Output of Scottish slates

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From: Richey, J.E. and Anderson, J.G.C. 1944. Scottish slates. Wartime pamphlet No. 40. London : Geological Survey of Great Britain.

Output[edit]

The most recent figures available of the output from the main Highland quarries were collected for the year 1937 by Mr. T. Graham, F.I.O.B., 45 Castle Street, Edinburgh, to whom we are much indebted for the information in the following table:

Quarry Men Employed Fullsize Slates Undersize Slates
Ballachulish 180 2,500,000 1,500,000
West Larach 18 250,000 250,000
Balvicar 40 750,000 500,000
Cullipool 40 1,000,000 500,000
Toberonochy 20 460,000 350,000
Aberfoyle 60 1,200,000 400,000
Luss 12 500,000 250,000
Totals 370 6,660,000 3,750,000
Total 370 men 10,410,000 slates

From 1870 to 1880 it is probable that the output of Scottish slates was in the neighbourhood of 25 million to 30 million per annum, giving employment to approximately 1,000 to 1,500 men and boys.

Some information concerning output prior to 1870 is contained in various publications in which reference is made to the Scottish slate industry, and is set out in the following table:

Quarries 1795[1] 1837[2] 1845[3] 1842-1861[4] 1869[4]
A B A B A B A B A B
Easdale 300 500 - - Upwards

of 200

4 to 5 - Annual

Average

7

- -
Ballachulish - - About

200

3 300 5 to 7 - - 400 15
Aberfoyle - - ½ About 20 - - - - -


A = Number of Workmen Employed B = Output of slates (in millions) per annum

  1. Sinclair, J. 1791-1799. The statistical Account of Scotland. Drawn from the Communicatins of the Ministers of the Difference Parishes. 21 vols. Edinburgh. (Easdale slate quarries, vol. Xiv, pp. 161-163).
  2. Carmichael, J. 1837. An account of the Principal Marble, Slate, Sandstone and Greenstone Quarries in Scotland. Prize Essays and Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, vol. V, pp. 398-416.
  3. 1845. The New Statistical Account of Scotland. By the Ministers of the Rspective Parishes. 15 vols. Edinburgh and London. (Ballachulish, vol. VII, pp. 247-251; Easdale, vol. VII, pp. 77-78; Aberfoyle, vol. X, p. 1153)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bremner, D. 1869. The Industries of Scotland. Their Rise, Progress and Present Conditions. Edinburgh. (Slate quarrying, pp. 424-432).