20180822_202632Dr David Mitchell, the Director of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland, has been talking about the importance of the Carron Company, an ironworks located on the outskirts of Falkirk.

One of the Company’s founders was John Roebuck – a business partner of inventor James Watt. Watt worked on developing an improved steam engine at Roebuck’s home at nearby Kinneil House in Bo’ness.

The Carron Company was set up in 1759 and became one of the largest iron works in Europe. The company prospered through the development and production of a new, short-range and short-barrelled naval cannon, the Carronade. In 1982, the Carron Company became insolvent and was acquired by the Franke Corporation.

“Carron really drove everything industrial in Scotland for centuries,” said Dr Mitchell.

Little of the original Falkirk works remains – apart from a clock tower building, which features part of a Watt cylinder.

You can read more about Carron’s story on the Falkirk Local History Society website.

Listen to Dr Mitchell here .  . . .

Carronades at the remains of the Carron Company works in Falkirk.

Dr Mitchell made his comments during the Celebrating Scotland’s Industrial Heritage conference at the Engine Shed in Stirling on August 16.

Another of the speakers at the conference was Emma Halford-Forbes, of Industrial Museums Scotland, which represents a number of museums – including Verdant Works in Dundee (which hosts a Watt engine) and the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway (which runs trains close to the Kinneil workshop used by James Watt).

Listen to Emma here . . . .

Boulton and Watt Engine at Verdant Works, Dundee
Boulton and Watt Engine at Verdant Works, Dundee

The conference was hosted by Dr Miles Oglethorpe, Head of Industrial Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland. He said: “It’s been a packed day, featuring activists and people who work in industrial heritage across Scotland.”

He said a number of attendees had links to James Watt. He hoped the conference would galvanise efforts to mark the 200th anniversary of Watt’s death in 2019.

Listen to Dr Oglethorpe here . . . .

The Engine Shed in Stirling.