Forth and Wilsontown

This community began to grow as a result of nearby Wilsontown. Wilsontown was Southern Scotland’s first integrated iron works starting up in the late nineteenth century on the back of the local presence of coal, ironstone, and limestone. All these ingredients were essential for the manufacture of iron. Unfortunately, Wilsontown missed out on getting a railway early in its history, so by the time the railway arrived, the iron works had closed. Many of the people in Forth lost their job. However, coal mining came to Forth in the early nineteenth century and the mines were still in production till the 1960s. These mines are now superseded by opencast mining.

Narrow by year:

Narrow by tags:

Ordnance Survey map of Wilsontown from 1898

Ordnance Survey, Wilsontown

Year: 1898

This Ordnance Survey map of 1898 shows the profound impact that railways had on an industrial area such as Wilsontown. The station was near Wilsontown House. It still survives but…

General Roy map, 1750

General Roy Map

Year: 1750

This map, completed in the 1750s by General Roy was part of a series completed across Scotland. Wilsontown does not exist at this time. The hamlets of East Forth, West…

Braehead Village Survey


This paper presents the results of a survey of lime, ironstone and rock quarries with associated clamp kilns, and also a historical review of the village of Braehead in the…

Wilstontown aerial shot

The Story of Wilsontown


Wilsontown–the birthplace of Scotland’s Industrial Revolution. Wilsontown is not a place known to many people but it is the birthplace of Scotland’s Industrial Revolution. Prior to 1779, when work began…