Gartliston Fireclay Works, Glenboig, North Lanarkshire

Garnqueen Fireclay Works, Glenboig, Lanarkshire.

Gartliston Fireclay Works, Glenboig, Lanarkshire.

Gartliston (opened 1889) and Garnqueen (opened 1895) which was closer to Glenboig village, being about 1 mile south-east of the village.

Canmore – Gartliston.

Canmore – Garnqueen.

Gartliston Brickworks, Glenboig. – A cracking read – A personal recollection By Bob McMillan.

P & M Hurll Ltd owned Birkhill Clay Mine in Bo’ness. Birkhill Clay Mine had high-quality fireclay deposits which have been exploited since the 18th century. The partnership of P & M Hurll Ltd, Glenboig, was established around 1887. Mark Hurll, a firebrick manufacturer from Glenboig, Lanarkshire, leased Birkhill from Hamilton Estates in 1908 and the company
took over the mine in 1916. P & M Hurll went into liquidation in July 1980.

Hurll, Mark, jun. (of Peter & Mark Hurll, Ltd.) Ho., 1109 Aikenhead road, S.4. Hurll, Peter & Mark, Ltd., manufacturers of firebricks, furnace blocks, gas retorts and fittings, Gartliston and Garnqueen Works, Glenboig. Also building Bricks at Garscadden Works, Drumchapel; office, 144 W. Regent St. C.2; depot, St, Rollox; Tel. No., 147 Douglas; telegrams, ” Hurll, Glasgow.” Hurll, Thomas R. C. (Peter & Mark Hurll, Ltd.); Ho., Braeriach, Boclair Cres, Bearsden.

Gartliston Fireclay Mine – Situated near Glenboig.

The employees mostly reside in mine owners’ houses situated at Glenboig, known as Gartliston Square and Garnqueen Square

The new houses are described as follows: – 20 houses – 12 one apartment, rental £5 19s 2d including rates and doctors attendance; and 8 two-apartment houses, rental £7 13s 10d, including rates. Seventeen of the houses have a scullery – These houses were erected about 16 years ago – One storey, brick-built – no damp-proof course – Outside walls strapped and lathed – floors wood, ventilated – internal surface of walls and ceilings in good condition.

  • No overcrowding
  • No gardens – wash house in common with other houses – coal cellar for each house.
  • Privy midden with two seats, not sufficiently private
  • 1 house with sink and water supply to same – surface channels, thence underground to the loch
  • Gravitation water supply from the standpipe at the west end of the property
  • Scavenged at owners’ expense
  • Repairs have been carried out from time to time at the request of the Public Health Department”
  • The two Hurll’s works, Gartliston and Garnqueen sat either side of the Glasgow to Perth railway line. Garnqueen lay on the top and south-east side of a hill to the south of the village of Glenboig while Garliston lay in the slight hollow to the south-west of Garnqueen and to the south of the housing area of Ramoan, about one mile from Glenboig on the Coatbridge side. (See map at the end of the document) Tucked away some mile or so west of the main Glenboig to Ramoan road, the Gartliston works could hardly be seen by those who didn’t know it was there. Only from the train did you get a good look at it. A distant view could be obtained as you drove up the hill to approach Ramoan from Coatbridge. Both works had originally had their own deep mines but the Garnqueen one closed and the air shaft, capped by a vented steel plate could still be seen on the south side of the site near to the Mine Manager’s house. According to the mining maps, this was only some 90 feet (27 metres) deep.

    The Gartlison Brickworks consisted of the following:- a pit (a deep mine some 200 feet, (61 metres deep) which provided the fireclay, a boiler house which used coal to provide heating (needed for the bricks and other equipment, not the workers), the crusher, grinding and mixing mills, the sheds where the semi-automatic machines produced standard, uncomplicated bricks and the hand-brick-making sheds (known for some reason a “stoves”, though I guess the bricks were “baked” dry!). The latter buildings were a single storey but the sloping roof space, or loft, space was also used, in the case of the “big stove” for brick making/brick drying. Thus the upper floor became known as the “Loft” or “Laft in local parlance.

  • Records showed that in 1896 there were 36 miners employed in the Gartliston pit.


P&M Hurll Gartliston Brick works from the air 2005

Below – 1858 – Glenboig – how the land looked before the brickworks.

OS Map 1858 - Glenboig

Below – 29/07/1889 – Glasgow Evening Post – Announcing that the Gartliston Fire Clay Works will soon be opening by the proprietor Peter Hurll.

23/09/1890 – Edinburgh Evening News – Fire broke out in the oil store and joiners shop at Gartliston Fireclay Works, Glenboig last night belonging to Mr Peter Hurll. The fire lasted 2 hours and the premises were completely gutted. A large quantity of oil, wood and tools were destroyed. The damage which is serious is covered by insurance.

1890 –1891 – Gartliston Fireclay Works, Glenboig. Office 95 Bath Street. Depot St Rollox.

1890 – 1891 – Peter Hurll, Gartliston Fireclay Works, Glenboig. Office 95 Bath Street

24/09/1890 – Glasgow Herald – Glenboig – Destructive Fire – Late on Monday night a destructive fire occurred at the Gartliston Fireclay Works belonging to Peter Hurll. The fire originated in an oil store and spread to the joiners workshop. A large force of workmen with a plentiful supply of water managed to confine the flames to these premises which, however, were completely gutted. The damage is considerable but the loss is covered by insurance.

1893 – 1894 – Gartliston Fire-Clay Works; Office, 95 Bath St.

1894 – 1895 – Gartliston Fire-Clay Works; Office, 95 Bath St.

05/09/1895 – Glasgow Evening Post – Contravention of Friendly Society Act. Prosecution at Airdrie. At Airdrie today, John Hurll, Treasurer of the Gartliston and Garnqueen Friendly Society admitted having paid the funeral costs for a child without receiving a registrars certificates of the death in terms of the Friendly Society’s Act. It was stated that these cases were becoming frequent and the registrar general wanted the practice stopped. The minimum penalty of 30s was imposed.

Below – 1896 – Gartliston and Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig

OS Map 1896 - Gartliston and Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig

03/06/1896 – Glasgow Herald – Joiner wanted accustomed to pit work – Apply P & M Hurll, Gartliston Works, Glenboig. or 144 West Regent Street, Glasgow.

1897 – 1898 – Gartliston and Garnqueen Fire Clay Works, Glenboig, Peter & Mark Hurll; office, 144 West Regent St.; depot, head of Glebe Street, St. Rollox; telephone No. 147.

1898 – 1899 – Gartliston and Garnqueen Fire Clay Works, Glenboig, Peter & Mark Hurll; office, 144 West Regent St.; depot, head of Glebe Street, St. Rollox; telephone No. 147.

1899 – 1900 – Gartliston and Garnqueen Fire Clay Works, Glenboig, Peter & Mark Hurll; office, 144 West Regent St.; depot, head of Glebe Street, St. Rollox; telephone No. 147.

1899 – 1900 – Peter and Mark Hurll manufacturers of fire bricks, furnace blocks, gas retorts and fittings, Gartliston and Garnqueen Works, Glenboig. Office 144 West Regent Street. Depot St Rollox. Telephone no 147. Telegram ‘Hurll’ Glasgow.

21/02/1899 – Dundee Advertiser – The personality of Mr John Hurll, Woodneuk, Gartcosh has been returned at £119,495.

04/10/1899 – Glasgow Herald – Clerk wanted for a Fire Brick Depot, St Rollox. (With experience preferred). Apply to P & M Hurle (Hurll), 144 West Regent Street, Glasgow.

28/04/1900 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Assault in brickwork. At Airdrie J.P. Court on Thursday, James McMahon, labourer, 8 Passover Row, Glenboig, was charged with assaulting another labourer in the retort kilns in Gartliston Brickwork, on Monday, 16th April. Accused was fined 10s. or seven days.

04/04/1901 – Dundee Courier – Sharp sentence –  Before Sheriff Mair at Airdrie, Michael O’Shea fireclay miner, Glenboig was tried under the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act with having on 27th March with a view to compelling James Delaney and Frank Martin residing in Carrick Street, Glasgow to abstain from working in Hurll’s Gartliston Fireclay mines, along with a large crowd, shouted and booed and called them ‘blacklegs’ and throwing stones at these men. A large number of witnesses were examined on both sides.

The Sheriff found the charge proven and characterising it as a very bad case, passed sentence of 3 months imprisonment with hard labour.

Robert Sloan, Clay miner, Glenboig and Michael Lorin, drawer, Glenboig were then tried on a similar charge on Friday by besetting 2 of the workmen who came from Coatbridge. As it appeared they were ignorant that by following up the men on the streets of that town they were guilty of contravening the Act, the Sheriff let them go with a severe caution.

20/07/1901 – Kirkintilloch Gazette  – Glenboig – Contracts have been signed by the Glenboig Union Fireclay Company and P & M Hurll with Mr Graeme Hunter for the supply of workmen for the clay mines at Glenboig, Garnqueen, Gartliston, Gartcosh and Heathfield for a period of 3 years. Mr Hunter has secured or is to secure all the houses of the evicted parties. Those already secured have been furnished and men employed by him are lodged there. A number of new workers are expected from Dundee in a day or two.

1901 – 1902 – Gartliston and Garnqueen Fire Clay Works, Glenboig, Peter & Mark Hurll; office, 144 West Regent st.; depot, head of Glebe Street, St. Rollox; telephone No. 147.

Jan 1907 – Invoice – Peter and Mark Hurll, Gartliston and Garnqueen Fire Clay Works, Glenboig and Garscube and Knighstwood Brick and Sanitary Pipe Works near Maryhill. Office 144 West Regent Street, Glasgow.

Below – 09/09/1908 – Kirkintilloch Herald – New Company Glenboig. Peter and Mark Hurll, Emily Duvoison and John Henry Hurll.

18/08/1911 – The Kirkintilloch Gazette – Chryston – Death of County Councillor Hurll – The death occurred at Woodneuk, Gartcosh on Monday of Mr Peter Hurll of the well known firm of fireclay manufacturers. Peter and Mark Hurll Ltd. Mr Hurll was in his 70th year and up until a month or two ago was actively involved in the business. On the advice of his medical advisor, he relinquished his duties and contemplated going off for a change and extended rest. On the retiral of Mr W.C.B Christie of Bedlay from Lanarkshire County Council, Mr Hurll acceded to a request from all sections of the community to come forward as the representative for the Chryston Ward in the County Council and was returned unopposed in November 1909. Mr Hurll led a strenuous life and while acting as Managing Director of P & M Hurll, attended very assiduously to the duties which devolved on him in his public capacity… The funeral took place yesterday to Bedlay Cemetery.

Below – 28/08/1912 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Fire clay mine at Gartliston damaged by rain and floods.

11/12/1912 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Fireclay miners and drawers wanted: miners 6 shillings and sixpence to 8 shillings and sixpence per day, 6 days per week. Apply to P & M Hurll Ltd, Gartliston and Garnqueen Fireclay Works, Glenboig.

22/01/1913 – The Scotsman – Pit fireman fined. At Airdrie Sheriff Court yesterday, George Peters, pit fireman, Glenboig pleaded guilty to a contravention of the mines regulation act and special rule 126B by failing to inspect the working places of two miners before they proceeded to work therein in the Gartliston Fireclay Pit, Glenboig. It was pointed out that there might have been an accumulation of gas, and that there was danger of an explosion through no provision being made to prevent it. The Sheriff imposed the modified fine of £3 or 5 days.

Below – 22/05/1914 – Bellshill Speaker – Man killed at Gartliston Pit belonging to P & M Hurll. Deceased Matthew Neary.

10/03/1920 – Falkirk Herald – Blockmakers wanted for fire clay works. Apply to P & M Hurll Ltd, Gartliston Fire Clay Works, Glenboig.

03/05/1921 – Dundee Courier – Gartsherrie – Lanarkshire Estate was recently exposed and the results of the sale were … Several lots which remain to be sold include Gartliston Fireclay Works and minerals …

13/01/1923 – Falkirk Herald –  Pony for sale. In good condition, age 4 1/2 years. 13 hands high. Apply Peter and Mark Hurll Ltd, Gartliston Works, Glenboig.

Below – 29/06/1928 – Milngavie and Bearsden Herald –  Death of Mark Hurll.

Below – 29/06/1928 – Kirkintilloch Gazette –  Death of Mark Hurll.

11/01/1929 – Milngavie and Bearsden Herald – To mark the occasion of his appointment as managing director of the firm P & M Hurll Ltd, fire brick manufacturers, Glenboig, the workers of Gartliston and Garnqueen works met Mr Mark Hurll and presented him with a beautiful gramophone and records.

23/06/1933 – The Scotsman – Clay Miner Killed At Glenboig – A clay miner named John Gardner Fowler (23), who lived with his parents at 16 Gartliston Square, Glenboig, was firing a shot of compressed powder in No. 15 clay mine, Gartliston, when the shot suddenly went off, and he was caught in the flying debris. He sustained a fracture of the skull and other injuries, from which he died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Below – 1935 – 1936  – Gartliston and Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig

OS Map 1935 - 1936 - Gartliston and Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig

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.

Below – 01/02/1936 – Airdrie and Coatbridge advertiser – George Sloan honoured for long service at Gartliston Fireclay Works.

Below – 1944 – 1967 – Garliston Fireclay Works.

22/05/1948 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – A Coatbridge girl, Helen Docherty,  19 years who threw an iron nut into a machine at Glenboig Brickworks wrecking it in order to get a shift off work was fined £10 at Airdrie Sheriff Court. The incident happened at the Gartliston Brickworks. Mr A. Hurll, Managing Director of the works estimated the cost of damage to the machine as £41 4s and the loss of production as £98.

1980 – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests the works closed at this time.

Below – Peter and Mark Hurll Ltd, Glenboig Coatbridge, Scotland – A blank delivery note.

Mark and Peter Hurll Delivery Note


Mark and Peter Hurll Delivery Note.

Note the reference to Bentleys Code –

  1. Bentleys Second Phrase The “Bentleys Code Phrases” [ ] first published in 1906 continued to be commonly used till the end of the 1960s. That and other codes were widely used by commercial establishments. “Coding” was popular then at grass root levels. If the 5 letter codes were well understood, popular and used widely, there are no reasons why the present coding done with computer languages based on 8-bit octets cant be used with the same ease by the general public. Coding languages need to start circulating widely among the public the way Bentleys Code ruled from 1906 to the 1960s.
  2. Bentleys Code: A sample Genesis: In the late 19th and earlier 20th Centuries, there were Code Books created because telegram messages were charged by the word. As many as ten characters in a grouping were considered a word by the telegraph companies. Commercial Code Books, such as the Acme Code Words, or the Bentleys Complete Phrase Code were available to companies, enabling them to send complex messages in only a few “words.” Sample: For instance, if someone used Bentley’s phrasebook, he or she might choose the following letter groupings: DIZUH (contracts for) DAELF (computing) FEAVO (equipment) RUGUB (has/have been signed) KUKIB (New York) CUGYA (commence) OKGAP (production) ICSCO (immediately). Thus, the message, DIZUHDAELF FEAVORIGUB KUKIBCUGYA OKGAPICSCO, four “words,” would translate to, “Contracts for computing equipment have been signed [in] New York. Commence production immediately.” This would be in place of 12 normal words (13 if the implied “in” is included); a savings of at least 75 per cent. Of course, for someone without the Code Book, the message would be unreadable, but the message was sent primarily for the economy, not security.

Below – Illustrated catalogue (date unknown) –  ‘HURLL’ Firebricks, covers etc  – Peter and Mark Hurll Limited, Glenboig, Coatbridge, Scotland.







TELEPHONE     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     GLENBOIG 2282

Code Used:  BENTLEY’S

Shipping Ports
















Below is an extract covering the company history. Peter and Mark Hurll Limited – During the last hundred years, the name Hurll has been prominent in the history of the development of the Scottish firebrick industry, which in that time has built up at home and abroad a well-deserved reputation for the excellence of its products.

This long association with the industry started about 1835 when Mr John Hurll was first associated with the Garnkirk Fireclay Company, whose “Garnkirk” brand of firebrick was probably the first well- known Scottish firebrick.

In 1852 Mr John Hurll joined the partnership with Mr John Young, also of the Garnkirk Company, to form the firm of Hurll, Young & Company.  The first works built and operated by this firm were Cardowan Fireclay Works, but the rapid expansion of their business led to the acquisition in 1860 of Heathfield Works from Messrs Miller & Ferguson, and the purchase in 1865 of Glenboig Works from Messrs Thomson, McLean & Company.

Fireclay had been first worked at Glenboig in 1836, but development had been so slight that in 1860 the population of Glenboig’s village was only about 120. The Glenboig Works were carried on under the control of Hurll, Young & Company until 1874 when the partnership was dissolved, Mr John Hurll purchasing the Glenboig Works and Mr Young purchasing Heathfield and Cardowan Works.

During the period of control by the original firm, and later while controlled by Mr John Hurll as an individual, the works extended rapidly, and by 1882-when Mr Hurll sold the Glenboig Works and retired-had become the best-known Fireclay works in Britain with a world-wide reputation for the excellence of their products.

In 1888 two sons of Mr John Hurll, Mr Peter Hurll and Mr Mark Hurll, both of whom had a complete knowledge of the organisation and management of the older works, entered into a partnership.  Gartliston Pit was sunk half a mile to the south of Glenboig Station to the Glenboig Fireclay in the lower Millstone Grit, and Gartliston Works were built.  A sound connection was very quickly built up on the merits of the products of the works, as the raw fireclay proved to be of excellent quality and the methods of manufacture and business outlook of the new partnership thoroughly up to date.

The steadily increasing demand for “HURLL” firebricks, as the products of Gartliston Works are known, was met by the sinking of a second pit at Glenboig in 1895, and the building of Garnqueen Works. Further developments followed in 1908 when a seam of Fireclay near Manuel, Linlithgowshire, which had been worked to a very small extent in the middle of the last century, was investigated. This clay proved to be highly aluminous and of very constant composition peculiar to this district.  A mine was driven and firebricks from this clay are now marketed under the brand “KLINIT,” These bricks have set a new standard in high melting point natural aluminous refractories without admixture of other material.

In each district, only the true first- quality seam is worked, and the raw material selected to maintain the quality of the product at a uniformly high standard.  Modern plant is installed and maintained in the works to produce only sound, well-shaped, and hard-burned refractories.

The “HURLL” bricks, blocks, and retorts manufactured at our Gartliston and our Garnqueen Works, Glenboig, are justly favoured in Britain and its Colonies, on the Continent of Europe, and in many countries abroad for their long life when subjected to high or rapidly varying temperatures. It is very noteworthy that these bricks do not “spall” or break in the furnace, hence there is no weakening of the brickwork or damage to the contents of the furnace from falling pieces.  The material manufactured and burned by us has a minimum of expansion or contraction.

Suitable grades produced are used by leading firms for steel and iron furnaces and ladles, stoves, cupolas, pottery kilns, chemical and glass furnaces, locomotives, fire-tube and water-tube boilers.

The “KLINIT” bricks are used where conditions are exceptionally severe, and there is a rapidly increasing demand for bricks made from this clay.  Where pulverised coal or oil fuel is used or where it is of first importance that a furnace should be kept under heat continuously for long periods, these bricks are unrivalled. The remarkably high thermal stability records, measured by Seger Cones, are noteworthy, as they reach the unusually high figure of Cone 34-35

Below – Railway wagon label for ground fireclay from P & M Hurll Ltd, Manuel.

Below –  Tombstone Bedlay Cemetery, Chryston, Glasgow  – In affectionate remembrance of Isabella McGlashan wife of John Hurll of Woodneuk who died on 09/08/1874. Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also and he praise together. John Hurll of Woodneuk, born 12/11/1812 died 27/12/1898, Amy wife of Alexander Hurll, Bearsden died 13/02/1925. Mary Hurll died 18/12/1925. The above Alexander Hurll died 25/05/1929.


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