Found by Ian Suddaby in the Ravenscraig, Motherwell area. This example is not in my possession. The manufacturer of this fire brick is unknown. The find location would suggest Scottish origins but … Ian states – Another pile of sieved bricks at the Dalzell/Colville Steelworks dumping ground in Motherwell and another very interesting find. This firebrick is…
Found Prestonpans, East Lothian.
The find location would suggest Scottish origins but …
Gary Buckham sums up – All these bricks were found at the same location, on the shore at Prestonpans, East Lothian. There is a place called Gartartan to the south of Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire. With little information to go on I’ve come up with my own theory that these hand-made bricks were made and fired locally – I think the materials used in the bricks is similar to older Preston Grange hand-made bricks – and that the brickmark GARTARTAN had a link to one of the brickworks owners or backers with the name, perhaps, being taken from Gartartan castle or a property with the same name. Just a theory and I’d be more than happy to be proved right or wrong.”
(Note – SBH – I personally would add that I have only seen these on the shore at Bo’ness, Firth of Forth and Preston Grange – Bo’ness again not far from Stirling. The name Gartartan (Gartartan Castle, Gartartan Farm) is closely linked with Gartmore but again no obvious reference to a brickworks. It is possible, as seen in other areas, that the landowner had bricks made from a clay deposit situated on his land and that the bricks were solely for use on estate houses etc and thus did not travel far).
28/04/2014 – update and extreme longshot – A brick and tilework, affording employment to about a dozen of the villagers, was carried on at Kippen Station till about 1895. The proprietor of Boquhan, Admiral Campbell, who had it in his own hands, gave it up at that date as a non-paying concern. Source – The Kingdom of Kippen Its History and Traditions by William Chrystal. Page 38. Kippen Station is about 7 miles as the crow flies from Gartmore/Gartartan.
17/06/2014 – BOQUHAN – Tile Works – Stephen Mitchell Esq. of Boquhan, proprietor; Thomas Hall, overseer, Kippen Station R.S.O. Stirlingshire – still just a weak theory, especially as all the Gartartan bricks found appear to be fire bricks and it is unlikely that such bricks were manufactured at Kippen.
Below – 11/05/2019 – A very similar stamp but on a brick with an apparent composition and colour difference. This Gartartan brick with a thumbprint to the top right was found in a pile of Etna bricks on the old site of the Etna and Atlas Brickworks, Armadale/Bathgate, West Lothian. (The Boghead and Bathville Brickworks are situated directly adjacent to these works). (Note – SBH – I am now beginning to lean towards believing these are a product of the Etna or Atlas Brickworks).