Awaiting mans discovery, deep in the bowels of our moors, lay iron
ore and rich seams of coal, relics of the mighty Caledonian Forest of
ancient days. The discovery came during the short breathing space
in the Napoleonic Wars in 1802.
Iron ore and coal were found on the moors where modern Shotts
now stands, and in ensuing coal-rush the centre ofpopulation swung
from Kirk o’ Shotts to the new area. The furnaces were the centre
of the rush, and until 1947,when their rough familiar roar ceased,
our iron works had a long and honourable life, the second oldest
in Scotland,next to Carron. They became famous for their delicacy
of their castings and were also one of the few places wheretinned
hollow-ware was made.
Hartwoodhill Pit supplied most of the fuel for the furnaces then.
Upper Drumgray or Shotts furnace coal as it was called.
“Shotts lights the world!” became the proud boast of
our forefathers, for our furnaces made gas-lamp standards
which were sent all over the world. The heart of many an
exile has leaped to see Shotts printed on a gas-standard base in
some far off land.