Kersland Colliery, Lime and Fireclay Works, Dalry, North Ayrshire

Kersland Colliery, Lime and Fireclay Works, Dalry, Ayrshire.



Information from Matthew Yuill, Ayrshire – Kersland Brickworks, at Kersland Colliery. Locally called Oliphants Pit. (These are a different Works from the one at Kersland No 2 Pit.) Mentioned in the Stat Account 1836, this pit had a drainage level which still runs freely into the River Garnock. 1901 Home Office Mine list – Oliphant and Wardlaw, Coal, H & S, Fireclay and Limestone – discontinued. The fireclay was made into firebricks for furnaces, foundry cupolas and lime kilns. The old pit head buildings at Blair 9/10 have been built with Oliphant bricks.

Below – 1856 – Highfield Colliery appears to be just west of where the Kersland Colliery. Both appear to have been owned by the Oliphant family.

11/02/1865 – Kilmarnock Weekly Post – Hugh Macabe, a brusher, was charged with the crime of malicious mischief and theft on the 28th and 29th days of January last, by stealing a quantity of coals and burning them, and destroying a pipe die at a brick kiln, the property of Wm. Malcolm, brick maker, Dalry. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 days’ imprisonment in Kilmarnock prison.

1867 – William Malcolm and Co, Fire Clay Works, Kersland, Dalry.

18/05/1878 – Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald – Messrs J and P Oliphant Kersland Colliery, Dalry beg to return thanks to their numerous customers for past favours and now intimate that they are prepared to sell coal and lime of first-class quality at the following prices:-

Best house coal … 7s per ton.

Best smith coal (Triping) … 5s per ton.

Smith coal for smith use is always on hand and at the lowest rates. The renowned Highfield Lime … 7s 6d per ton.

1889 – The Scotsman – The colliery at Messers Oliphant’s pit at Highfield, who struck work on Wednesday last for 6d per day of advance had their terms conceded, and they resume work this morning.

Below – 1895 – Kersland Colliery.

09/07/1897 – Glasgow Herald – For sale – Kersland Colliery, Lime and Fireclay Works, Dalry, Ayrshire as a going concern. Apply to Olliphant and Wardlaw at the Colliery.

Below – May 1899 – The British Clay Worker – Messrs David Logan and Sons Ltd, Glasgow have just had erected on the site of the old furnaces near Dalry Railway Station, plant of the most improved description for the manufacture of bricks for building purposes. There is a 12-chamber Hoffman kiln and a grinding mill and moulding machine able to produce 12,000 a day. (Note – SBH – I am unsure if this article actually relates to the Dalry Works but I have added it here to ensure it is recorded).

19/07/1901 – Edinburgh Evening News – New Scottish joint-stock company. Ayrshire brickwork at Carsehead and Wester Kersland, Dalry Ayrshire. Capital £4000 in £1 shares.

20/01/1901 – The Scotsman – New Scottish joint-stock company. Ayrshire Brick and Fire Clay Company Limited, Dalry, Ayrshire to acquire the brickwork partly on the lands of Carsehead and partly on the lands of Wester Kersland, Dalry, Ayrshire and to carry on the business. Capital £4000 divided into 4000 shares of £1 each. The company does not issue any invitation to the public to subscribe for its shares. Subscribers – John Faill, 52 Robertson Street, Glasgow, contractor; John Forbes Baird, Denewood, Greenock Road, Paisley, brick manufacturer; Robert Baird, Meadowbank, Greenock Road, Paisley, traveller; John Bilsland Watt, 10 Townhead Terrace, Paisley, cashier; James Adie, 25 Caledonia Street, Paisley, cashier; William Jack, Riggend, Orchard Street, Motherwell, law apprentice; David Hastings Kay, 4 Radnor Terrace, Glasgow, law apprentice.

26/09/1902 – Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald – A new brickwork is being erected at Kersland Old Pit. The old blaize bings have come in profitable and useful but it will be a long time yet ere they are cleared off the face of the country. A bit of one at Todhills has come in handy for the new railway.

1903 – Ayrshire Brick & Fireclay Company Ltd, Carsehead & Kersland Works, Dalry.

Below – 1909 – Kersland Brickworks.

12/01/1911 – The Scotsman – The Ayrshire Brick and Fireclay Company, Dalry have become proprietors of Highfield Pit. New pithead and screening arrangements are being erected and it is expected that the work will be in full swing in the course of another week or so. It is the company’s intention, it is understood, to manufacture lime for building and agricultural purposes and thus supply a want in the district.

23/01/1914 – Kilmarnock Herald – Sequel to a Miner’s chill. Sheriff Mackenzie has issued an important interlocutor in connection with a claim under the Workmen’s Compensation Art, 1908, at the instance of William Brannigan. miner, 22 Furnace Row, Dalry, Ayrshire, against Ayrshire Brick & Fire Clay ltd., Works, Dalry, for payment of £1 per week or such other sum as may be found to be one-half of the average weekly earnings of the claimant while in the employment of the defender. The case was defended, first on the ground that the workman was not in the employment of the defenders but of Peter Fletcher, pit sinker, Warrenhill, Dalry, a sub-contractor, and secondly, that no accident took place.

The Sheriff finds that on 11th April 1913, the pursuer while in the employment of the defenders had to work in the mine and had to remain from 0530 till 11 p.m, standing in water, and received a severe chill. He suffered from pain in his legs, consulted Dr MacKenzie Brown, who found him suffering from pains all over, especially in his left leg. About eight days afterwards he suffered from running at the nose and eyes and three weeks thereafter from a discharge from his ears, which became purulent and resulted in the perforation of the drum of both ears. His Lordship finds that this condition was the result of the chill which he sustained in standing in the water. Finds that the average weekly earnings at the pursuer amounted to 17s 1 1/2d per week; and in law that the defenders are liable in payment to the pursuer of compensation for said accident at the rate of 8s 7d per week for said period from 11th April till 11th September 1913, amounting in all £9 8s 10d …

07/01/1921 – Bellshill Speaker – Scottish housing. Brickworks for Glasgow. The Director of Housing for Glasgow has been instructed to report as to brickworks in the neighbourhood of the city which might be acquired. Messrs Harland and Wolff (Limited), having agreed to carry out certain proposed buildings with other than brick have offered their stock of bricks, amounting to 120,000 to the Corporation of Glasgow at 110s per thousand. The Corporation Housing Committee have accepted the offer. The minutes of the Glasgow Corporation Sub-Committee on Building Materials states that the brickworks at Dalry which the committee offer to purchase are those of Mr Arthur Logan at Kersland and Carsehead. It is proposed to acquire both works for £45,000. Mr Logan was induced to reduce his price from £60,000. A tender by Messrs P. and R. Fleming, amounting to £1328 15s, for the erection of the necessary sheds in connection with the proposed concrete brickmaking, has been recommended for acceptance by Glasgow Corporation.

Below – 11/10/1921 – Evening Telegraph –

1940s – ‘The Survey of Scottish Brickmarks’ states the works were demolished by the 1940s.

12/06/1945 – Edinburgh Gazette – The Ayrshire Brick and Fireclay Company Limited. Members voluntary winding up. At an extraordinary general meeting of the members of
the above company, duly convened and held at 121 West George Street, Glasgow, on Thursday the seventh day of June 1945, at 12 o’clock noon, the following resolution was duly passed as a special resolution, viz:- ” That the Company be wound up voluntarily, and that John Donald Kelly, Chartered Accountant, 34 West George Street, Glasgow, C.2, be and he is hereby appointed  liquidator of the company for the purposes of such winding up.” E. D. Logan, Chairman. Registered Office, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, C.2

Below – 2018 – Kersland Brickworks.


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