Garscadden Brick and Tile Works aka Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works, Yoker, Glasgow

Garscadden Brick and Tile Works aka Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works, Yoker, Glasgow. (Note – SBH – were these works also known as the Duntocher Works?).

Garscadden Brick and Tile Works, Canal Bank, Bowling, Glasgow. See also the Cowdenhill Brickworks which may be the same works.

Written by Eric Flack and reproduced by kind permission.  It is a fascinating read  – “The manufacture of bricks was another local industry in which two of the brickworks produced terracotta type bricks from locally dug clay. These were Horne’s at Elderslie Dry Dock at the foot of Dyke Road and the Garscadden Brick and Tile Works that was owned by the Stevenson Brothers. This was on the opposite side of the canal from Keal Drive and Avenue and had an extensive pit from which clay was dug to make both terracotta type bricks and pipes for field drains. Terracotta bricks are considered superior to traditional Scottish bricks because of their superior weather resistance. Both Horne’s and Garscadden brickworks latterly used coal from the Baljaffrey Pit which closed in 1910. These two brickworks closed a few years later in 1916. Tow other brickworks which used black blaes from the extensive mine spoil heaps in the area were also built”


R & W Horn ran a brickworks just south of Lock 35 at Drumchapel on the Forth and Clyde canal.  The works were taken over by Stevensons  Drumchapel Glasgow.   The works closed in 1916.  They used “red” clay from an open clay pit.  R & W Horn also had a small brick-making kiln where the Elderslie dock is – part of the BAE systems yard now.  Formerly Yarrows of Scotston.  It also used “red” clay.  Garscadden Brick and Tile Works run by Robert & William Horn of Yoker (died 1875 and 1896 respectively) and latterly run as Blairdardie Brick & Tile Works by the Stevensons at Lock 35 on the Forth and Clyde Canal closed in 1916. Source


Below  – Abridgements for 3 wills relating to William Horn, Robert Horn and James Horn. The first dates are the date of the will being open.

Robert Horn, 13/07/1875 Brick and tile manufacturers, Garscadden. Resided at Thirdpart Mill, Parish of New Kilpatrick, Dunbarton County of Dumbarton Sheriff Court SC65/34/20.

James Horn 25/08/1886 Brick and tile manufacturer, Thirdpart, Mill Farm, Yoker, County of Dumbarton. Died 11/04/1886 at Thirdpart Mill Farm. Testate Dumbarton Sheriff Court. SC65/34/29.
William Horn 23/06/1897 of Millbrae, Yoker, sole partner of R & W Horn, Brick and tile manufacturers, Garscadden, and quarry masters, Knightswood, Parish of New Kilpatrick, died 15/01/1896 at Yoker, testate, Dumbarton Sheriff Court, SC65/34/43.

Possible family connection  Lieut Alexander Duncan Campbell King. Died 24/05/1915 –  son of Robert King, Brickmaker, Torphichen.


Source – Bell, Hornsby & Co. – Mason and brickwork contractors – Bell, Hornsby & Co. were a building and contracting firm, and one of many brick manufacturers in the Glasgow area. From the 1860s to the 1890s, local brick was widely used for factories, and for the internal and rear walls of stone-faced commercial and domestic buildings). Of the original partners, Alexander Hamilton seems to have been the longest-established, manufacturing bricks at Lilybank off Eglinton Street, on the south side of the city, from about 1852.  He expanded into tile making, operating from a second brickworks at Strathbungo in 1858, before becoming a ‘silent partner’ in Bell, Hornsby. Another partner, Robert Bell, possibly ran a bricklaying firm in South Wellington Street c. 1857 (He is not to be confused with the wealthy Wishaw and Broxburn industrialist of the same name, who was also a brickmaker). Other partners were John Thomson Hornsby and Alexander Whitelaw, a Greenock based builder.

The firm of Bell, Hornsby first appears in the Glasgow Post Office Directory for 1864 as ‘brickmakers, builders and contractors’, based at Hamilton’s premises.  Bell, Hornsby and Hamilton at first all lived beside their works, before moving elsewhere. They shed a partner in 1868 when Whitelaw chose to continue on his own.

By 1875, the partners had taken over Polmadie Brickworks, Rutherglen Road, with its clay pits nearby at Mallsmire Burn. Brickmaking was a seasonal activity; since clay digging was impossible in winter when the ground froze, and good weather was important for initial drying. Rather than pay for the upkeep of draft horses over winter, the brickmakers, including Bell, Hornsby, sold them off. As a supplementary activity during the closed season Bell, Hornsby erected one or two blocks of tenements at a time (probably using their own bricks) in the fast-growing working-class area of Polmadie. Of the 46 tenements built there, ‘Robert Bell, house factor, and John Bell, mason’ were proprietors, and therefore the likely builders, of five.

In 1883, Bell, Hornsby were prosecuted for a breach of the Factory Act: ‘Inspectors were very particular in enforcing the law with respect to the employment of young girls [under 16 years] in brickfields’. By the time Robert Bell retired in 1886, the firm was running an additional brickworks at Blairdardie, which was beside its own clay pits at Garscadden, and another at Govan. The business was continued into the 20th century by John Hornsby Junior, after his father’s retirement in 1896. Since the late 1860s, it had been based at 197 Pollokshaws Road, and it continued to operate from here until at least the 1920s.


“Both sides of the burn, the story of Yoker” published in 1966 … Yoker at one time provided the labour for no fewer than three brickworks all of which were fully engaged in the provision of material for the great building schemes in Clydebank and Yoker at the end of the last century (19th).

Two of these, King’s at Blairdardie near the children’s hospital and Mark Hurrel’s (Hurll’s) near the Boulevard west of the police station were based on the blaes or coal waste of Peel Glen and a site near Chapman’s Farm. The blaes or red shale was milled with water to form a clayey material which was then moulded in wooden boxes before being fired in brick kilns heated of course, by coal mined locally.

The third works, Horne’s, (Horn), stood near the Clyde on ground facing Elderslie Bar. It produced clay bricks, which of course, were stronger, weather-resistant and in every way superior. Barclay Curle’s Dock now occupies the site.

The products of these kilns lie around us in every direction in homes and offices, halls, churches, schools and public works. The buildings of John Brown’s shipyards are constructed entirely from Yoker bricks fired in Horne’s kilns …
… An old drove road ran in a northeasterly direction towards what is now Glasgow Rd … this road, Mill Rd was realigned and plots of ground were bought for the erection of the large houses which still line Yokermill Rd … the first house to be erected was for Mr Horn, the owner of one of the local brickfields. He was a most pleasant person, farmer like in appearance and lame in his right leg …
… When at the beginning of the century the brickworks closed down, one of the workers, Ned Cumming stayed on in the derelict area and became known as the hermit … for over fifty years he lived alone in a broken-down tin shack alongside a pool formed by underground workings. A genial, respected character who died in the Southern General Hospital of frostbite contracted during a bitter winter …

23/10/1857 – Glasgow Herald – Drain pipes, tiles and bricks warranted of the best quality and ready for shipment, at the Garscadden Brick and Tile Works, on the canal bank, near Bowling. Orders to be addressed to Archibald McInnes at the Works by Yoker.

Below – 1859 – Garscadden Brick and Tile Works (although they appear not to have been named as such on the map in 1859).

1860 – ScotlandsPlaces – Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works – This place has been used for making bricks & tiles for about 20 years. It is of a permanent nature. It belongs to Garscadden Estate the property of Mr Colquhoun of Killermont.

1869 – Bell Hornsby & Co & Co, Blairdardie, New Kilpatrick.

1869 – Bell Hornsby & Co. 197 Pollokshaws Rd; Brickfields, Polmadie, Glasgow, Langlands, Govan, Blairdardie, Duntocher.

09/09/1871 – Purchase of coal works at Blairdardie — We learn that Messrs. Merry & Cunninghame of Ironstone Works, have purchased from Mr Robertson, Renfrew, the coal works here, including plant, houses, &c. An excellent seam of ironstone has been discovered, and it expected that the new proprietors will make for commencement shortly.

1873 – 1874 – King & Garruth – Brickmakers, Blairdardie Works by Duntocher, Glasgow. Office 150 Hope Street.

23/08/1873 – Glasgow Herald – Dumbarton – Warning to brickmakers – Robert Horn, brickmaker, Garscadden was yesterday charged before  Mr Thos. Thomson and Mr Robert Buchannan, at a Justice of Peace Court, with having employed two girls under 16 years of age in his brickwork and in violation of the Factory Act. He pleaded guilty and was fined in the reduced penalty of 10s for each offence.

23/05/1874 – Paisley Herald – Death – At Thirdpart Mill Farm on the 21st inst, Robert Horn Esq, late of Garscadden Brick and Tile Works.

1874 – 1875 – King & Co, brickmakers; Works, Blairdardie, by Duntocher; office, 150 Hope Street.

1875 – 1876 – King & Co, brickmakers, Blairdardie.

1878 – Robert A King, agent for contractors, builders, and quarry masters plant of all kinds, new and secondhand, for sale or hire; agent for Plann Fire Clay Works; plant stores, 130 Waterloo Street; fire- clay goods depot, Cook street station; house, 10 Walworth Terrace, Kent road.

Robert A. King, brickmaker, Blairdardie Brickworks, by Duntocher; office, 130 Waterloo Street.

1878 – 1879 – Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works, by Duntocher. William Hardie Managing partner, Blairdardie.

1880 – 1881 – Blaridardie Brick and Tile Works, by Dunochter.

1880 – 1881 – Robert A King 130 Waterloo Street – Agent for Jospeph Cliff & Son, Wortley.

1881 – 1882 – Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works, by Dunochter.

1883 – 1885 – Invoices – R & W Horn, Garcadden Brick and Tile Works by Duntocher.

02/09/1885 – Scotsman – Breach of the Factories Act – Yesterday, before Sheriff-Substitute Cowper in the Dumbarton Sheriff Court, R & W. Horn, Garscadden Brick and Tile Works, New Kilpatrick, were charged at the instance of Mr J. S. Maitland, H.M. Inspector of Factories, with- (1) employing two boys without having certificates of fitness by the certificating surgeon of the district; and (2) with neglecting to keep the proper forms prescribed by the Act-viz, a register of young persons employed by their works.  Both offences were admitted, and the sheriff imposed penalties amounting to £1, 17s.  6d.  including costs, or fourteen days imprisonment.

1886 – Horn Robert & William, Garscadden & Cowdon Hill, Glasgow. p 416.

1886 – Robert and William Horn, Garscaddon and Cowden Hill, New Kilpatrick.

1886 – Bell  Hornsby & Co, brick and tile maker, Blairdardie p.416.

1886 – Robert R Horn, coal master, 150 Hope st. Torbane Hill Collieries, & brickmaker, Shankramuir & Drumcavil (Drumcavel) Works, Glasgow (Same family?) – Click me

1891 – census  – William Horn Age: 47 Estimated birth year: abt 1844, Male, Where born: Renfrew, Renfrew. Registration district: New Kilpatrick Civil Parish: New Kilpatrick County, Dumbartonshire.
Head Spouse’s name: Janet Horn, Address: Millbrae Villa, Occupation: Brick & Tile Manufacturer & Farmer. 7 Household  –  Name Age William Horn 47, Janet Horn 45, Robert Horn 16, William Horn 14, Isabella Horn 14, James Horn 10, John Horn 8, Janet Horn 4, Isabella Horn 21, James Horn 23.

1893 – William Horne, Brick and Tile Maker, Yoker (note spelling or Horn).

Below – 1894 – Garscadden Brick and Tile Works.

1896 -97 – R & W Horn – Brickmakers Garscadden and, Yoker, Glasgow.
24/01/1896 – Glasgow Herald – All persons having claims against the deceased William Horn, brick and tile manufacturer residing at Millbrae Villa, Yoker or the firm of R & W Horn, brick and tile manufacturers, Garscadden and quarry masters, Knightswood are requested to lodge the same with the subscriber within 14 days from this date. And all persons indebted to the deceased or the said firm are requested to make payment to the subscriber within the like period. W Herron, agent for the deceased’s trustees and executors. Town Clerk’s Office, Renfrew. 22/01/1896
1897 – Dundee Courier – West of Scotland wills. W Horn, brick manufacturer, Yoke. £7711.
22/12/1899 – Glasgow Herald – Old established brick and tile business for sale. For sale by private bargain, the stock in trade, machinery, plant, utensils and goodwill of the old established brick and tile business of R & W Horn, carried on for many years at Garscadden Brick and Tile Works, Yoker, by the late Mr William Horn, and latterly by his testamentary trustees. For particulars apply to the subscribers with whom offers must be lodged on or before the 10th January next. Herron and Harper, Writers, Renfrew. 20/12/1899.
11/05/1900 – Edinburgh Gazette – Testamentary trustees and executors of the late William Horn, brick and tile manufacturer, who resided at Millbrae Villa, Yoker, have ceased, as at this date, to have any interest in the copartnery concern of R. & W. Horn, brick and tile makers, Yoker. The business will be carried on by Robert Horn and William Horn, sons of the deceased, under the said firm. James Stevenson and Charles P Leiper, A majority and quorum of said trustees and Executors.

1903 – Robert and William Horn, Garscadden, Yoker, Glasgow and Rbt and Wm Horn, Garscadden Cowden Hill, New Kilpatrick, Glasgow.

1906 – William McIndoe Horn, and his Brother John Horn, emigrated to Canada.
The brothers departed Glasgow onboard the Numidian on the 17th Mar 1906 arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia – for onward journey to Winnipeg, Manitoba – on the 27th.  William and Jeanie Brown Thomson, his wife, apparently returned to Scotland briefly as their first 2 children were born here. As it happens they must have returned to Canada as William died in Powell River, British Columbia in 1947 and John in Mississauga in Ontario in 1973. The remaining brother in the partnership, Robert, remained in Yoker living at the Family home Millbrae Villa in what is now Yoker Mill Road. (1906 entry source Les Horn – Many thanks).

12/09/1908 – The Scotsman – New company. Peter and Mark Hurll Limited, Glasgow (private company), to purchase and take over the business of brick manufacturers carried on at Glasgow, Garnqueen, Glenboig, Knightswood and Garscadden Works near Glasgow. Capital £50,000 in 25,000 pref shares of £1 each and 25,000 ordinary shares of £1 each.

04/06/1909 – Milngavie and Bearsden Herald – Drumchapel. Firms overlook. In Dumbarton Sheriff Court last Friday an employee. representing Stevenson Bros., brick and tile merchants, Drumchapel, was charged with having failed to leave posted up at their Drumchapel Quarry an extract of the Quarries Act, 1894. The Fiscal stated that the offence had been reported by an Inspector of Mines, and probably a small fine would meet the case. Sheriff P. J. Blair imposed a fine of 10s, the option being three days’ imprisonment.

21/01/1910 – Milngavie and Bearsden Herald – Local Builders Affairs. William Stevenson, builder and brickmaker and trading inter alia as Bishopbriggs Building and Joinery Company at Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, examined in bankruptcy before Sheriff Balfour in the County Buildings, Glasgow on Monday. Bankrupt stated, in answer to Mr Walter Neilson, trustee, that he started business on his own as a builder in 1874. He took over the Bishopbriggs Company about October 1907. The capital put into that business was all borrowed, and he had since repaid the loan. He was also interested in the firm of Stevenson Brothers and in the Bishopbriggs Brick Company, he had 1000 shares and was a director. These shares had been transferred to the bank in respect of an overdraft on behalf of Stevenson Brothers. His holdings in South African and other companies had also been deposited with the bank against advances. He had an interest in a large number of properties and would supply a note of all transactions of such. The value of the furniture belonging to him in his house at 55 Dixon Avenue was £28 odds, and he had also some furniture of little value in a house of which he was a tenant at Rothesay. Bankrupt accounted for his insolvency owing to the depreciation which had taken place of late in the value of property. The Bishopbriggs Joinery Company had been carried on at a loss. By a creditor – He had been sequestrated before, in the spring of 1889, and got a discharge. He was short of money for the last three or four years. His loss on the brick and joinery business he estimated at about £2000 and the losses on his stock exchange transactions would come about the same amount. The examination was adjourned.

Below – 1914 – Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works  – previously known as Garscadden Brick and Tile Works. 1938 – Blairdardie Brick and Tile Works appear disused.

1916 – The Garscadden Brickworks closed. At this time they were owned by the Stevenson Brothers.

18/11/1924 – Edinburgh Gazette  … then west-wards along the north side of Canal for 20 lineal yards or thereby, thence southerly, crossing the Canal to meet the southwest boundary of Blairdardie Brick & Tile Works at a point 60 lineal yards or thereby south of the south bank of the Canal, and then following southwestwards the boundary of said Tile Works continuing across Garscadden Burn …

24/08/1935 – Coatbridge Leader – Big order for Glenboig. Two hundred thousand bricks. Winters work assured for villagers. Messrs P. and M. Hurll Ltd., firebrick manufacturers, Gartliston Works, Glenboig announced this week that they have received an order from an overseas corporation tor the supply of almost 200,000 bricks of various sizes. This latest order, it is understood, will ensure employment for many men and women throughout the winter. Contracts for ironworks in the English Midlands and Belgium have resulted in the Gartliston Works being at full pressure for some time past. It is interesting also to know that the Glenboig firm’s works at Garscadden, where building bricks are manufactured, have also been extremely busy. To cope with the rush of orders, indeed, a nightshift has had to be put on, and more than 300,000 bricks are being despatched every week for building schemes in Scotland and Ireland.

1948 – Kenneth Sanderson states in his book The Scottish Refractory Industry 1830 – 1980 – “Hurll owned building brickworks and associated clay pits at Garscube, Maryhill, Knightswood, Yoker and Garscadden, all in the Glasgow area. Garscube made sewage pipes on an early Pullen and Mann machine, using fireclays sent from Glenboig. The British Clayworker Magazine of November 1984 reported the discovery of a blue Staffordshire type of clay in the Carluke area, Lanarkshire, which was also used at Garscube for a period. The Garscube and Knightswood Works had closed by the early 1930s but the Garscadden Works continued until 1948 when it was leased to Keir and Cawder”




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