Granton Harbour Part One

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As I’d started this days brick spotting at the early time of around 7.00am, I’d completed a search of Port Edgar as well as the stretch of coastline reaching along as far as Hopetoun House gates, and it was still only 9.30am. Still plenty of time to try some other locations on my to-do list.

That next item was Granton Harbour, just a few miles along the coast into Edinburgh. Having spend some time on Google Maps looking at the area, together with my experience of similar locations, such as Inverkeithing and Bo’ness, I was fairly certain that it would be a good spot for bricks. I was not to be disappointed.

Before reaching the harbour itself, I noticed a large spoil heap on the east side of the area, not far from the large blocks of flats you see in the image above. It was easy enough to access with only a small fence to climb. On inspection the spoil heap seem to be entirely demolition rubble, mostly brick with large blocks of concrete. When I started looking along a track that leads through the middle of the heap finds started coming thick and fast. I won’t describe them all here but they included the following:

NCB NIDDRIE, NIDDRIE, SBC, GLENBOIG, DOUGAL WINCHBURGH, COLTNESS, MUIR ARMADALE, DYKEHEAD BONNYBRIDGE, ETNA, DYKEHEAD, FORTH, WHITEHILL, THISTLE, PRESTON GRANGE, WILLIAM HUNTER & CO PATENT PORTOBELLO, EDINBURGH, BOGHEAD, WINCHBURGH, A LIVINGSTONE & SON PATENT PORTOBELLO, DEWAR, ATLAS and P.G.

And do bear in mind that this was only from what I could easily reach on the lower levels of the spoil heaps. I did not spend much time at all searching the upper slopes or tops. I’ll leave that for a return visit when the vegetation has died back.

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However, that was just some of the finds, the “common” ones and I want to mention some of the more interesting or unusual finds of the day.

First was this nice example of a CLEGHORN TERRACOTTA Co Ld GLASGOW from Cleghorn Brickworks, Cleghorn, Lanarkshire. Quite a regular find along the shores of the Firth of Forth.

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Next up was this SCOTTISH TERRACOTTA CO, manufactured at Lee Terra Cotta Works, Braidwood, Carluke, Lanarkshire. I’ve only come across a few of these at Seafield, Edinburgh.

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The brickmark on this one reads ACCRINGTON NORI and comes from across the Border in England, all the way from the Accrington Brick and Tile Company Ltd in Lancashire. NORI is IRON backwards. Good examples of these can be found at Seafield, Edinburgh.

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This next example, a SOUTHHOOK KILMARNOCK, from Southhook Fireclay Works, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, is one of a few variations from the same brickworks.

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This next brick was something I’d been hoping to find for some time. Made at Craigend Refractories, Muiravonside, Stirlingshire, I’d already recorded a FALCON and knew there were two other brickmarks in the series from the same brick-maker, EAGLE and KESTREL. I was delighted to add an EAGLE to the collection. Just need to find the KESTREL to complete the set. This is also a new addition to the Scottish Brickmark list

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This next brick is something of a mystery. I’m not sure if the stamp portrays the letter “H” or it’s simply a marking that looks like an “H”. Hopefully, further research will reveal more.

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Another brick from across the border but this time across the Welsh border into Wales. This DENNIS RUABON has travelled all the way from Ruabon Brick & Terra Cotta Ltd in Wrexham.

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The next bunch of bricks to show themselves all seem to hail from Kilmarnock. First this J & M CRAIG from Perceton Fireclay Works, Dreghorn, Ayrshire.

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Then this BOURTREEHILL KILMARNOCK from Bourtreehill Fireclay Works, Dreghorn, Ayrshire.

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Next a J & R HOWIE LTD KILMARNOCK from Hurlford Fireclay Works, Hurlford, Ayrshire.

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Finally, another  variation of a J & M CRAIG KILMARNOCK from Perceton Fireclay Works, Dreghorn, Ayrshire.

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Finding a new brickmark is what brick spotting is all about and I was most delighted to find a brickmark I’d not found before. I knew immediately from the lettering that this was not of Scottish origin as I knew of no Scottish brickmark sporting the NCB stamp with such a short, five letter name. Further inestigation later on showed this to be an NCB WYLAM from the Newcastle area, in Northumberland, England.

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When you find only a partial brick like the one shown below with an incomplete brickmark “HOUSE” you need to look for other clues to place an origin. The chamfered corners on the frog of this one suggested something I’d seen before from the Camps Lime and Brick Works, Wilkieston, West Lothian. The complete brickmark would read BURNHOUSE.

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The final brick I want to mention in this report in this poor specimen. I’ve only found one like this across the Firth of Forth at Inverkeithing and the lettering would read J Mc N. S & Co HEATHERYKNOWE GLASGOW from, strangely enought, James McNaughton Son & Co, Heatheryknowe, Glasgow.

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Overall not a bad list of finds for a new location and a location well worth another visit. But I’d better not wait too long and the site is clearly destined for construction, probably housing and all these lovely bricks will vanish under the bulldozer.

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