Report - Dunaskin Ironwork's (Ayrshire) - September 2014

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Abaddon Inc

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sep 25, 2014
Ayrshire, Scotland

Date stone - 1847

During the Industrial Revolution, iron was one of the great growth industries. In 1836 Henry Houldsworth, owner of a mill in Glasgow, diversified his business interests and created the Coltness Iron Works. Ten years later he and his son John brought the iron industry to the remote Doon Valley. Henry built his iron foundry on the site of Dunaskin farm and the early Victorian field pattern remains in outline surrounding the works.

The area, although rich in iron, coal and water, was almost totally lacking in transport links. Everything for the construction of the foundry had to be brought in by train to Ayr and then by horse to Dunaskin. Twenty four pairs of horses were needed to haul the great beam for the blast engines alone. Iron was continually produced here from 1848 until 1921, when the buildings became a brickwork's and then a processing plant for the coal mines until the late 1970's. One of the most complete Industrial Revolution ironwork's in Europe.


My Visit:

I pass this site all the time on route to Ayr and I've always wanted to take a look inside. The site is now host to a steam and diesel train museum and holds some of the old trains which were moved up from Dalmellington. I attended the last train museum open day of the year, but spent more time in the old buildings than I did looking at the trains. Overall, it's quite a large site and there's certainly plenty to see both inside and outside of the buildings. This was a 2 day visit and the images mixed.


This was the first building I entered...


This area was pretty dark and filled with the sound of dripping water...


I found this board pretty amusing...


I loved the light showing through these stairs...


It was actually darker than the photo shows...


Seemed safe enough to go up...


Plenty of rust...


This is the upper floor of the first building...


Cool little set of stairs...


Time for out...


On to the next couple of buildings...


There's no way that would be safe...


First room...


I tested these ladders and chickened out...


Too old and wobbly for my liking...


Next room and more concrete blocks...


If their going to ruin sites with pointless writing on the walls, they could at least get the spelling right...


Some kind of production belt...


This set of stairs I did go up although I wouldn't recommend it!

Looking out the window...


These stairs really didn't feel safe...


I upset the crows in here and the noise was deafening. Headed back out pretty fast...


It looked like individual storage rooms around the smaller building, this is one of them...


I jumped the gate, climbed the stairs and this is whats above the storage rooms...


Looking back towards the entrance...


This building was well sealed up...


Familiar site for us locals...


Really need to watch your step in there...


Roofs long gone...


More rusty goodness...

Got loads more images from this site, but I'll stop here for now... Thanks for looking :thumb

Idle Hands

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Apr 6, 2012
I spent a rushed hour here a couple of years ago. Wish I'd had longer really there's a fair bit to see. You're better going when it's 'closed' though rather than on an open day - always better to have a site to yourself!

Nice pictures :)

Abaddon Inc

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sep 25, 2014
Ayrshire, Scotland
Thanks for the views and comments folks :)

I spent a rushed hour here a couple of years ago. Wish I'd had longer really there's a fair bit to see. You're better going when it's 'closed' though rather than on an open day - always better to have a site to yourself!

Nice pictures :)
I got the exterior shots during the open day. Second day I went the site was closed, that's when I ventured inside. Dunaskin is only 2 or 3 miles from where I live, so I'll no doubt go back out at some point.