Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie, Govan, Glasgow.


The works were owned by the Ironmaster William Dixon of Govan. It is believed the brickworks were operational pre-1854 and were managed by Allan and Mann, St Enoch’s Square, Glasgow.

(Note – SBH – Were the Mallsmire Fire Brick Works and the Red Clay Works on the same site or neighbouring?)

c.1854 – Brickworks established?

Below – 1858 – Mallsmire Fire Brick Works.

Below – 1858 – Mallsmire Fire Brick Work.

1858 – Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 1858 – Govan, clay of coal measures. Name of freeholder – Wm. S. Dixon. Manufacturer – Allan and Mann. Manufacture – Bricks, tiles, chimney cans &c. Estimated 30,000 tons annually.

1858 – 1861 – ScotlandsPlaces – Mallsmire Fire Brick Work. Mr Allan occupier. A large fire brick work a short distance south of Polmadie.

24/11/1869 – Glasgow Herald – Court of Session – Allan and Mann V Dixon’s Trustees – The pursuers in this action are tenants under the defenders of the Mallsmyre Fire-Brick Works, near Glasgow, and the questions raised are of considerable importance with reference to the interpretation of leases. By the lease between the parties, the defenders bound themselves “from time to time, as required by the tenants, to deliver to them at the Mallsmyre Works” fireclay, coals, and dross; and, on the other hand, the tenants were bound to deliver to the landlords “at Mallsmyre” such ground fireclay and firebricks as they might require for their works. It was further stipulated that the tenants should “have the use gratis of the private railways and other roads between the several Govan works and Mallsmyre” belonging to the landlords, and that the landlords should “give the haulage on such private railways gratis, but not on private roads,” These private railways extend to the various points within the work where the fireclay, coals, & were required for use, so that the waggons could be taken to be emptied at the various places in the works where their contents were required; and in order to this being done from time to time, as required by the progress of the work, a man and horse were kept constantly in attendance by the landlords to do the necessary haulage down till June 1868, when they were withdrawn, on the ground that the obligations in the lease to deliver fireclay, &c., at Mallsmyre were implemented by bringing the waggons merely inside the boundary of the works, and that, consequently, they were not bound to do any haulage a within the works, and that any practice which had, existed to the contrary had resulted from one of the tenants being also the manager at Govan Colliery, belonging to the landlords, and having in that capacity, without their knowledge and consent, afforded to the firm of which he was a partner this advantage, to which they had no right under the provisions of the lease. This being denied by the tenants, the present action was raised to have the terms of the lease judicially declared, and for damages for its breach. Proof having been led, the Lord Ordinary (Barcaple), before whom it was taken, has pronounced the following interlocutor – Edinburgh, 19th November 1869. -The Lord Ordinary having heard counsel for the parties, and considered the closed record and proof – Finds that the pursuers are in right as tenants to the lease founded on, and repels the first plea in law stated for the defenders: Finds that until June 1868, the practice under said lease in regard to the matters which are the subject of declarator in this action has all along been In conformity with the construction of the lease contended for by the pursuers: Finds that there is no ground for holding that said ‘practice was surreptitious, or in any way concealed from the lessor or lessors, or those acting for them: Finds that according to the sound construction of the third, sixth, and eighth articles of the said lease the  defenders, as now in right of the landlord’s part of said lease, are liable in the several obligations sought to be declared in the declaratory conclusions of the libel: Finds that since June 1868, the defenders have failed to fulfil said obligations, and that the pursuers have thereby been put to an expense of 8s per day for six days every week, being at the rate of £124 16s per annum: -Finds, decerns and declares, and decerns and ordains, in terms of the whole conclusions of the libel, except the last conclusion; and under said last conclusion, decerns and ordains the defenders to make payment to the pursuers at the rate of £124 16s sterling per , annum, from and after the 30th day of June, 1868, during the remainder of the currency of the foresaid lease, or at least until the defenders discharge the foresaid obligations set forth in the declaratory conclusions of the summons incumbent on them under the same: Finds the defenders liable in expenses, allows an account thereof to be given in, and when lodged remits the same to the auditor to tax and report. (Signed) E. F. Maitland. Note,- the practice is clearly proved to have been as contended for by the pursuers. It was only brought, to an end in consequence of the witness Logan, when, he became manager of the defenders’ works at Govan, taking a different view of the construction of the lease.- The Lord Ordinary saw no reason whatever to think that there was any concealment or want of fair and open dealing in regard to this practice. It is true that Archibald Russell Allan, one of the pursuers, was the manager at Govan Works, as well as a tenant of Mallsmyre Brickworks, as his father had formerly been. But this very circumstance may have been a reason for giving the tenants the accommodations in question, a return for them being got in the rent, The mode in which the horse-work in n question was treated in the books of the Govan Colliery, as work of the colliery, was perfectly correct if the construction of the lease contended for by the pursuers is right. Altogether apart from the evidence as to practice, the Lord Ordinary has no hesitation in holding that to be the sound construction of the lease, he thinks that any other construction would make the clauses in question unintelligible. This would especially be the case with the provision in the third article, that “the clay is to be lifted from the stock of dug clay at Mallsmyre, and put into the waggons thereby and at the expense of the tenants,” if the entire transit from the stock of dug clay to the mills is to be effected by and at the expense of the tenants. The subjects let are “the Fire Brick Works.” It appears from both the plan produced and the evidence that they have no distinct – boundaries, which favours the view that delivery was intended to be given at the buildings where the various materials are to be used.

Below – 04/12/1869 – Glasgow Herald – Allan and Mann V Dixon’s Trustees.

16/09/1875 – James Aitken, brickmaker, Polmadie, near Glasgow.

1877 – 1878 – James Aitken, brickmaker and builder, Mallsmire Red Brickworks, Hangingshaw

14/11/1877 – Lloyd’s List – Scotch Sequestrations – James Aitken, Builder and brickmaker, Mallsmire Brickworks, Polmadie, Glasgow.

Below – 08/12/1877 – Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette – James Aitken bankruptcy examination.

09/03/1878 – North British Daily Mail – At Mallsmire Brickworks, Polmadie on Tuesday 12th March at twelve o’clock. Extensive sale of brickfield machinery, plant, brick, tiles &c, consisting of a horizontal steam engine 14″ cylinder 32″ stroke; boiler, galvanised tank, brick making machine, waggon road, hoist gearing and waggons, heck boards, planks, dry and wet boggies, barrows, 3 close bodied carts, wheels and axles, smiths tools, 2 kilns, bricks, tiles &c by auction. P. Burn Son & Co beg to intimate that they are instructed to sell the above belonging to the sequestrated estate of James Aitken, brickmaker, Mallsmire Brickworks, Polmadie Road … 26/02/1878.

1880 – 1887 – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests the works were operated by Allan and Mann during this period. (Note – SBH – Allan and Mann appear to have been involved with these works well before 1880).

22/08/1883 – Glasgow Herald – Factory Act case. Before Sheriff Cowan at the Sheriff Court yesterday afternoon, Alexander Thomson, brickmaker, Polmadie pleaded guilty to contravening the Factory and Workshops Act by having employed in his brickfield two boys under the age of 16 that had not been passed by the doctor as fit to work as also a girl under the age of 16. Mr Robert Guy, writer, Glasgow who appeared for the accused stated that the employment of the boys had been the result of an overlook while the girl was so big for her age that she was thought by the foreman to be over 16 years old. Mr J S Maitland, Inspector of Factories for the West of Scotland at whose instance the prosecution took place, said that he did not wish to press for a heavy penalty as these cases were only meant as a warning to others. The government wished to put down the employment of young girls in brickfields as it was not only injurious to them physically but morally as well. The accused was fined 30s with 26s of expenses or 14 days imprisonment.

Below – 1888 – Mallsmire Fire Brick Works plus numerous neighbouring brickfields?

1890 – 1891 – McIlwraith & Fullarton, fireclay manufacturers, Mallsmire Brickworks, Polmadie, Glasgow.

James Mcllwraith (of Mcllwraith & Fullarton), ho. Turnberry, Cardonald, Govan.

Mcllwraith & Fullarton, enamellers, Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie.

1891 – 1893 – Invoices – McIlwraith & Fullarton, Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie. The earliest 1891 invoice is headed McIlwraith & Fullarton. Another later in the year 1891 and all those I have from 1892 and 1893 are also printed McIlwraith & Fullarton but this has been scored out and J McIlwraith Jun & Co, written in with a pen.

09/02/1892 – Glasgow Evening Post – Accident to a Steeplejack at Polmadie. William Hughes … was engaged in repairing a stalk in the Malsmire brickworks, Polmadie when he overbalanced and fell through the tile roof of a shed … little hopes are entertained of his recovery.

Below – 1893 – Mallsmire Fire Brick Works.

1893 – 1894 – Jas McIlwraith & Co, Mallsmire Brickworks Polmadie, Glasgow.

1893 – 1894 – J McIlwraith Jun & Co, Mallsmire Fire Clay Works, Polmadie.

03/07/189404/12/1896 – Invoices from William Thomson, brickmaker, Office – Malsmire, Polmadie. Works Crossbank Red Brick Works and Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie to Messrs William Dixon Ltd. Products are numerous fire bricks, scones, squares, pups, feathers and paving tiles.

1895 – 1896  – William Thomson, brickmaker, Crossbank Brick and Tile Works, 685 Aikenhead Road and Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie; house, 33 Queen Sq., Strathbungo.

1896 – 1897 – Wm Thomson, Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie.

1900 – 1901 – William Thomson, brickmaker, Crossbank Brick and Tile Works, 686 Aikenhead Road and Mallsmire Fire Brick Works, Polmadie; house, 33 Queen Sq., Strathbungo.

1903 – William Thomson, fire brick maker, Aitkenhead Road, Mallsmire.

27/04/1906 – Invoice – Alexander Thomson & Sons, brickmakers and builders. Works Crossbank and Polmadie. Office 100 Abbotsford Place, Glasgow.  Marked as paid on 29/06/1906 and signed off by J W Thomson.

1907 – Alexander Thomson & Son, brickmaker, Mallsmire, Aitkenhead Road, Polmadie and 100 Abbotsford Place.

1908 – 1909 – Alex. Thomson & Sons, brickmaker, 100 Abbotsford Place, Glasgow.

26/08/1916 – Hamilton Advertiser – Shirlaw Allan & Co, Auctioneers and Valuators, Hamilton will sell by auction on an early day – At Crossbank and Mallsmire Brickworks, Polmadie, Glasgow. Plant, machinery and buildings.

Similar articles