Hospital suffering from severe injuries caused, it is understood, by his having been run over by a locomotive engine. Nelson, whose right leg and knee were dislocated and severely bruised, his left leg sprained, and who also sustained serious internal injuries, lies a very critical condition.

21/01/1899 – Falkirk Herald – The past year has also been a most prosperous one so far this industry concerned. In connection with the Callendar Colliery, a large brickwork is carried on, producing all classes of brick and fire-clay goods for the building and foundry trades. The demand for firebricks during the past yew has been very great, the company finding themselves quite unable to cope with local orders. The healthy state of their trade has induced the firm to lay down a substantial new plant for brick-making purposes. They have also erected some new drying stoves and kilns for sanitary pipes, and a large Hoffman kiln for the burning of the increased manufacture of bricks made by their new plant. The company have also carried on a brickwork erected by the late Mr Potter, Firs Brick and Tile Works, Grahamston, where the manufacture of roof tiles, drain tiles, and common bricks was carried on. Those works, however, were erected on the ground of the North British Railway Company, and in their extensions, at Grahamston the work has stopped, the ground is required for extra sidings. To continue this branch manufacture, the firm, however, intend during the ensuing season to put up a large and extensive new plant in the neighbourhood of Denny. All the brickworks to the east and the west of our district have been kept very busy, and the prospect at present, with the numerous new works buildings going up, are quite as good they were a year ago. Messrs James Dougal and Son (Limited), fire-clay brick manufacturers, Bonnybridge have put in new boilers and mills, and extra stove accommodation, during the past year, and have been very busy.  The same may be said of the Bonnybridge Silica and Fire Clay Works where the electric light has been fitted up during the year. Messrs Steins’ gannister and fire-clay works at Bonnybridge have been very busy during the past year, and the same firm has developed a large brickwork at Denny for the manufacture of building bricks. Campbell and Co. Roughcastle, have also erected additional shed accommodation and stoves and large new kiln. A new work has been started during the year by Messrs Graham and Sons, Grahamston, the name of the firm being  Glenyards Fire Clay Company. The brickwork in connection with Grangemouth Colliery has been well employed. The company who carry on these works (Grangemouth Coal Company) are, hopeful of getting a railway connection from the proposed new Caledonian line enable them to forward their goods other than by water.

25/03/1899 – Falkirk Herald – Amongst the new joint-stock companies registered Scotland this week Callendar Coal Company, to acquire the business carried on the Callendar Coal Company, coalmasters, fireclay manufacturers, and brickmakers. Falkirk, capital £35.000, 3500 shares of £10 each.

Below – April 1899 – British Clay Worker –

20/01/1900 – Falkirk Herald – The brick and fireclay goods trade – Callendar Coal Company, Limited, at their Glen Brick and Fireclay Works report having had a very busy year.  During the past year, their system of brick making and burning has been entirely re-modelled and is now on modern lines, the firm having taken down the old Scotch and English kilns, and adopted new machinery and Hoffman kilns.  The fireclay department has also been very busy, and extra kilns for the burning of sanitary Pipe ware have been erected.  During the year the company have ceased operations at their old works in Grahamston, the ground being required by the North British Railway Company for additional siding accommodation.  With the view, however, of meeting the demand for their bricks, tiles, etc., the firm acquired a new work-their Herbertshire Brick and Tile Works, Denny.  These have been fitted up with all the most modern machinery and improvements.  Grinding mills and brick making machines of the latest pattern have been procured, together with Hoffman kilns for brick making and burning.  The firm have also, in the making of their tiles, adopted a new system that of a hot air tunnel for drying the tiles, instead of the old sheds which enables this branch to be carried on in the winter months and during all weathers throughout the year.  The works are lit throughout with arc and incandescent electric lamps.

1903 – Callendar Fire Brick & Tile Works (David Welsh, manager). Glebe Chambers,  Vicars street, Falkirk & works at Denny.

Below – 1913 – Callendar Brickworks.


Below – 1914 – Callendar Brickworks.

Below - OS Map 1914 Callendar Brickworks

19/09/1914 – Falkirk Herald – Wanted a steady brick moulder – Apply Foreman Callendar Coal Company Limited, Glen Works, Falkirk.

29/05/1920 – Falkirk Herald – Wanted fireclay, pipe and trap maker. Also a brick moulder. Apply to the foreman, Glen Brickworks, Falkirk.

10/02/1923 – Falkirk Herald – Callendar Coal Company and Brickworks took place at the Larger Union Hall, Grahamston. Mr James Yule General Manager and Director presided.

Below – 1930’s – ‘Falkirk’s Yesterdays’ – The picture shows a view across the Union Canal at Glen Village. The road in the distance leads to Shieldhill. On the far right, some buildings and a chimney of the Callendar Brickworks are depicted. This was situated at the foot of Pirleyhill.

24/11/1945 – The Scotsman – New Scottish Companies – Callendar Brick and Fireclay Ltd, Glen Brickworks, Falkirk to acquire and carry on the part of the business carried on by the Callendar Coal Company Ltd, as fireclay, tile and pipe manufacturers at the Glen Brickworks, Falkirk and at Herbertshire Brickworks, Denny. Capital £15,000 in £1 shares. Directors – William Hamilton, Auburn, Falkirk – William Graham, Balintore, Gartcows Crescent, Falkirk – Alexander C Rule, Gartcows Crescent, Falkirk – James Glen 5 Belgrave Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh – Alexander Dougal, W.S, 18 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

Below – 1946 – Callendar Brickworks.


Below – 21/12/1946 – Falkirk Herald – Fatality following an accident at the Glen Brickworks. Elizabeth Harvey White (15).

1947 – When the coal board was nationalised the brick making side of the business was separated off from the coal side and called Callendar Brick & Fireclay Co Ltd.

10/12/1949 – Falkirk Herald – Junior Clerkess required for local brickwork office, age 16/17. Must be proficient at typing. Apply Callendar Brick and Fireclay Coy Ltd, Glen Brickworks by Falkirk.

16/11/1965 – Edinburgh Gazette  – Factories Act 1961 – Employment of women and young persons – In accordance with section 117 of the Factories Act 1961, the Minister of Labour hereby gives notice that during the month ending 31st October 1965 he has made special exemption orders relating to the employment of women and/or young persons at the following factories: – Callendar Brick and Fireclay Co. Ltd., Glen Works, Glen Village, by Falkirk.

1968 – 1981 – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests that Hepworth Ceramic Holdings Ltd were the owners during this time.

Below – The following is some additional info from William Lambie.

I am afraid that I can’t help you much with brick markings but I can fill in some of the historical gaps in a few of the web sites on brickworks, from my own knowledge, regarding the Callendar brick and Fireclay Co.Ltd.

The Callendar Coal Company, as well as mining coal, mined fireclay and blaes for their two brickworks (the Glen Brickworks and Herbertshire Brickworks)

On nationalisation of the coal industry, the directors of the Callendar Coal Company decided to retain the brickworks and the company became the Callendar Brick and Fireclay Company Ltd. (some brickworks were transferred to NCB ownership on Nationalisation).

The Callendar Brick and Fireclay Co. were allowed to continue mining coal at the Glen site under a “C” licence from the National Coal Board. This licence meant that they could extract enough coal for the firing of the kilns at their brickworks.

They were a very successful Company for many years producing bricks, fireclay drainage/sewage pipes, glazed fireclay wall copings, garden urns and rope garden edgings.

A few years before my late father in law, retired as MD of the Callendar Brick and Fireclay Co., the kilns were converted to oil burning and about that time the Hepworth Company had developed fireclay drainage pipes that did not require cementing of the joints.  These became very attractive to building companies and the Hepworth company began to buy out the traditional companies. An initial offer for the Callendar Brick and Fireclay Company was rejected but shortly after my father in law’s retiral Hepworth were successful in their takeover and both brickworks were closed down. I don’t think that the Callendar Brick and Fireclay brick markings changed much over the years but I do know that the bricks and fireclay products were used extensively by the building trade in Scotland.

I don’t know when the standard for brick sizes was changed but I think that it was after Callendar and Herbertshire brickworks ceased operations.


Below – unknown date  – The Falkirk Mail – It is with sincere and deep regret we today chronicle the death of Mr James Dougal, managing partner of the Callendar Coal Company, which took place at his residence, Arnotbank, yesterday at mid-day (30/06/1983). Deceased was not a Falkirk “Bairn” in the strict sense of the term, but although not a native of Falkirk he has been so long connected with and resident in Falkirk that he has strong claims on the title. He was born in the royal burgh of Linlithgow in 1822. His father, William Dougal, was a farmer, and James was the fourth child of a family of seven sons and three daughters.  He was educated in the Burgh School, and for a time engaged in his father’s calling.  In 1851 he, however, erected the Craigend Brick Works, which he carried on for upwards of seventeen years with much success.  About this time (1868) the late Mr John Wilson retired from the leadership of the coal fields on the Callendar estate to the south of Falkirk, the lease having expired that year.  Contemporary with Mr Wilson’s retiral the present Callendar Coal Company was formed to carry on the business and consisted originally of Mr Dougal, Mr James Potter of Glenfuir and Mr William F. Hamilton, who was at that time factor to Mr William Forbes of Callander.  Mr Dougal was appointed managing partner of the Company, a post he continued to do up until his death.  Under his energetic and capital management the business flourished and grew to its present large proportions.  At first, the coal was conveyed to Edinburgh by boats on the Union Canal, but this was found to be a slow means of transit, and altogether inadequate to the increasing demands for the Company’s coal, especially from the Edinburgh market, and Mr Dougal, with that enterprise and resource which always distinguished his business operations, projected a branch railway from the works to the Edinburgh and Glasgow line.  This railway was successfully carried out and proved during the years it has when in use favourable to the colliery.  An idea of the extent of the works may be gained from the fact that several years ago the Company paid about £2000 annual rent and lordship to Mr Forbes.  At the suggestion and instigation of Mr Dougal, the Company was induced to erect a large brickwork at the Glen in the vicinity of the coal works, which have proved very successful under Mr Dougal’s management. The Grahamston Brickworks, for many years carried out by Mr Potter, were acquired by the Callander Coal Company, and we’re managed with the same success as the other branches of the Company’s business.

Mr Dougal as a manager was held in the highest respect by the men under his charge.  It is worthy of note that there has been almost a complete immunity from strikes in the Callendar Coal Company’s works, a thing which cannot be said of many collieries in the country, and which is a testimony to the tact and skill in management possessed by Mr Dougal.  We do not believe that of the 500 or 600 men under his charge a single one could be found to have a hard word to say or a complaint to make against the late manager.
Mr Dougal was of a very quiet and retiring disposition.  He rarely took part in public matters.  The latest of his public appearances was last year when he laid one of the memorial stones on the pew at Trinity E.C. Church, of which he was for a long series of years president, and in the work of which he betrayed a lively and practical interest.  The splendid pipe organ in the new lace of worship stands as a fitting and speaking memorial of his generosity and kindly interest in the congregation and its welfare.  In many other ways did Mr Dougal display his Christian benevolence and zeal for the progress of the E.U. body in Falkirk.  He was most regular in his attendance at the meetings as long as his health permitted and displayed an active and intelligent interest in the business that came before it.  In politics, he was a staunch Conservative but was far from being narrow in his views.  Several times he was requested by the electors to offer himself for election to the Falkirk Town Council, but the honour he always declined.
In private life, Mr Dougal was an excellent friend and delightful companion.  He never failed to secure the esteem and respect of all who had dealings with him by his sound common sense and intelligent and well-founded opinions on all matters.  He had been in failing health for a considerable time prior to his death, and about a year and a half ago had to retire from active work.  Latterly he was confined to the house and yesterday passed peacefully away amid the keen regret of many friends to whom he had endeared himself.  He was twice married, by both of whom he is survived, and for whom and the other relatives the deepest sympathy is felt.

james Dougal



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