Cowdenbeath Brickworks, Cowdenbeath, Fife

It is believed the Cowdenbeath Brickworks were part of the Cowdenbeath Coal Company empire and in particular, they may have been sited at Foulford Colliery.

04/10/1884 – Fifeshire Advertiser – West of Fife Valuation Appeal Court  – The brickworks belonging to The Cowdenbeath Coal Company were reduced from £130 to £125, on the ground that the works were not ongoing.

25/09/1886 – The Dunfermline Journal – The village of Cowdenbeath … the Coal Company (Cowdenbeath Coal Co) recently came to the conclusion that they should not confine themselves to the coal industry, and in accordance with the resolution they have built a large brickwork on Foulford Estate. A large two-story building has been built and in every department manual labour is dispensed with as much as possible and machinery of the most approved principles introduced. The bricks are made of the blaes which are drawn daily from the mines and in the lower part of the building the stones are crushed by two huge rollers each weighing 43cwt. From this, the half ground material is carried by machinery into a pan in the upper flat and here it is reduced to a powder and with a judicious mixture of water, made into clay. From the upper flat the clay again finds it way to the lower flat, where it falls into machines which turn out brick almost entirely without human aid. There are two of these ingenious brick making machines and each of them are capable of turning out at least 10,000 bricks per day. The bricks turned out are neat and uniform and are as square as if the mason’s compass and square had been applied to them. No fewer than five kilns have been erected on a spot quite adjacent to the brick making house, and the facilities provided for turning out material will be apparent when we state that each of the kilns are guaranteed to fire 30,000 bricks at a time. The new industry is another string to the bow of the coal company and the people of Cowdenbeath, and judging from the business-like air that pervades the place, the excellence of goods manufactured, and the dispatch with which can be executed, the Cowdenbeath Brick Work should soon rank among the most successful in Fifeshire. ( From an article entitled ‘A wee keek back’ by Jim Campbell)

18/09/1889 – Dundee Courier – Dunfermline – The valuation Appeal Court for the Western Division of Fifeshire was held at Dunfermline yesterday – Lord Elgin residing. The Cowdenbeath Coal Company objected to their Brick Work being assessed at £70 and asked a reduction of £25 – the former valuation. The court fixed the valuation at £35.

29/11/1989 – Fifeshire Advertiser – A young woman named Jane Cunningham who was employed at Cowdenbeath Brick Work was so unfortunate last Saturday as to have the thumb and part of her forefinger of her right hand taken off by getting her hand entangled with the brick machine.

30/07/1892 – Dundee Courier – Details the prospectus for the Cowdenbeath Coal Company Limited and refers to it being formed for acquiring, working and developing the

  1. Foulford Estate Colliery and Brickworks
  2. Lumphinnans Colliery, Ironworks and Brickworks.

01/06/1893 – Fifeshire Journal – Sheriff Court. At the Sheriff Court on Friday … Four tramps were fined 5s each or 3 days’ imprisonment for trespassing at the Cowdenbeath Brickworks. Thirty tramps were found at the Brickworks on Thursday night.

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