muirkirk in the hills of ayrshire - from the muirkirk enterprise group


Iron Industry in Muirkirk

Although better known today as a former coal mining area, Muirkirk in the past was a strategic centre for the iron industry, with Muirkirk Pig Iron being world renowned.

Muirkirk Pig Iron

The 5th January 1833 edition of Poulson's American Daily Advertiser of Philadelphia, on it's front page, carried an advertisement on its front page for "MUIRKIRK PIG IRON- advertised for sale- 50 tons of the celebrated Muirkirk, soft Pig Iron".

According to A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 272-294

The iron-works in this parish, which are very extensive, were erected in 1787, and have since been carried on with great spirit by the proprietors. The works consist of four blast-furnaces for the manufacture of pig-iron, an extensive foundry, and a rolling-mill for bar-iron; two of the furnaces are at present in use, and these afford employment to about 400 men, who are constantly engaged. The bar-iron is of excellent quality, and superior to that of most other forges: until a very recent year it was beaten into bars instead of being formed by rollers, as in other works. There were formerly some iron-works established at Glenbuck by an English company; but they were abandoned many years since. The village of Muirkirk has greatly increased since the opening of the works in its neighbourhood; it is inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the collieries and limestone-quarries, and in the iron-works.


From the Archives of the Glasgow Herald 10 April, 2008
200 YEARS AGO: The Muirkirk Iron Works, upset price 12,000, consisting of three blast furnaces, two forges and other appurtenances, is to be sold by public roup in Glasgow. Price payable by instalments.