Clayknowes Brickworks, Greenhill, Bonnybridge, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Clayknowes Brickworks, Greenhill, Bonnybridge, Falkirk, Stirlingshire. – They stamped their bricks ‘Claynows’

Greenhill Fireclay Works, Clayknowes, Bonnybridge – Alexander and John Scott owned the farm and brickworks at Clayknowes and Cadgersgate according to the valuation roll of 1865, Slater’s Directory of 1867, refers to the Greenhill Fireclay works being worked by Scott & Walker.  The brickworks is not shown on the maps of 1854, so it probably started about 1860.   The Greenhill Fireclay Company had passed into the hands of the partners, William Brown and Thomas Brownlee of Glasgow and George Caddell Bruce of Edinburgh by 1875.  Brownlee and Bruce still owned it in 1880, but by 1895 when it was owned by James and William Wood, the brickworks was in ruins.  The site was used by several explosive manufacturers before and during the First World War and suffered several accidental explosions. No more bricks were made on this site, although a Greenhill Fireclay Company was incorporated in October 1920, with James Ferguson, Managing Director of Lane & Girvan, the Bonnybridge iron founders, one of the principal shareholders.  This company was liquidated in 1922, when Ferguson took an interest in the re-structured Glenyards Fireclay Company at Greenhill Railway junction, as a Director of James Anderson & Co. Ltd. Source – Kenneth Sanderson.

1860 – Clayknowes Brickworks, Bonnybridge are not detailed.

Below – 08/03/1860 – Falkirk Herald – The clayfield at Clayknowes for sale.

14/04/1864 – Falkirk Herald – Reference to John Scott, brick and tile manufacturer, Clayknowes.

Below – 26/11/1866 – Edinburgh Evening Courant – Clayknowes Brick and Tile Works and clayfield for sale. (The first advert appears to be 10/10/1866 – Glasgow Herald – No upset price is given). (08/12/1866 – Upset price reduced to £400).(These works appear to be still for sale on  31/07/1867)

25/03/1868 – Glasgow Herald – To be sold by public roup. Upset price greatly reduced. The lands of Clayknowes in the parish of Falkirk and County of Stirling situated about 1/2 mile from the Greenhill junction of the Edinburgh and Glasgow, Caledonian and Scottish Central Railways. The lands extend to 126 acres or thereby and are divided into suitable enclosures. Part of them have lately been drained and the whole are capable of great improvement. There is a valuable clay field on the property with a brick and tile work in operation. The work can be greatly extended, the demand for brick and tiles being large and increasing, and the judicious outlay of a little capital would be sure to secure a liberal return …

05/06/1868 – Northern Warder – A late farmer convicted of fraud. In the Sheriff Court on Wednesday, before Sheriff Smith, John Scott, late farmer and lessee of brickwork at Clay Knowes, Falkirk, was charged with falsehood fraud, and wilful imposition, (1) insofar on the 28th December 1866, within the public house South Union Street, Dundee, occupied by Charles Ormond he did represent himself as agent for Messrs Boyd & Spence, coal masters at Rather Colliery, Wishaw, and receive the sum of £7 3s 8d being the price 22 tons 2 cwt of coals, less £2, previously paid to the said John Scott in loan: and (2). with having, in the month of September 1866, obtained the sum of £1 4s 3d from the firm of Messrs Sturrock & Sheriff, builders, Dundee, as the cost of carriage of 1300 bricks from Greenhill Brickworks to Dundee, which he falsely represented he had paid to the Railway Company. The accused pleaded guilty, explaining that though he had obtained the sums in the manner described in the indictment, he intended to repay them. The Sheriff passed sentence sixty days’ imprisonment.

1869 – Thomas Brownlie plus two others (William Broom?) formed the Greenhill Fireclay Company by acquiring a property known as Clay Knowes near Greenhill Junction.

01/09/1870 – Falkirk Herald – Contractors wanted for carting fireclay goods from Greenhill Fireclay Works on the lands of Clayknowes to Greenhill Railway Station. Also coals from said Station to Works. Contractors to state price per ton for coals and per 1000 bricks. Full particulars will be given on application to James Affleck, Clayknowes by Denny.

Below – 1878 – Reference to Clayknows in Slaters Advertiser for Denny Stirlingshire but also note the reference to Glasgow. (So was the Clayknowes Pottery in Gallowgate Glasgow  part of the same company that owned the Clayknowes Brick Works in Bonnybridge?).


06/12/1878 – Glasgow Herald – For sale – The estate of Clayknowes with fireclay works thereon. Upset price of £11000.

Below – 18/01/1879 – The Scotsman – For sale – The estate of Clayknowes with fireclay works thereon. Reduced upset price of £9000.

01/04/1880 – Falkirk Herald – Displenishing sale of crop, horses, farm equipment, 20 highland cattle and let of grass parks at Clayknowes near Greenhill Junction on Friday 9th. Instructed by the Greenhill Fireclay Company.

Below – 02/07/1880 – Glasgow Herald – Farm and Fireclay Works at Clayknowes for sale.

Below – 09/02/1881 – Glasgow Herald – Farm and Fireclay Works at Clayknowes for sale – formerly occupied by the Greenhill Fireclay Company.

11/04/1881 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – City of Glasgow Bank shareholders – A meeting of the creditors of Thomas Brownlie, coal and quarry master in Glasgow, a partner of the Heatherknowe Coal Company, The Blochairn Quarry Company, the Greenhill Fire Clay Company and the City of Glasgow Bank was held at the Faculty Hall, Glasgow on Friday afternoon. It was stated that the bankruptcy had been caused by the depression of trade produced by the failure of the City of Glasgow bank and by the difficulty in realising trade assets …

Below – 27/04/1881 –  Glasgow Evening Post –

10/11/1882 – Glasgow Herald  – For sale, cheap, 100 fathoms of boring rods with other boring appliances. Also a good 1 1/2 ton crane, Clayknowes Fireclay Works, Greenhill.

Below – 07/03/1883 – Glasgow Herald – Clayknowes Fire Clay and Gannister Works for sale.

Below – 12/01/1887 – Glasgow Herald –  The estate of Clayknowes with fireclay works thereon.

Below – 1896 – Clayknowes Brickworks, Bonnybridge (disused).

1913 – Clayknowes factory? (on the site of the old brickworks?)

Below – 2021 – a Visit to the site of the brickworks revealed this structure hiding in dense gorse and brambles. It looks like a mount for an engine of some sort and has a strange construction of layered brick and stone.






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