Carron Iron Works

Location type


Name and dates

Carron Iron Works (1759-1963)

Served by the Carron Company.


This iron works was established in 1759. The works was able to produce iron from raw materials (notably using coke) and produce products such as cannons. Indeed the works was famous for its product the Carronade which was a form of cannon used until the 1850s. (At the entrance tower is a small display of cannon balls and cannons.)

The works diversified, making ovens, and ranges, and was modernised and rebuilt on a number of occasions, notably in the 1890s.

The blast furnaces closed in 1963 but manufacturing continued at the site, and despite bankruptcy in the 1980s, some manufacturing continues.

The Carron Company line ran here from Carron Company Basin to the south on the Forth and Clyde Canal and continued north to reach coal pits.

A disused viaduct (1860 'B' listed), which carried this line, crosses the River Carron just south of the works.


Iron Works River Carron

Nearby stations
Falkirk Camelon [1st]
Falkirk Grahamston
Camelon [1st]
Falkirk High
Thornbridge Halt
Alloa Junction
Bonnybridge Central
Bonnybridge Canal Goods
Carron Basin
Arthur^s Oon
Carron Ironworks?
Carron Siding
Carron Iron Works [Expansion]
Carronhall Colliery Pit No 6
Falkirk Aluminium Works
Bainsford Basin
Castlelaurie Iron Works
Lock 5 [FCC]
Forganhall Galvanising Works
Carronhall Colliery Pit No 5
Falkirk Iron Works
Stenhouse Road Signal Box
River Carron
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Carron Iron Works

The company's motto was 'Where iron runs like water'.

Chronology Dates

26/12/1760Carron Iron Works
Carron Iron Works opens. Managed by Dr John Roebuck. Shareholders in the Carron Company were; Dr John Roebuck, Thomas Roebuck, Ebenezer Roebuck, William Cadell (Senior) and William Cadell (Junior) of Cockenzie (who owned pits at Tranent), John Cadell and Samuel Garbett. The works may even have been in blast in January 1761.
  /  /1765James Watt
Dr John Roebuck, who was the founder of the Carron Iron Works and lived at Kinneil House, formed a partnership (around 1765) with Watt and encouraged him to refine the design of his steam engine with separate condenser in a cottage, Watt's workshop, within the grounds of the house. Roebuck hoped to use engines to drain his mines at Bo'ness.
  /  /1766James Watt
First successful engine made. (A portion of this Carron made engine remains at the Carron Iron Works.)
First cast-iron rails made. Some of these may have been used on the Carron Iron Works waggonway to Kinnaird.
  /  /1768Elgin Waggonway
Opened from Berrylaw to Limekilns Harbour with wooden rails by the 5th Earl of Elgin (or William Cadell, sources disagree). The line carried coal and iron ore for the Carron Iron Works.
  /  /1779Tranent Waggonway
Taken over by John Cadell of the Carron Iron Works.
  /  /1819Falkirk Iron Works
Set up by former Carron Iron Works employees. Many foundries followed shortly in the immediate area. Pig-iron from Middlesbrough was used and these works were a cheaper option than the existing practice of sending pig-iron to Glasgow by the canal for manufacturing and then return by the canal.
  /  /1840Nethercroy Colliery
In operation above Auchinstarry on Croy Hill, later operated by the Carron Iron Works and they built a railway round the east side of the Croy hill to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.
  /  /1904Shieldhill Colliery
New coke ovens built at this Carron Iron Works owned pit.
21/10/1905Falkirk and District Tramways Company
Circular 6.5 mile tramway opened from Falkirk to Camelon to Larbert to Carron Iron Works to Falkirk.
  /  /1906Craigend Colliery
Carron Iron Works takes over operation from United Collieries Ltd of this colliery near Standburn. Pits re-developed.
  /  /1907Gardrum Pit
Opened by the Carron Iron Works.
  /  /1908Bainsford Branch (Caledonian Railway) Bainsford Branch (North British Railway)
By-pass line from Swing Bridge Junction to Fouldubs Junction partly opened. The western half was owned by the North British Railway (part of the former line to the Carron Iron Works) and the eastern was to be opened by the Caledonian Railway.
  /  /1913Carronhall Colliery
Private line from Carron Iron Works north and to the east to Pit 5 and William Pit extended to Letham Colliery.
  /  /1936Bannockburn Colliery
Carron Iron Works takes over from the Alloa Coal Company.
  /12/1936Carnock Coke Ovens Bannockburn Colliery Pirnhall Mine
Bought by the Carron Iron Works from the Alloa Coal Company.


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Scotland - The Lowlands and the Borders v. 6 (Regional railway history series)

Larbert and Stenhousemuir

Old Larbert and Stenhousemuir

Where Iron Runs Like Water: A New History of the Carron Iron Works, 1759-1982