Leith Brickworks, Edinburgh

Notes researched and compiled by George R Haggarty.

  1. A brickwork constructed by Joseph Sandes, merchant in Leith sometime prior to the 28th. Sept.1709

      2. A brickwork constructed by Gilbert Mathieson Merchant in Edinburgh, and former Baillie of Leith c. 1727; later owned by John Kyle and subsequently by Trinity House. 

TRINITY HOUSE RECORDS 1672 – 1767; Trinity House Sederunt Books (these were held in Trinity House Leith which is now in the hands of (Historic Environment Scotland). Need to check where they are now.

Aug. 1st, 1732 The committee appointed per last sederunt reported to the meeting that they successfully purchased the Brick House and Brickwork for ane (one) hundred eighty-nine pounds eighteen shillings and eleven pence halfpenny sterling.


NRS GD 226/9/3 – Trinity House Records – Feus and Brickworks

NRS GD 226/18/190 – 9th June 1727 ‘Declaration and Obligation Baillie Mathieson to the master of the Trinity House of Leith. ‘Be it known to these presents me, Gilbert Mathieson, wright in Leith and heritable Proprietor of the new Brickhouse in the Kirkgate of Leith adjoining to the Trinity House there, forasmuch as the Masters of the said Trinity House did at my earnest request and upon my promise to grant the declaration underwritten allow me the privilege of the north Gavell of the said Trinity House for carrying up the vents of the said Brickhouse lately built by me.  Page 8

NRS GD 226/18/198 – 1734 – John Kyles, Brickmaker in Leith and Thomas Gibb, Master of Trinity House. ‘Sett to John Kyles, his heirs, etc., all haill the Brickwork presently possessed ‘i.e., Tenanted’ by John Kyles without the materials and utensils as the samen was purchased at the roup thereof by the Masters of the Trinity House from the creditors of the deceased Gilbert Mathieson, wright in Leith’ — – etc.

‘Bound to keep and uphold the Kiln’s work with the chains for the well at his own charge and at the expiration of the lease to flitt and remove himself from the foresaid brickwork, and to leave in the same condition as it was at his entry’. Page 6

Tods, Murray and Jamieson W.S. [ Extracted]                                                                         

Progress of Writs [23] of the enclosed area of ground called ‘the Brickwork’ sometimes posssesed by Gilbert Mathieson, Merchant in Edinburgh, and former Baillie of Leith, later by John Kyle, Brickwork in Leith, eventually belonging to Trinity House, lying in the Kirk Gliss in Leith, on the South side of the Water thereof in the Sheriffdom of Edinburgh.Page 25.

28th. Sept.1709. Upon Petition by Joseph Sandes, merchant in Leith, who has set up a Work for making Brick and tile, he is allowed to dig Clay in any part of the ground belonging to the Trinity Hospital on Condition that he pays damages to the tenants according as the same shall be valued by one be named by the council and one by the petitioner, and payment of a third more. Page 25                                                                                                                                                                                              

Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh.

15th Nov. 1689. Names of inhabitants of the Citadel ‘Vassalls to the Good Town’ who request the council to guard against the removal of the Channell and tilted Clay, causing the fencing [to guard against the sea] to sink. Fine of £40 on any contravenor. Page 27

9th May 1707.  Digging Clay prohibited from the Seashore of Newhaven to the Town of Leith. See 16th. Nov. 1689 13th April 1694 – Land called the easter Clayeholes set in tack to James Fairservice (with the nether Quarrell holes). Page 134

NRS SC39/76/203 – Register of Deeds. [Need a date]

No.10 Disposition and Settlement of Alexander Main in favour of his wife, children, and grandchildren; the 4th page ‘’area of ground in Leith called The Brickwork’:  Page 69

Extracts from the Records of South Leith Parish (2nd Series 1700 -1750) edited David Robertson and David Swann Dec. 1925.  YDA 2410.  Pages 70 and 159 ref. Brickworks/Trinity House/Gilbert Mathieson.


Below – 31/01/1732 – Caledonian Mercury – The lands at Bowling Green and Inclosures, the brickhouse and brickwork opposite to the South Church and other lands and gardens in and about Leith, which belonged to the deceased Gilbert Mathieson for sale …

Below – 05/06/1790 – Caledonian Mercury – For sale – a tenement of land and area of ground thereto belonging, lying near the Trinity House in the Brickwork of Leith as presently possessed by Charles Dunbar, carter and others …

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