Carmuirs Iron Works

Carmuirs Iron Co. Ltd.

Illus: 1947 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

Sites & Monuments Record

Glasgow Road, Camelon                  SMR 691NS 862 807


1898: Founded by John Wilkie, iron merchant living at Oakdene in Camelon (secretary), and Robert Barr, foreman patternmaker at the Forth & Clyde Ironworks living at Cemetery Road, Camelon (manager).  Wilkie had a shed with his brother at Lock 16 where they made scows.  The new site lay to the north of Glasgow Road in Camelon.  Alexander Clark, farmer at Stonehouse in Bothkennar was the chairman.  Capital set at £15,000 divided into £10 shares.  John Hay, ship owner, and George Wilson, traveller, took up shares and became directors.

1899, July:

The first cast at Carmuirs Foundry took place on Saturday forenoon, in the presence of the shareholders… Shortly after ten o’clock the company assembled in the moulding shop, where Mr Clark tapped the furnace for the first time, after which a three-ton cast of moulding boxes and moulders’ plant was successfully made.  The works, which are built on a site of five acres, are admirably adapted for the manufacture of all kinds of light castings, and are so arranged that they can be easily extended when necessary.  The buildings compromise moulding, fitting, grinding, smiths, and pattern shops, Berlin black warehouse, pattern store, and extensive warehouses.  The architect was Mr Copland, Falkirk, and the contractors were – brick builder/ Messrs JJ & P McLaughlan of Stenhousemuir, slater and plasterer/ Mr Miller of Grahamston, and plumber/ Mr J Smith of Camelon.  The boiler was supplied by William Arnott of Coatbridge: the engines by Messrs Murray and Paterson of Coatbridge: the blower (a No. 5 Root’s) by Thwaites Brothers of Bradford: and the cupola (which is capable of melting 10 tons of iron per hour) by Mr Graham of Grangemouth.  The engineering work was executed by Messrs William Sharp and Son of Camelon and Messrs Blackadder Brothers of Falkirk.  The works, which are to be lit throughout with electricity by Messrs Thomas Lawrie and Co of Falkirk, are conveniently adapted for loading and disloading.  They are supplied with two railway sidings, one of which runs through the works and will be used mainly for supplying the raw material, whilst the other siding, which runs parallel with the Scottish Central Railway, will be used for loading purposes.  It is the intention of the Carmuirs Iron Company to place in the market a selection of ranges, registers, mantels, and other specialities, on the production of patterns for which a large staff of patternmakers have been engaged for the last six months.”

1900-1911: Additions in this period included a warehouse, fitting, grinding and polishing shops, a Berlin Black shop, and moulding shops.  In 1907, R B Cox, one of the directors, died.

1914-19: Made castings for John Wallace of Glasgow during the First World War.  After the war the company was floated and joined John Wallace’s.

1920-22: The plan was to make tractors, but Wallace’s failed and the firm went into voluntary liquidation in order to allow for reconstruction.  Certain people in Carmuirs had to buy the foundry from the liquidators, although production never ceased.

1935: G C Wilson managing director.

1947c: GC Wilson, Director.

1968: Closed.


1901: 100

1911: 150

1913: 150.

1968: 60-70

G.B. Bailey, 2021