Gartcraig Fire Clay Co, Millerston, Glasgow – History

(Note – SBH – Of all the Scottish bricks I ‘see’ being found on foreign shores, the Gartcraig brickmark is by far the most prevalent and widespread).


Gartcraig, By Millerston, Glasgow.

Below – 1858  – Gartcraig Farm is situated to the bottom left. From the information detailed on this page, it appears that Andrew Yeats was manufacturing bricks from 1862 which is just after the map below was surveyed. It is likely that Andrew Yeats’s early works were on the same site as the works detailed on the map dated 1897.  There is a round-shaped building on the 1858 map but this is likely to be a gingang or a mill gang, basically a farm structure.

Gartcraig brickworks

1862 – Company started under the name Andrew Yeats and Company. His partner was Dr Willis. (Note – SBH – It is unclear if they were making firebricks at this time).

Below – 11/09/1872 – The Scotsman – Formation of the Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited.






18/09/1872 – The Scotsman – The Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited.

Capital, £50,000, in 5000 shares of £10 each.

Payable, £1 on Application.

£2 on Allotment.

£2 on 1st November.

£1 on 2d January 1873.

It is not expected that any further calls will be required, and if required, two months notice will be given.

Directors. Wm. Hunter, Esq. (of Messrs Wm. Hunter & Co., Engineers), Wester Craig, Dennistown.

G. Willis, Esq., Clifton House, Bailieston.

P. H. Wilson, Esq., Nitshill Chemical Works, Hurlet.

J. Craigie Halkett, Esq., Younger of Cramond.

A. Yeats, Esq., Junior Carlton Club, London, and Western Club, Glasgow.

Bankers – The National Bank of Scotland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, and Branches.

Solicitors – Messrs Gray & Robertson, 108 West Regent Street, Glasgow.

Brokers – Messrs D. E. Outram & Morison, 24 St Vincent Place, Glasgow.

Secretary pro temp.-David B. Macorroon, Esq.

Temporary Offices-51 West Regent Street, Glasgow.

This Company is formed for the purpose of acquiring the leases, and working to the valuable Coal and Fireclay Fields in the Estates of Gartcraig, Lethamhill, and Frankfield, within 21/2 miles of the Monkland Canal Basin, and one mile from the Municipal Boundary of Glasgow.  A report from Mr George Crookston, a Glasgow Mining Engineer of great experience, shows the quality of Coal on Garteraig and Lethamhill to be 3,831,200 Tons and the Fireclay 7,608,600 Tons.  The cost of raising in the two upper seams has been very moderate and the terms of the leases are very favourable.  A Pit is now being sunk to reach the Kiltongue and Drumgray seams, in order to yield an output of Coal, while the upper seams will be worked as at present, in conjunction with the Fireclay.  A Fire-Brick Factory has been erected and is now in full operation.  It is capable of manufacturing 20,000 Fire-Bricks daily, besides other articles.  It is proposed at once to extend the works for the manufacture of Sewage Pipes &c.  The Works are new, and are on the banks of the Monkland Canal and being so near to Glasgow and the Iron Works at Coatbridge, the rates of carriage are very moderate, and the Junction with the Forth and Clyde Canal gives an outlet to the shipping ports on the east and west coasts.  In addition to the Gartcraig Coal Fields and Works, the Company will acquire Cardowan Colliery, which has been profitably worked for many years and is now in working operation.  The only object being to obtain sufficient capital to develop and work these Properties, the present Leases have agreed to transfer the whole of the Leases, Works, Plant, &c, to the Company for £15,000 in money, and 1000 paid-up Shares in the Company.  They thus retain a large interest in the concern.  They will have seats at the Board, and the whole of the Works will be, as at present, under the management of Mr Yeats.

The Directors do not wish to publish estimates of anticipated profits, but it will be seen from Mr Crookston’s report that a large output of Coal and Fireclay, which will realise handsome profits, can be obtained by additional outlay.  Mr Crookston states that there is Coal to sustain an output of 500 tons per day.  At anything like the present prices of Coal such an output would yield very large profits, but a profit of only 1s 3d. per ton, which can be easily got even in the worst times, would yield 28 per cent., and an output of only 300 tons per day, which Mr Crookston says can be got from the second pit alone, would pay over 17 per cent, on the capital proposed to be called up, independent of any profit from the fireclay Works or from Cardowan Colliery, and these have always paid well, and are now yielding good profits.  The Directors propose to establish an ample Reserve Fund for the contingencies and in order to have the whole Capital of the Company intact on the expiration of the leases.  The Capital has been fixed nominally at £50,000, but it is believed that £6 per Share will be sufficient to erect the necessary buildings, sink pits, provide machinery, &c; and if so, no further calls will be made.  In case no allotment is made the deposits will be returned in full.  Copies of the Articles of the Association and other information may be obtained at the Office of the Solicitors and at the Temporary Offices of the Company.  Detailed prospectuses containing a report by Mr Crookston, Engineer, and an analysis of the Fireclay by Dr Wallace, and Forms of Application for Shares may be had at the Bankers, the Brokers, and at the Temporary Offices of the Company.

04/02/1873 – The Scotsman – The first meeting of the shareholders in the Gartcraig Coal and Fire-Clay Company (Limited) was held today in the offices of Mr McGregor, accountant, 51 West Regent Street Glasgow, Mr Wm. Hunter (The chairman) stated that all the shares had been taken up except 741, which would be offered to the present shareholders in case the money should be required. He explained the progress of the works and stated that good dividends are looked for soon as the pits are in full operation.

07/04/1873 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fire-Clay Company (Limited). At a meeting held today in the office of the company, it was resolved to pay the shareholders an interim dividend of 7 1/2 per cent for the six months during which the company has been in existence.

Below – 21/04/1875 – North British Agriculturist – Wrongful dismissal of Joseph McFadyen (formerly of Andrew Yeats and Co) of the  Garnkirk Fire Clay Company.

Below – 14/07/1875 – Glasgow Herald – Wrongful dismissal of Joseph McFadyen (formerly of Andrew Yeats and Co) of the  Garnkirk Fire Clay Company.

Below – 11/04/1877 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fire Clay Company for sale – liquidation.

Below – 07/05/1877 – The Scotsman – Gartcraig Coal and Fire Clay Company for sale at an upset price of £10,000

20/06/1877  – Glasgow Herald – At the Sheriff Criminal Court, Glasgow, yesterday before Sheriff Lees and a jury, Francis Cassidy, an engineer, was tried on a charge of culpable homicide. Cassidy was in charge of the winding and other machinery of one of the pits of Gartcraig Coal and Fire Clay Company on Wednesday, 14th March, and it was alleged that, through carelessness on his part, the winding machinery got out of gearing while two men named Williamson and Letham were descending the pit; and the kettle rushing to the bottom with great violence, the former was killed and the latter seriously injured. After a lengthy trial, Cassidy was found guilty of culpable violation of duty and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

21/01/1878 – Glasgow Herald – It seems the Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited was still up for sale at this time but at a reduced upset of £7500.

Below – 30/08/1878 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Co in liquidation – still for sale £6000?

30/09/1878 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited still for sale. Price further reduced to £5500.

03/03/1879 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited still for sale. Price further reduced to £5000.

13/03/1879 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited sold for £5000. (Bought by P & M Hurll ?).

Below – 13/08/1879 – Glasgow Herald – Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Company Limited meeting regarding the liquidation of the company.

05/12/1879 – Belfast Telegraph- Fire clay goods – D. Crawford & Co beg to intimate that they have been appointed sole agents in Belfast for the Gartcraig Fire Clay Co, Glasgow Manufacturers of all kinds of fire bricks, facing bricks, flooring tiles, glazed sewerage pipes, chimney cans, vent linings, cattle troughs etc. Price list on application – 14 Carrick Hill.

04/02/1880 – Glasgow Evening Citizen – February 2. Andrew Yeats, sometime managing director of the concern called The Gartcraig Coal and Fire Clay Company Limited and residing at 62 Cromwell Street, Glasgow. Creditors to meet in the Faculty Hall, Glasgow, 13th February, at 12 o’clock…..

27/03/1880 – Glasgow Evening Citizen – Fire bricks broken and damaged, the price for immediate removal is per cart, picked – 5s. Gartcraig Works near Hogganfield.

Below – 22/09/1880 – Daily Alta California Volume 32, No 11118.
Daily Alta California Volume 32, No 11118 dated 22 September 1880
Below – 05/10/1880 – Glasgow Herald – Bankruptcy hearing of Mr Andrew Yeats. The Company was started in 1862 under the designation of Andrew Yeats & Company. His partner was Dr Willis.
14/05/1881 – Glasgow Evening Post – Horizontal engine best type, winding drum and spur are complete. Cylinder 14″, diameter 2 1/2 foot stroke. Egg end boiler to suit. Gartcraig Fire Clay Coy, 275 Parliamentary Road.
09/07/1881 – Glasgow Evening Post – Horizontal engine, cylinder 18″ diam, 4-foot stroke. Egg end boiler 30ft x 5 ft. Winding drum and pithead pulleys if required. Gartcraig Fire Clay Coy, 275 Parliamentary Road.
Below – 1885 – Glasgow Herald – Porcelain Bath and Fancy Clay Works, recently erected but not used and belonging to the cessio Estates of Oliver and Fullerton and Oliver and Co for sale … 2 circular kilns are lined with Gartcraig fireclay …
1886 – Gartcraig Fire-Clay Co. 275 Parliamentary Rd; works, Gartcraig, by Shettleston. Depot, Monkland Canal wharf, Castle st.
25/12/1886 – Dundee Advertiser – Fire broke out yesterday afternoon at the works of the Gartcraig Fireclay Company, Shettleston, Glasgow. Two of the drying stoves were destroyed. The damage is estimated at about £1000 and will be covered by insurance.
Below – 01/01/1887 – Dunfermline Saturday Press. Glasgow tramps Christmas quarters. Raid on the Gartcraig Fireclay Works. 21 arrested.
Below – 01/01/1887 – Lanarkshire Upper Ward Examiner – Fire at Gartcraig Fireclay Works, Shettleston.
30/11/1887 – Lloyds List – Gartcraig Fire Clay Co, 275 Parliamentary Road, Glasgow, makers of every description of fire clay goods including fire bricks and blocks, white flooring tiles, glazed sewage pipes, vents &c. Shipping facilities to all ports. Prices and illustrated catalogue on application.
03/03/1890 – Glasgow Herald – Fireclay pipe makers wanted. Good wages and constant employment. Apply Gartcraig Brickworks, Cumbernauld Road.
1890 – 91 – David McDougall, Clerk at Gartcraig Fire Clay Co, 18 Charles Street, St Rollox. Ho 109 Armadale Street, Glasgow

1892 – 1893 – Gartcraig Fire-Clay Co., manufacturers of fire bricks, sewerage pipes, and all kinds of fire-clay goods, 18 Charles St., St. Rollox; depot, Monkland Canal basin; works, Gartcraig, by Shettleston; telegraphic address, “Gartcraig;” telephone JS 0.1299

1896 – Gartcraig Shettleston,  Gartcraig Coal and Fireclay Co., Shettleston, Hugh P. Swann manager, 55 underground,  18 surface workers  – Coal, Manufacturing coal,  Fireclay.

Below – 1897 – Gartcraig Fireclay Works.

1897 – 1898 – Gartcraig Fire-clay Co. makers of white and coloured enamelled bricks, white facing bricks, sewerage pipes, and all kinds of fire-clay goods, 18 Charles st St. Rollox; depot, Monkland Canal basin; works, Gartcraig, by Shettleston; telegraphic address, “Gartcraig;” telephone No. 1299.

14/05/1898 – Glasgow Herald – Cast iron plates for sale. 164, 1/2″ thick – different sizes – Gartcraig Brickworks by Shettleston.

26/11/1898 – Dundee Courier – New companies – Gartcraig Fire Clay Company – to acquire the business of fire brick and tile makers and coal owners at present carried on by the Gartcraig Fire Clay Company at Shettleston near Glasgow. Capital £15,000 in 2500 shares of £6 each.

1901 – 1902 – Gartcraig Fire-Clay Co. Ltd. makers of white and coloured enamelled bricks, double-dipped vitrified bricks, facing bricks, fire bricks, sewerage pipes, chimney cans, and all kinds of fire-clay goods, 18 Charles St., St. Rollox; depot, Monkland Canal basin, Castle Street; works, Gartcraig, by Millerston; telegraphic address, ” Gartcraig; ” telephone No. 1299.

12/08/1901 – The Scotsman – The Glasgow International exhibition … Gartcraig Fire Clay Company exhibit similar to the Glenboig Union Fireclay Company ( fire bricks, furnace blocks and gas retorts)  with chimney cans and vases.

1905 – 1906 – Gartcraig Fire-Clay Co. Ltd. makers of white and coloured enamelled bricks, double-dipped vitrified bricks, facing bricks, fire bricks, sewerage pipes, chimney cans, ornamental vases, and all kinds of fire-clay goods, 18 Charles St, St Rollox; Depot, Monkland Canal basin, Castle Street; works, Gartcraig, by Millerston; telegraphic address, “Gartcraig ” telephone Nat. and Corp. Nos. 1299.

05/07/1905 – Kirkintilloch Herald – New buildings … by the Gartcraig Fireclay Company Ltd, for addition to existing millshed at Gartcraig Fireclay Works, Millerston.

1907 – Gartcraig Fire Clay Co. Ltd, 18 Charles St., St. Rollox; Depot, Monkland Canal basin, Garngad Hill.

1918 – Gartcraig Fire Clay Co. Ltd., Gartcraig Works, Millerston, Glasgow. Mine named Gartcraig and located at Shettleston. Manager – Thomas Scobie  Under – Manager Robert Reid. 40 persons worked below ground and 8 above.

Below – 06/08/1919 – The Scotsman – Sale at Gartcraig Colliery, Millerston on the instruction of the Gartcraig Fire Clay Co Ltd.

Below – 14/08/1920 – The Scotsman – Sale of equipment at Gartcraig Fire Clay Works, Millerston.

Below – 01/05/1923 – United States Patent Office – Gartcraig Trademark registered no 210067, in England 11/12/1897

Registered May 1, 1923.                                       Trade-Mark 167,576

United States Patent Office.

Gartcraig Fire Clay Company Limited of Glasgow, Scotland.

Act of February 20th 1905.

Application filed July 7, 1922.  Serial No. 166,550

Gartcraig statement. To all whom it may concern:   Be it known that we, Gartcraig Fire Clay Company, Limited, a limited liability company organised under the laws of Great Britain and Ireland, and located and doing business at 18 Charles Street, St Rollox, Glasgow, Scotland, have adopted and used the trade-mark shown in the accompanying drawing, for fire clay goods – namely brick, tile and drain pipes in Class No. 12, construction materials.  The trademark has been continually used in the business of the applicant since the 13th of September, 1874.  The trade-mark is “affixed” to the goods by impressing the mark upon the goods themselves.  The trade-mark consists of the word “Gartcraig”.  Said trade-mark has been registered in England, No. 210,067, December 11, 1897.  Chauncey P. Carter, of 4907 Potomac Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D. C., is the person designated as applicants representative on whom process or notice of proceedings affecting the right to ownership of said trade-mark brought under the laws of the United States may be served. Gartcraig fire-clay Company, Limited, P. Wylie Rodger.Secretary.


1936 – 1937 – Gartcraig Fire Clay Co. Ltd., makers of fire Bricks, sewage pipes, chimney cans, and all kinds of Fire-clay goods, 18 Charles St, St. Rollex, N; depot, Monkland Canal basin, Castle St., C.4; telephones, 3400 and 3401 Bell.

1936 – 1937 – Wylie P Rodger of Gartcraig Fire Clay Company Ltd, Glasgow. House Southcourt, Helensburgh

23/11/1951 – Motherwell Times – The ‘George’ Cinema Belshill. Architects – Messrs Gavin Paterson & Son. Another successful cinema front in Faience by Shaws. – Scottish agents – Gartcraig Fire Clay Co Ltd, 18 Charles Street, Glasgow.  Shaws glazed brick Co Ltd, Whitebirk Works, Waterside nr Darwen, Lancs.

Below – History. Source Kenneth W Sanderson.

Gartcraig Coal & Fireclay Co Ltd (later Gartcraig Fireclay Co Ltd) – The Gartcraig Coal & Fireclay Company Ltd was incorporated in 1872 to work the fireclays in Gartcraig, Croftcroighn, Frankfield, Avenue End, Lethamhill, Cardowan and Gartsheugh mineral leases, all to the East end of Glasgow. The capital was fixed at £50, 000 in £10 shares, a very large sum for those days, particularly as virtually all the subscriptions came from the Willis and Yeats families. George Willis, Physician of Clifton House, Baillieston, became the chairman and held 1617 of the 4253 shares taken up. Most of the balance was held by the Yeats family. The shares were paid up to the extent of £6 and the capital was scaled down to £34, 000. George Willis and Andrew Yeats were both Coalmasters in the Gartcraig and Cardowan Companies and partners in Andrew Yeats & Co Ltd.

The Gartcraig Coal & Fireclay Company was voluntarily wound up in 1877 but reformed as Gartcraig Fireclay Co. Ltd., and continued to make firebricks up to 1921 when the Works was closed. The brand Gartcraig was taken over by P & M Hurll Ltd. The Gartcraig works site lay on the North Bank of the Monkland Canal, half a mile South of Hogganfield Loch, and was connected with a tramway to the Gartcraig Colliery which supplied the fireclay. The OS map of 1898 shows 6 large round kilns, 6 smaller round kilns and a battery of chambers, so it was a substantial producer of firebricks. The Gartcraig Fireclay Company appears as a small shareholder in James Dougall of Bonnybridge in 1927 and thereafter fades from history.


Gartcraig Fire Clay Co., Ltd, Millerston – Source

Gartcraig Fire Clay Mine – Situated near Shettleston
Persons employed – underground – 80, above ground – 8, Total – 88

The workmen reside mostly in rented houses at Shettleston or at Hogganfield, and in 12 houses situated on Gartcraig Estate. Three of these have two rooms and a kitchen, seven have one room and kitchen, and two are single apartments.

The 12 houses are described as follows:-
Erected about 40 years ago – One storey, built of brick – no damp-proof course – Wood or tile floors, wood floors ventilated – internal surface of walls and ceilings in good condition

  • No overcrowding – apartments large
  • No gardens, but have common wash house and coal cellars
  • Gravitation water from a standpipe
  • Privy middens about 20 yards in rear of houses
  • Drainage by surface channels
  • Scavenged at owners’ expense
  • Repairs have been carried out


… The furnace is of the reverberatory type, built of Gartcraig fire-brick and black New Zealand fire-clay. The whole hearth is cased in J-in. iron plate tank, in case of the collapse of the fire-bricks, when the whole charge may be caught. There are three charging doors on one side, and one skimming door at the end of the furnace, and above the latter is a horizontal flue, connected with the underground refinery flue and stack. It is fitted with a hand-hole for cleaning …  source




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