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Saracen Foundry

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Keywords: foundries, iron founders, ironworks, ornamental ironwork, Possil Estate, railways, Saracen Foundry, Walter Macfarlane & Co

A view of the Saracen Foundry in Possilpark, home of Walter Macfarlane & Co, ironfounders, c 1890. The foundry's own railway branch line is in the background.

Founded in Glasgow in 1849 by Walter Macfarlane (1817-1885), the firm was originally based in Saracen Lane, Gallowgate. They relocated briefly to Washington Street, 1862, and then moved to a purpose built foundry on Sir Archibald Alison's former Possil Estate in 1872, creating the suburb of Possilpark to house the firm's vast workforce.

Increasing the area's population from 10, in 1872, to 10,000 by 1891, the foundry covered 14 acres with its main gates at 73 Hawthorn Street. The atmospheric pollution created by the foundry earned Macfarlane the nickname "the Laird of Fossiltown". In 1880, Macfarlane's nephew, also Walter (1853-1932), who joined the firm in 1871, became a partner and later succeeded to the firm on the death of his uncle in 1885. The foundry closed in 1965.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC f672.2506541443 MCF

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning



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