Greenhill Fireclay Works and Greenhill Fireclay Company, Denny, Bonnybridge

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Thomas Greenhill Fireclay works, Clayknowes, Bonnybridge – Alexander and John Scott owned the farm and brickworks at Clayknowes and Cadgersgate according to the valuation roll of 1865, Slater’s Directory of 1867, refers to the Greenhill Fireclay works being worked by Scott & Walker.  The  brickworks is not shown on the maps of 1854, so it probably started about 1860.   The Greenhill Fireclay Company had passed into the hands of the partners, William Brown and Thomas Brownlee of Glasgow and George Caddell Bruce of Edinburgh by 1875.  Brownlee and Bruce still owned it in 1880, but by 1895 when it was owned by James and William Wood, the brickworks was in ruins.  The site was used by several explosive manufacturers before and during the First World War and suffered several accidental explosions. No more bricks were made on this site, although a Greenhill Fireclay Company was incorporated in October 1920, with James Ferguson, Managing Director of Lane & Girvan, the Bonnybridge iron founders, one of the principal shareholders.  This company was liquidated in 1922, when Ferguson took an interest in the re-structured Glenyards Fireclay Company at Greenhill Railway junction, as a Director of James Anderson & Co. Ltd. Source – Kenneth Sanderson.

This site refers to the Greenhill Fireclay company closing in 1922 but reopening the same year and closing again in 1952 – source


1860 – Brickworks started?

01/12/1864 – Falkirk Herald – To Brickmakers – Wanted, a good hand at brick making; likewise a can maker. Liberal wages will be given – apply at Greenhill Brickworks by Denny

15/11/1866 – Falkirk Herald – Strayed from the Greenhill Fire Clay Works, Denny – a brown retriever dog answering to the name ‘Sailo’. The finder will be rewarded on returning it to the Works, and if found in possession of anyone after this intimation they will be prosecuted.

Below – 1867 – Advert Greenhill Fire Brick Works Denny Scott and Walker


02/05/1868 – Edinburgh Evening Courant – Scotch Bankrupts – David Henderson Roberts, brick and tile maker, Greenhill Fire Clay Works, County of Stirling. April 30th – creditors meet in the Royal Hotel, Falkirk 11th May at one o’clock.

Below – 15/05/1868 – Edinburgh Evening Courant – Greenhill Fire Clay Works for sale. David H Roberts.

19/01/1869 – Perthshire Courier – Creditors of David Henderson Roberts, brick and tile maker, Greenhill Fire Clay Works in the parish of Falkirk and county of Stirling meet in the office of McFarlane and Hutton, 165 West George Street, Glasgow 9th February at 12 o’clock.

1869 – Thomas Brownlie plus two others (William Broom or Brown?) formed the Greenhill Fireclay Company by acquiring a property known as Clay Knowes near Greenhill Junction.

Kenneth Sanderson states – William Brown and Thomas Brownlee of Glasgow  and George Caddell Bruce of Edinburgh formed the Greenhill Fireclay Company but it could have been William Broom not Brown as evidenced in this advert below or is the advert wrong and should it read Brown, Brownlie and Bruce?

Below – 1878 – reference  to Clayknows in Slaters Advertiser for Denny Stirlingshire but also note the reference to Glasgow.


01/09/1870 – Falkirk Herald – Contractors wanted for carting fireclay goods from Greenhill Fireclay Works on the lands of Clayknowes to Greenhill Railway Station. Also coals from said Station to Works. Contractors to state price per ton for coals and per 1000 bricks. Full particulars will be given on application to James Affleck, Clayknowes by Denny.

15/05/1879 – Falkirk Herald  – Sale of 193,500 fire bricks at Greenhill, 23rd May. Thomas Binnie begs to intimate that he is instructed by Greenhill Fire Clay Company to sell by public auction at Greenhill Junction ( Caledonian and North British Railways) 180,000 fire bricks  9″ X 4 1/2″ X 2 1/4″, 6,000 fire bricks 12″ x 6″ x 3″, 4,500 fire bricks 16″ x 5″ x 2 1/2″. Conveniently situated for putting on a rail. Also adjoining the Forth and Clyde Canal near Greenhill. 3,000 fire bricks 9″ X 4 1/2″ X 2 1/4″ – these bricks are of superior quality of fire clay and will be sold in lots.

Below – 01/04/1880 – Falkirk Herald – Sale of farm land at Clayknowes as owned by the Greenhill Fireclay Company.

11/04/1881 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – City of Glasgow Bank shareholders – A meeting of the creditors of Thomas Brownlie, coal and quarrymaster in Glasgow, a partner of the Heatherknowe Coal Company, The Blochairn Quarry Company, the Greenhill Fire Clay Company and the City of Glasgow Bank was held at the Faculty Hall, Glasgow on Friday afternoon. It was stated that the bankruptcy had been caused by the depression of trade produced by the failure of the City of Glasgow bank and by the difficulty in realising trade assets………

Below – 27/04/1881 – Glasgow Evening Post – Bankruptcy  – Thomas Brownlie plus two others (William Broom or Brown?) formed the Greenhill Fireclay Company by acquiring a property known as Clay Knowes near Greenhill Junction in 1869.

Below – 1896 – Clayknowes Brick Works, Bonnybridge (disused).

1922 – This site refers to the Greenhill Fireclay Co

Below- a selection of Greenhill stamped brick. They quality and variation in the stamp is most intersting.

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