Lion Foundry Co Ltd

Scope and Content

Corporate records, 1893-1985; share records, 1893-1946; accounting and financial records, 1880-1967; legal and property records, 1880-1938; internal administration records, 1880-1937; production records (including drawings), 1880-1985; advertising and publicity records, c 1895-1980; staff and employment records, 1922-1983; reference material, c 1880-1980.

Administrative / Biographical History


The records are currently being re-catalogued and arranged.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Accession 1985/2

Alternative Form Available

Copies of many photographs are available in the Local Studies Photographic Collection

Archivist's Note

Collection level description compiled by Sarah Chubb, Archivist/Records Officer.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements.

Custodial History

Opened in 1880 by Robert Hudson and his partners, the Lion Foundry was the last of a series of foundries established in Kirkintilloch that, at their peak, employed one in sixth of the population. It was registered as a limited company in 1892.The Lion Foundry was sited near the North British Railway and the Forth and Clyde Canal, which meant that raw materials could be brought almost to the door and the finished products easily distributed. The foundry specialised in fine ornamental and architectural cast ironwork and gained a reputation for high standards of workmanship and a capacity to be flexible in the face of changing demand. Their products included building front panels, fire-escape stairs, bridge parapets, bandstands, arcades, verandahs, balconies and shelters, as well as sanitary ware and building and plumbing castings. Their manufactures were sold worldwide and included Buenos Aires station, but their main market was British. Work was carried out for all cities and towns of importance, and indeed many pre-war buildings in London were supplied with front panels by the Lion Foundry, including Unilever House, Waterloo Station, Bush House and The Adelphi.After the Second World War the firm began specialising in engineering castings, including the famous red telephone kiosks.In 1970 the Lion Foundry Company Limited was acquired by Kent Castings (Gillingham) Limited, which was renamed Butterley Engineering Industries Limited in August 1971, and then became known as Crittall-Hope Engineering Limited upon acquiring Crittall-Hope Limited in November 1971. The Lion Foundry finally succumbed to the pressures of foreign competition in December 1984 when, after losing its contract to supply the GPO with telephone boxes and post boxes, it had to lay off its remaining workers.