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British Industrial History

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Gartsherrie Iron Works

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Gartsherrie Iron Works at Monklands (1828 - 1967)

Local farmers, the Bairds, had made a fortune from coal mining and were investing this fortune in iron works. They had two coal pits at Gartsherrie.

1828 J B Neilson patented the Hot-blast process.

The Bairds built blast furnaces at Gartsherrie using the hot-blast process without a licence. Neilson sued successfully for £160,000, a sum that Baird easily afforded from the huge profits being made.

1830 The first Gartsherrie furnace commenced production on 4th May 1830.

1830 William Baird and Co was formally established[1].

By 1843 the works had 16 furnaces and a capacity of 100,000 tons per annum, making them the largest single pig-iron producing unit in the world.

By 1868 the Bairds owned 4 ironworks, plus many coal and ironstone mines.

Gartsherrie was the largest ironworks in Coatbridge, followed by Summerlee Iron Works.

Between 1878 and 1896 all 16 furnaces at Gartsherrie Iron Works were replaced and by-product recovery plant was installed (the invention of John Alexander and Andrew Kirkwood McCosh the Gartsherrie managers who were two of the new management team which had taken over following the deaths of the original brothers).

1938 William Baird and Co was reconstituted and their Lanarkshire interests merged with the Scottish Iron and Steel Co Ltd of Glasgow, to form Bairds and Scottish Steel Ltd, pig iron and steel manufacturers.

1939 Bairds and Scottish Steel linked their Gartsherrie works with the Northburn Steel Works.

Between 1946 and 1951, the whole of William Baird’s coal, iron and steel interests were nationalised and the company began to diversify into other areas of business, including the textile industry.

1947 Andrew Reid McCosh was manager.

1967 Gartsherrie survived until 1967.

See Lanarkshire Iron Works

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Clydebridge Steel Work History