Roslin Brickworks, Roslin, Midlothian


Archaeological Notes. Roslin Colliery (also known as `The Moat’)
Location: Roslin
Previous Owners: Shotts Iron Company Limited
Types of Coal: Steam and House
Sinking/Production Commenced: 1901-3
Year Closed: 1969 (Note – SBH – I think this may be the date the colliery closed. The brickworks survived until 1977 / 1978)
Year Abandoned: 1969
Average Workforce: 754
Peak Workforce: 770
Peak Year: 1952
Shaft/Mine Details: 2 shafts located at NT 2631 6354 and NT 2632 6357. No. 1 downcast, 282m deep, 6.1m by 1.83m, timber-lined rectangular shaft, with 600hp `Ingles¿ steam winder. No. 2 upcast, 294m deep, 3.35m diameter. Deepened in 1922. Pumping at bottom of No. 2 shaft.
Details in 1948: Output 777 tons per day, 194,250 tons per annum. 765 employees. Coal washed at Ramsay Colliery (NT26NE 93). Baths (1930), first-aid room, canteen (snack). Some electricity generated at the colliery, remainder bought from SE Scotland Electricity Board. Report dated 15-07-1948.
Other Details: Screening extended in the 1920s, and baths installed in 1930  said to be the first in the Lothians. Associated brickworks, established in 1937, operated until the 1970s. Spontaneous combustion underground caused problems, particularly in 1953.  M K Oglethorpe 2006.

Roslin Colliery & Brick Works, Midlothian Shotts Iron Company Ltd started Roslin Brick Works in the 1930s and operated the business until 1947 when the National Coal Board took over. The Scottish Brick Corporation became the owners in 1969 and ran the business until its closure on 31 December 1977.

Below – 10/03/1937 – Glasgow Herald. New brickworks at Roslin. Shotts Iron Company.

Roslin Brickworks Glasgow Herald 10-03-1937

31/07/1937 – Edinburgh Evening News – Manager wanted for a new brickworks at Roslin for early September. Apply with full particulars to age, experience, and salary required. Box 774, Roberston and Scott, Edinburgh.

18/12/1937 – The Scotsman – Shotts Iron Company Limited … from the furnaces there is of course, also a large production of slag, much of which is now made into slag bricks and the balance is treated for road purposes. In addition to these slag bricks, the company has in operation at Shotts a composition brick making plant which has been producing 12 million bricks per annum. These bricks have a ready outlet in the existing building demand. A new brickwork has been erected at Roslin Colliery and is now in operation. These new bricks are of first-rate quality and are commanding a ready market. It is the company’s intention to double the productive capacity before next June …

Below – 1938 –  Roslin brickworks.

Roslin brickworks c. 1944

05/08/1939 – Edinburgh Evening News – Brickworks engineer wanted, knowledge of Bradley and Craven machines preferred. Apply Manager, Roslin Brickworks.

1943 – A short history of the Shotts Iron Company Limited by Augustus Muir … During the early part of the war, the brickworks both at Roslin and Northfield were kept busy. The
demand was mainly for the building of new factories, defences, air-raid shelters and other emergency work, but in the middle of 1942 orders were falling off. By the end of that year, when brickworks were closing down all over the country, it was realised that the Company’s entire brickmaking plant would soon be out of action. On 2nd July 1943, the Roslin works were closed, with over 1,500,000 bricks lying unsold, and the Northfield works were shut down in September of that year. Both remained under care and maintenance for the duration of the War … (P56).

1947 – 1969 – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests that the National Coal Board operated the works during this period.

Below – 1958 – Roslin Colliery and Brickworks.


Below – 1944 – 1967 – Roslin Colliery and Brickworks.

1969 – 1970s – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests that the Scottish Brick Corporation operated the works during this period.

31/12/1977 – Works close?


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