Bridgeness Foundry

Illus: Extract from the 1897 Ordnance Survey map (National Library of Scotland). The Bridgeness Foundry was the building adjacent to the word “April”.

Sites & Monuments Record

Bridgeness FoundrySMR 687NT 013 815


1863/4: Two blast furnaces erected by Henry M Cadell.

1865, July: Iron making began in July 1865, but stopped after only six months.  Only one of the two furnaces was ever in blast.  They cost £5,300 to erect.  The complex included a 4-storey engine house with a large, second-hand, Cornish blast engine.  The furnaces stood at the foot of the escarpment north of Bridgeness Tower which allowed them to be loaded from the hilltop.

Illus: Bridgeness Tower with the four-storey converted furnace building to the right.


1871: A rise in pig iron prices after the Franco-German war prompted modern im­provements to the moth-balled works and one furnace was re-kindled on 22 January, but only saw intermittent use.  In February a lifting wheel on a moving platform broke, throwing a filler to the ground and breaking his arm.

1873, May:   Depression in the iron industry finally saw the permanent closure of the foundry.

1890: Plant demolished and building converted to flats.  An iron trough on this building held 600 tons of water. 

G.B. Bailey, 2021