Tod’s Mill, Fire Brick Manufactory, Birkhill, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Tods Mill, Avonbank, Polmont.

Established: Prior to 1854 – Ceased: Unknown.

Company History: The waterfall was originally used for milling flints, but appears to have powered brickmaking machinery at a later date. In 1875 there was also a kiln at the site, which would suggest that they fired the bricks that were later sold at Bo’ness Pottery.

Transport facilities: – The clay was probably transported from Birkhill to Tod’s Mill by horse and cart, and the finished product was presumably removed from the site in the same manner. The River Avon is too shallow to have been of any value for transportation.

Markets: – In 1875 the mill transported bricks to Bo’ness Pottery for subsequent sale and distribution.

Raw materials:- The raw materials probably came from the older workings at Birkhill, about half a mile away. (See Birkhill Clay Mine). Source of the above information – Falkirk Archives.

Canmore – Scottish Industrial Archaeology Survey – MS 500/56/20 – Tod’s Mill. 2 sheets – map extracts 1 sheet – annotated map extract showing various parts of the mill site, with dates 1 sheet – copy showing detail of Estate map, 1810: from a plan of the Parks at Kinneil House, surveyed by R. Bauchop 1 sheet – summary of the history of the mill, dates of conversion to Flint mill, conversion to firebrick manufactury etc., with dates, by T Astbury, 1982. 2 sheets – notes on firebrick works and housing, SIAS 4 sheets – site sketches: plan, elevations of the mill; water wheel details; south elevation of the dwelling; detail of door of dwelling; 29.4.1982 1 sheet – copy of an advertisement from Slater’s directory, 1867 7 black and white photographs: B 26556 PO etc.

Birkhill Fire Clay Mine, Avonbank, Polmont.

Below – 1854 – Birkhill (Birchhill) and Tod’s Mill.

1854 Birkhill and Tods Mill


Below – 1854 – Tod’s Mill Fire Brick Manufactory.

Below – 1855 – 1859 – In the South Side of the ph. [parish] of Borrowstounness on the north side of the River Avon. Mr George Kirkwood North Hainnings  Mr Robertson Occupier Borrowstounness. A building used for the purpose of making bricks situated close to the River Avon; the machinery is worked by a wheel propelled by water. it is presently leased and worked by Mr Robertson of Borrowstouness and is the property of his Grace the Duke of Hamilton.

1857 – Robert Robertson, Tod’s Mill Brickwork, Falkirk.

1861 – Census – William Gilmour, Lodger, aged 39, brick maker.

Below – 1867 – John Marshall & Co, Tod’s Mill, manufacturers of fire bricks, fire clay, ground and unground.

Below – 04/01/1877 – Falkirk Herald – Tod’s Mill Lime Works for sale. (Note: could the lime works have taken over when the brickworks stopped?)

c. 1898 – Works closed.

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