Brick manufacture – did not develop early in Scotland, where there were ample supplies of stone. However, tiles were worked from medieval times, especially for the decoration of religious houses. By the late 18th century, brickmaking for house building was on the rise, as was an interest in the hand manufacture of earthenware tiles and pipes…
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, mason in Edinburgh, well known for fine hard brick for shipping or outside work. There are four acres of ground and stables, barn and dove-cote 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.
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
Could these Works be on the site later known as Hawkhill Brick Works?