Torry Brick Works, Torry, Aberdeen

Torry Brick Works, Aberdeen aka Tory Farm Brickworks.

With special thanks to Ed Fowler, Doric Columns for permissions to refer to his notations.

Torry Brickworks – Demolition of the Torry Brickworks chimney was in the early 20th century, Torry Brick and Tile Works There were a number of Brick and Tile Works in Torry in the 19th century, all working at different times.  The earliest one was established sometime in the first half of the 19th century.  These works were first mentioned when the lands of Torry Farm were being rouped in 1859. The clay was described as of ‘fine quality, and well situated for manufacturing purposes.  The quality is ascertained by actual borings. There is a Brick and Tile Works already established.’ It is not known whether or not a second company was definitely formed after 1859: however, one was in existence as late as the early 1880s. In 1882 the City of Aberdeen Land Association planned to feu off part of their lands to establish a brickworks and Mr John Hector, manager of the previous firm, was tipped to become manager of the new one. It was in 1883 that Seaton Brick and Tile Company moved from Seaton to Torry, to part of the area now covered by Crombie Road.  The company utilised the seam of clay which runs down the east coast of Scotland. There were two Brick and Tile works at Seaton and one at Strabathie at Black Dog, north of Aberdeen, which all used clay from this seam.  According to Leadingham, commenting in 1902,‘The brickworks…were an extensive business and employed a large number of men.  But the supply of clay becoming scarce, the works were removed to the Black Dog, a few miles past the Bridge of Don works.

Below – 17/03/1847 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – Torry Farm Brickwork Co – Starting the business. Mr John Craig, Manager at the Works and Mr Batten, 11 Market Street, Aberdeen.

10/05/1848 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – Bricks drain tiles etc – Torry Farm Brickwork Co have on hand a large quantity of superior bricks and drain tiles of all sizes which they are disposing of at moderate prices. Orders left either at the Works or with Mr Batten, 11 Market Street will be attended to. Aberdeen 10/05/1848.

Below – 02/08/1848 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – Torry Farm Brickwork Co – Mr Batten, 11 Market Street, Aberdeen.

11/08/1855 – Aberdeen Herald and General Advertiser – Show of the Royal Northern Agricultural Society  – implements and machines – Draining pipes and sewerage pipes – John McCondach, Torry Farm Brickwork – commended.

1863 – ScotlandsPlaces – Extensive brickworks near the Village of Torry, worked by a company, and the property of George Milne & Co. [Company] Aberdeen

02/07/1864 – Aberdeen Press and Journal  –  Conflict of interest. Mr W. Leslie.

Below – 1865  – Torry Brickworks, Aberdeen. (The 1899 OS Map shows the brickworks have been taken over by Seaton).

Below – 08/11/1866 – Stonehaven Journal –  Theft from the Tory Farm Brickwork Company. Coal was taken from the vessel ‘Hirnant’ which was lying at the pier at the village of Torry.

1867 – Torry Farm Brick and Tile Company, Blaikies Quay – James Mitchell Manager.

1867 – 1868 – Tory Brickwork Co, Provost Blaikies Quay.

Below – 24/06/1868 – Aberdeen Journal.

22/09/1868 – Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser – To builders and contractors – The Torry Farm Brickwork Company beg respectively to call the attention of builders, contractors and others using bricks, tiles, drainage pipes etc to the following report of Mr Rattray, a chemist on the clay wrought at their works. Aberdeen 02/09/1868.

The Torry Brick Co – Gentlemen – The specimen of clay you sent me, with an order to determine the quantity of common salt in it, I have submitted to very careful examination, but have found it not to contain even a trace of common salt.

Clay free from salt is known to be the best for brick making purposes and the bricks made at Torry Farm have been proved to bear the best hydraulic pressure of any made in this quarter. These facts justify the opinion long entertained of the superior quality of this company’s goods and cannot fail to secure a still greater demand for them in the future. It may be mentioned that the contractors for the Government Works at Ballater have preferred the Torry Farm bricks to any other in the market. While directing attention to the above, the Company would take this opportunity to return their best thanks to their many customers in town and country for past favours and to solicit a continuance of their orders which will always have careful and prompt attention. Prices etc may be had from Mr Rixon, Manager at the works or from Mr Hector at the office, Provost Blaikies Quay. Torry Farm Brickwork by Aberdeen 18/09/1868.

07/07/1883 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – Aberdeen town council. The monthly meeting of this department was held on Monday afternoon, Lord Provost Esslemont presiding. New brickfield at Torry. The Finance Committee reported that they have at several recent meetings had under consideration the letter from Messrs C. A P. H. Chalmers, advocates, making offer on behalf of a client to feu the ground, and offering to take a lease thereof for the purpose being worked as brickfield for the period of 25 years, from Whitsunday, 1834, at a rent of £4o per acre, with a break at the end of the 19th year. After deliberation, the committee resolved to recommend to the Council that the piece of ground in question, which measures 4 acres and 20 poles or thereby, and is marked No. 4 on the feuing plan, should be set up to public roup by way of lease for the period of 25 years from Martinmas, 1883, with a break at the end of the 19th year, at the rent of £10 per acre per annum, and on articles and conditions of roup to be afterwards adjusted by the committee. —Agreed

15/07/1895 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – General Election – Nominations – Kincardineshire – Alexander Christie Jun, of Beachview, Torry Brick and Tile Manufacturer.

03/01/1902 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – For sale at Torry Brickwork. 1 cart mare, 1 cob (fast), 1 pony, 6 box carts, 3 large spring box carts, 2 small box carts, 5 sets of cart harness, 5 sets of pony cart harness, 1 hay cutter, 1 corn bruiser etc. All in good order.

Below – The elaborate, hexagonal Torry Brickworks stack  – click me

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 There were a number of Brick and Tile Works in Torry in the 19th century, all working at different times. The earliest one was established sometime in the first half of the 19th century. These works were first mentioned when the lands of Torry Farm were being rouped in 1859. The clay was described as of ‘fine quality, and well situated for manufacturing purposes. The quality is ascertained by actual borings… There is a Brick and Tile Works already established.’ It is not known whether or not a second company was definitely formed after 1859: however, one was in existence as late as the early 1880s. In 1882 the City of Aberdeen Land Association planned to feu off part of their lands to establish a Brick Works and Mr John Hector, manager of the previous firm, was tipped to become manager of the new one. It was in 1883 that Seaton Brick and Tile Company moved from Seaton to Torry, to part of the area now covered by Crombie Road. The company utilised the seam of clay which runs down the east coast of Scotland. There were 2 Brick and Tile works at Seaton and one at Strabathie at Black Dog, north of Aberdeen, which all used clay from this seam.  According to Leadingham, commenting in 1902, The brickworks were an extensive business and employed a large number of men.  The supply of clay becoming scarce, the works were removed to the Black Dog, a few miles passed the Bridge of Don.  Demolition of the Torry Brickworks chimney was in the early 20th century,

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