Cardowan Fire Clay Works, Stepps, Glasgow

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Cardowan Fire Clay Works, Stepps, Glasgow – This should be read in conjunction with the post on the Heathfield Fireclay Works.



Below – 25/11/1833 – Glasgow Herald – Fireclay fields to let at the Farm of Baads, Garnkirk – I am uncertain as to this exact locus but it could be Cardowan

Below – 1836 – Baads clay field belong to Dr Jeffray, Garnkirk


Adjacent to Mark Sprot’s extensive FIRECLAY deposits of Garnkirk were others owned by Dr James Jeffray of Cardowan, Professor of Anatomy at Glasgow University for the very long period 1790-1848. In 1832 Professor Jeffray’s fireclay bricks were said to be “not let”, but soon afterwards a fireclay works was established at Heathfield by Peter Ferguson to make use of these minerals. By 1834 Ferguson had a store at the Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway terminus at Townhead, Glasgow, for his Heathfield firebricks and tiles. About 1846 the Heathfield’s firm’s name was changed from Peter Ferguson & Co. to Ferguson, Miller & Co.

1840 – 1841 – Peter Ferguson, Fire Brick and Tile Works, Heathfield. Store Railway Depot. Orders left at J. Ferguson’s 70 Hutcheson St. House Villafield Place.

Cardowan Fireclay works are depicted on four editions of the OS 1:2500 scale map. One large building and two smaller structures are shown south of a fireclay pit on the map published between 1859-84. The next edition, published in 1898, shows a greatly expanded complex of buildings, a railway track and one row of workers’ housing. All of these structures are shown on the next edition, published 1912-13, but the works are annotated ‘Disused’. A reduced number of buildings, all unroofed, are shown on the 1933-34 edition of the 1:2500 scale map.
Information from RCAHMS (SC), 23 June 2009.

Below –  1858  – Cardowan Fire Clay Works

Below – 1861 – Hurll and Young Cardowan Garnkirk

1861 advert Hurll and Young Cardowan Garnkirk

Below – 1875 –  John Young and Sons, Heathfield and Cardowan

1875 John Young and Sons, Heathfield and Cardowan

Below – 10/09/1902 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Railway accident at Cardowan fireclay works. Waggons filled with fireclay overturn.


1913 – The Cardowan Works were abandoned by 1913 but the Heathfield site was expanded and came under the control of the Grierson family who continued to make pipes until 1968 under the company name of Heathfield and Cardowan Fireclay Company Limited and the Heathfield and Cardowan Pipeworks Ltd – Source Kenneth Sanderson

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