The Story of Beithcraft Scottish Furniture

The Story of Beithcraft Scottish Furniture

From the mid 19th century until the 1980s, Beith, in Ayrshire, was the most important furniture manufacturing town in Scotland, with a reputation for high-quality furniture.

In 1872, Robert Balfour, one of the owners of what later becomes Beithcraft furniture company, built a factory near the Beith Town railway station and persuaded the railway company to build a siding to allow easy transportation of raw materials and finished products.

The industry expanded across the local area making it a centre of excellence in furniture manufacturing, building a reputation throughout the world. Balfours, latterly known as Beithcraft, were for a number of years the main manufacturers of mantelpieces (pieces of furniture that covers a fireplace) in Scotland and Matthew Pollock supplied furniture to both the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II.

Two famous designers, Val Rossi and Frank Guille, take over the new direction of the furniture design, and starting from 1960s, becomes more mid century modern, as we see it today. 

Today, the furniture is no longer produced in the town of Beith. The factory closed because of its inability to compete with firms that made self-assembly furniture. This history of carpentry is still remembered though, in the nickname of the local football team, Beith Juniors, who are commonly referred to as “The Cabes” (Cabinet Makers).

Sideboard by Beithcraft



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