Guardbridge
Fife

1810 - 1860

Founded by William Haig

William first worked at his cousin Robert Stein’s distillery at Kincaple which he took over in around 1795. He then founded Seggie at Guardbridge in 1810.

Although Seggie had an annual output of over 250,000 gallons, William Haig was forced into sequestration in July 1835 when the Bank of Scotland ‘determined to give no further credit’. He had debts of over £64,000 (£12 million) which included almost £42,000 (£8 million) owed to his father-in-law, John Stein of Kennetpans, and £22,000 (£4 million) to Benjamin Hodges, a distiller in London.

The failure was due entirely to poor demand. The reporters appointed to supervise the sequestration ‘found the distillery and utensils in excellent order and quite ready and fit for active work’. Reopen it did, this time by John Haig who passed the distillery onto Robert Haig who converted Seggie to a grain distillery with the installation of a Coffey Still under license of 25th April 1845.

The distillery was moved on again within the Haig dynasty ‘John Haig & Co’ and was eventually closed c1860. Later to be converted to Guardbridge Paper Mill in 1872.

 

Read more about Seggie Distillery on Ernie Brown's very interesting site about Kincaple.

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Experts Comments

"It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of Kennetpans Distillery, founded in the 1720s byJohn Stein  - 'the Father of Commercial Whisky Distilling'. The site is of great importance to the industrial archeological heritage of Scotland. It would be nothing short of a tragedy if the site was left to vanish.”

Charles MacLean, W.S., M.A., LL.B., F.S.A.(Scot)
Master of the Quaich
Whisky Writer