James Watson

James Watson took over the running of the Ayr Brewery from his father in 1851. He then changed the name of the business from James Watson & Son to plain James Watson.

The company employed seven men in 1851. One of its longest-standing employees was Alexander Douglas, who joined the firm as a clerk in the 1850s and eventually became the managing director in 1876.

When James died in 1863 the company was run by a Board of Trustees until 1884, when a new company, James Watson & Co, was formed.

Location: Ayr

Active: 1851 - 1884

Status: Transferred

Breweries and other buildings

The Ayr Brewery was established by the partnership of Watson & Brown in 1833 on land formerly owned by the Dominicans on Mill Vennel, later known as Mill Street.

The site was cleared in the 1970s and is now occupied by housing.


Map of 1857 showing the Ayr Brewery
Map of 1857 showing the Ayr Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2015


We do not currently hold any images of items related to James Watson, and would welcome any other information or images related to his business.

Other Sources of information

Books and periodicals

Close, R. The forgotten breweries of Scotland: Turner's Ayr and Newton Breweries Ltd. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter, 1987, 10, pp.10-12.

Gibb, F. and Close, R. The brewers and breweries of Ayrshire, Buteshire and Renfrewshire. Stirling: Lomax Press, 2013.

Hume, J. R. The industrial archaeology of Scotland, 1: The Lowlands and Borders. London: B. T. Batsford, 1976.