Birkhill was, once, a busy place, producing fireclay which was turned into bricks which were used in furnaces, ovens and kilns throughout Scotland. The last fireclay was brough to the surface in 1980 and the entire place lay fallow for a long period. However, the local railway preservation society re-opened part of the old Manuel Low-level track and started running steam trains up to the old Birkhill Station. Now, they do tours of the old mineshafts. The shafts are kept in good order, but the buildings at the top of the gorge have fallen into disrepair. Where wagons full of clay were once hauled up the steep side of the gorge by a cable railway, the buildings now gradually decay, surrounded by peaceful woods and butterflys.