Date Visited: August 2009
In 1848 the Dalmellington Iron Co opened a large ironworks at Dunaskin near Dalmellington. The works flourished into the twentieth century, but by 1921 had become obsolete and was closed during a strike. The furnaces were demolished and in 1928 a brickworks was established on the site with the 1847 blowing enginehouse converted for brickmaking machinery. The clay was drawn from seams found in the local coal mines. Brickmaking continued until 1976 when demand was so low that 2.5 million bricks were stockpiled on site and production ceased.
In the late 1990s a heritage centre was developed at Dunaskin to tell the story of the industries in the Doon Valley through the structures remaining on the ironworks/brickworks site. This included the former blowing enginehouse and two kilns. The oldest kiln is a transverse-arch continuous kiln of 14 chambers constructed in 1928 and still with its original roof. The other kiln is a 24 chamber Belgian continuous kiln erected in 1935. There are two also brick chimneys on the site.
In 2005 the local authority withdrew funding from the ailing heritage centre and it closed down. The buildings have been abandoned and left to decay.
History borrowed from Tarboats report on NWEX - http://www.nwex.co.uk/showthread.php?t=4707
However, the site is not completely dead. The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre operates from the site adjacent to the brickworks and operates services throughout the summer at weekends. For more details please see their website here: