Carron, Stirlingshire

Historical Description

CARRON, a village, and the seat of extensive ironworks, in the parish of LARBERT, county of STIRLING, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from Falkirk. This village, which is situated on the north bank of the river Carron, about three miles from its influx into the Forth, and has every facility of obtaining water-power, and an easy transit for produce, became in 1760 the seat of the iron-works so well known as the most important and extensive in the kingdom. These works were originally established by a company consisting of Messrs. Roebuck, formerly of Sheffield, and afterwards of Birmingham, Mr. Garbet, merchant of the latter place, and Messrs. Cadell, of East Lothian. The company was incorporated by charter, in 1773, with a capital of £150,000, raised in shares of £250 each; and having engaged workmen from Sheffield and Birmingham, it carried on operations under the superintendence of Mr. Gascoigne, son-in-law of Mr. Garbet, on a very extensive scale. The smelting of iron-ore, and the manufacture of cast-iron goods of every description, are carried on to a great extent; about 10,000 tons of pig-iron are annually made, and the manufacture of malleable iron from scraps, which is of more recent introduction, is also extensive. Among the articles produced are cannon, mortars, howitzers, and carronades, which last derived their name from this establishment; shot, shells, and other implements of war; steam-engines, sugar-mills, sugar-pans, agricultural implements, with various articles for domestic use, anchors, anvils, and axles. There are four blast furnaces (two of them adapted to the use of the hot blast) and four cupola furnaces, all of which have water-wheels for propelling the machinery. A steam-engine, also, of gigantic power, is incessantly at work, day and night, for the production of blast; and fifteen air furnaces are in operation. There are mills for boring cylinders and pipes, and the various reservoirs for the supply of the works cover about 100 acres of ground; the entire number of persons employed is more than 1000. The foundry is connected with the collieries of Kinnaird and Carron Hall, by a substantial tramway of two lines; and, by another, with the shipping wharf on the Forth and Clyde canal, at Bainsford, whence produce is sent to Glasgow, Liverpool, and other places. Goods for London are sent to Grangemouth in barges down the river Carron, which is navigable up to the works during the flow of the tide, In 1846 an act was passed for the construction of a line of railway from the Edinburgh and Glasgow line near Polmont to the Scottish Central railway near Larbert, with branches to the Falkirk iron-works and the Carron iron-works.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis