Hawkhill Brickworks, Restalrig Road, Leith, Edinburgh

Hawkhill Brickworks, Restalrig Road, Leith, Edinburgh

It appears that the references below may all refer to the same brickworks. It appears to have been a working brickworks for well over 100 years and may well have been called other names over the years apart from Hawkhill.

15/05/1775 – Caledonian Mercury – To be let and entered to at Martinmas first. A brick manufacture, that belonged to the late Mr John Innes, bricklayer and now possessed by Deacon Jamieson, (William Jamieson?) mason in Edinburgh, well known for fine hard brick for shipping or outside work. There are four acres of ground and stables, barn and dovecote lying on the road between Restalrig and Leith. For particulars apply to Mrs Innes, Quality Street, Leith or Mr James Greig, writer, Edinburgh.

24/07/1776 – Caledonian Mercury – Brick manufactory to let on tack and entered into at Martinmas 1776 and consisting of 4 acres of ground, a stable for 4 horses, a barn, a dovecote, lying in the road between Restalrig and Leith. This brick kiln is well known for its hard bricks, fit for outside work and is within ten minutes walk of Leith for shipping. It belonged to the late Mr John Innes, mason in Edinburgh and presently occupied by Deacon Jamieson, mason in Edinburgh.

Below – 1852 – There are no brickwork depicted at Hawkhill so if the 2 x 18th-century references above may not have been on the same site although they appear from their description to have been in the area.

30/09/1871 – The Scotsman – Leith. Adjourned valuation court. At an adjourned diet of the valuation appeal court for the burgh of Leith, held yesterday, Provost Watt in the chair, the appeal of Mr Thomas Field against the assessor’s valuation of a quarry and brickfield was heard. The original valuation made by the assessor upon the brickfield was £150 and upon the quarry £80., but after some correspondence with Mr Field on the subject the assessor reduced the valuations to £130 and £70 respectively. The court yesterday, after some discussion, by a majority confirmed the assessor’s valuation.

26/11/1873 – The Scotsman – Hawkhill Brickwork, Lochend, Leith to let for such a term of years as may be agreed upon, within tolls of Edinburgh and Leith. The foreman on the ground will show the property and for particulars apply to Thomas Field, Hawkhill, Leith …

Below – 1877 – Hawkhill Brickworks.

Below – 1877 – Hawkhill Brickworks.

1878 – Thomas Field, brick and tile works and whinstone quarries, Hawkhill, Leith, Edinburgh.

07/01/1882 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Fall of chimney stalk at Leith – A man killed – From an early hour yesterday morning a strong westerly gale prevailed Leith, rendering walking inconvenient and dangerous from the number of slates, tiles, and chimney-cans which were falling. While the gale was at its height a serious accident occurred at the brickwork situated in a field adjoining the road leading from Restalrig, carried on by the trustees of the late Thomas Field. The brickwork, which presents a very tumble-down appearance, even for works of that description, is surrounded by walls, which have from time to time fallen or been blown down. It is situated immediately beyond Leith Links Toll, about three-quarters of a mile from the town. In the centre of the field, the buildings containing the machinery used in the manufacture of the bricks were clustered around the base of the stalk, which was about 100 feet in height, of square build. From top to bottom the chimney-stalk was very much rent, the cracks being plastered up, and the whole bound with iron hoops. Close to the base of the chimney was the boiler-house, and the northern end was small bothy containing a fireplace. In this, previous to the accident, six of the men employed the work were gathered, waiting until day broke to enable them to commence work. The gale was blowing with great fierceness, and at twenty minutes to eight o’clock a fall of loose mortar on the tiles of the house alarmed the men, and they rushed out of the place. Just as the last man, named Peter Smith, was emerging from the doorway the whole stalk came down, burying the building in falling debris and jamming the unfortunate man in the doorway, killing him instantaneously. The other men had a narrow escape. One of them named Cassidy sustained slight injuries about the head and left leg; another one was also bruised a little. Only about 25 feet of the west side of the stalk remains standing. The adjoining buildings and machinery were destroyed. Smith, who was about 60 years of age, resided at 8 Citadel Street and leaves a widow and a grown-up family. He is stated to have been employed at the brickwork for over thirteen years. His body was taken to Leith Hospital

Below – 25/02/1882 – The Scotsman – Auction sales. At Hawkhill Brickwork, Lochend.

Below – 1885  – Hawkhill Brickworks (The works are not detailed in 1852).

Below – 1894 – The brickworks appear to have gone but the quarry remains.

Below – 1913 – The brickworks appear to have gone but the quarry remains.

1938 – The quarry is longer marked on the map.

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