Riggs of Crawick Forge

n the 1770s the development of the coalfield around Sanquhar created a need for shovels and other working gear, and the lessee, Mr Baker saw the need for a local forge. He encouraged John Rigg (1750 - 1833) of Dalston in Cumbria to move his business north. Rigg built Crawick Forge at Crawick Bridge on the very boundary of Kirkconnel and Sanquhar parish. He intended to use water power from the Crawick to drive his tilt hammer, so he made a dam head opposite the village of Crawick Mill, downstream from the existing one which served the corn and woollen mills there.

A clever workman and astute businessman he soon built a reputation for his goods, supplying the needs of both the local collieries and farming community.  He was elected a Deacon of the Incorporation of Hammermen on nineteen occasions, and was a friend of the poet  Robert Burns.

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