With the large reserves of Ironstone in Armadale, foundries were built to process and manufacture goods on-site.  It is widely believed the ironstone from Armadale created the cannonballs used in the Battle of Waterloo.

Also, Mons Meg, the ‘one o’clock cannon’ at Edinburgh Castle, was serviced in Armadale.

The two main foundries were Atlas and West Lothian

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A Chapter’s Close

Lang lums,
black belchin reek,
mark shair the thrivin toun
that lives
weel daein there.

The roarin furnace, glintin, glowers.
White-het the molten metal spews.
The slag raked aff, the ladle gently slews,
ti shape the cast o steel, wi sparkin showers.

Syne, startin in the stourie laft,
the fireclay moulders free-han skills
reveal, when dampers draw het-shimmer kil’s,
the saut-glaze produce o thir ancient craft.

The bings oot-by, lik dour black cairns,
raised ti a special breed o men,-
o moles, wha howk thir stent o coal an then,
wund ti the licht, ti greet thir wives an bairns.

Change comes.
Th’enlightened seek
clean air, while aa aroun
life ebbs,
ti flow, – but where?

Davie Kerr, from A Puckle Poems