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British Industrial History

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Devon Iron Works (Clackmannanshire)

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Devon Iron Works, or Devon Ironworks, was situated on the River Devon near Fishcross, NNE of Alloa, and NNW of Clackmannan.

1792 Works started by Messrs Roebuck and Longridge; the furnaces were cut in the solid rock, and had a lining of fire-brick; the works also had the largest air vault ever used at an ironwork for blast, also excavated out of the solid rock[1]

The Devon Iron Company's business also included coal mining and distribution. In 1794 John Roebuck sold his share to Mr Casamayor and others. It seems that in 1800 Charles Addison and Edward Addison sold the business to Thomas Longridge. Lord Cathcart was the landowner.[2]

1825 'At Calder iron-works there are four blast furnaces; in Wilsontown, two; in Carron, five; Clyde, two; Shotts, one; Clelland, two; Muirkirk, three; Devon, two. These furnaces make, on an average, thirty-five tons of iron week each, when working.'[3]

1829 Built the Chinese Bridge, Taymouth Castle

1832 'The subscriber has ceased, since the 23d March last., to be a Partner of Devon Iron Company, and to have any concern or interest in the Devon Iron Works, near Alloa. George Henry Longridge'[4]

1839 In the early days following the discovery of ironstone in Cleveland, Mr. D. Nesham , of Nesham and Co., of the Portrack Lane Iron-works, at Stockton-on-Tees, was made aware by Mr H. Vansittart (of Kirkleatham Hall) to some ironstone near Coatham, and after examination, he shipped a small cargo to the Devon iron-works for trial. In reponse he received a letter advising him that it was not worth trying, there being no iron in it. He replied thereto, leaving himself in the manager's hands (Leslie Meldrum). ' And so, on Mr. Nesham having occasion to be in that district about 1850, he, on enquiry, found his cargo deposited in the ballast heap; of course, it had never been tried.' [5]

1848 '...deceased Leslie Meldrum, sometime Manager of the Devon Iron Works, near Alloa...Devon Iron Co...'[6]

1853 '...Alexander Christie, Ironmaster at Devon Iron Works, near Alloa...'[7]

c.1857 The works closed[8]

A waggonway ran from the Devon Ironworks to Clackmannan Harbour, and another waggonway ran from the Devon Colliery to Alloa Harbour. Each of these two networks had extensive branches leading to pits at Coalsnaughton, Gartmorn, Gubber Hill, Whinhill and Grassmainston and had numerous connections to the main line railway system.[9]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1872/08/09
  2. [1] The Scottish Jurist, Volume 1, 1829.
  3. Morning Advertiser - Saturday 22 October 1825
  4. The London Gazette Publication date:5 June 1832 Issue:18942 Page:1299
  5. [2] Cleveland Ironstone. Outline Of The Main Or Thick Stratified Bed, Its Discovery, Application, And Results, In Connection With The Iron-Works In The North Of England. By Mr. John Marley.Volume 5 (V), 1856-1857, published 1857
  6. The Edinburgh Gazette Publication date:26 December 1848 Issue:5815 Page:669
  7. The Edinburgh Gazette Publication date:25 November 1853 Issue:6337 Page:951
  8. The Engineer 1872/08/09
  9. [3] Inner Forth Landscape - Projects - Recording & Celebrating - A Tale of Two Estates