Edinburgh, Granton, 87 Granton Park Avenue, Madelvic Car Factory, Production Block
Works (19th Century)
- Council Edinburgh, City Of
- Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
- Former Region Lothian
- Former District City Of Edinburgh
- Former County Midlothian
NT27NW 349.01 NT 23119 77071
Thought to be the earliest purpose-built car factory in Britain, the Madelvic Works produced cars from 1898 to 1900, and after 1925, was converted to become part of the United Wire Works Granton factory. Thereafter, it was devoted mostly to the production and finishing of wire cloth on broadlooms for the Scottish paper industry, but following a sharp decline in this business, production ceased in 2001 and wire cloth production was concentrated in another part of the site at a much smaller scale. The Madelvic segment of the site was subsequently sold, and the offices were to be retained as the offices of 'Edinburgh Waterfront Limited'.
The factory included a two-storeyed office block, which takes the form of a red facing-brick double-fronted house with dressed sandstone margins and a ballustrade at first floor level. A stone pediment above the main entrance depicts a chain-driven wheel representing the fifth wheel of the Madelvic battery-electric carriage. The factory itself comprised brick-built steel-framed buildings, some of which were two-storeyed, and ancillary ranges which housed other departments such as joiners' and blacksmiths' shops.
At the time of survey in 2001, much of the factory was likely to be demolished as part of the 'Edinburgh Waterfront' scheme in Granton.
Information from United Wire Works and Collins, P and Stratton, M (1993), 'British Car Factories'
Information from RCAHMS
2 ranges of 2 storeys linked by central single storey range to form rectangular plan. Engineering brick with red sandstone dressings. Segmental headed windows. 16-pane glazing with top hoppers. Flat roofs to 2-storey ranges; pitched roof with glazing panels to single storey range.
All machinery and all parts of the complex not specifically described above are excluded from the listing. The buildings designed for the Madelvic Motor Carriage Co Ltd are probably the earliest purpose-built motor works in Britain (Collins and Stratton). The company assembled battery-electric carriages propelled by a fifth central wheel on the road (as depicted above the entrance to the office). Madelvic went bankrupt in 1900, and the premises were first sold to the Kingsburgh Motor Construction Co, and then in 1902 to Stirling Motor Carriages Ltd, which produced mainly buses and lorries here until 1912. The production block was described in 1903 as housing a machine shop, an erecting department for the engines, and all the sections for integrated coachbuilding. The buildings appear in original form on 1906 OS map, and with some extensions on 1938 OS map. (Historic Scotland)
Go to BARR website
Standing Building Recording (November 2004 - December 2004)
NT27NW 349 NT 2317 7707
Standing building recording
NT 2317 7707 A desk-based assessment and historic building survey were undertaken in November and December 2004 at the former Madelvic car factory in advance of redevelopment. Map references suggest that an 18th-century house and gardens, Broom Park, was replaced in 1898 by the construction of the Madelvic works, office and generating blocks - symmetrical rectangular blocks of well-lit flat-roofed brick buildings. This was the first purpose-built car factory in Britain. It is likely that the central area of the works block was enclosed some time between 1902 and 1906. The buildings were used as a car factory until WW1, and after 1925 became a central component of the United Wire Works until 2001. Changing use throughout the 20th century saw the majority of the internal features associated with car production removed, though small vestiges survived, and the external character of the buildings were largely intact.
Archive to be deposited in NMRS.
Sponsor: Malcolm Fraser Architects.
G Geddes 2005