Traces of a Victorian Cast Iron Range

This metal name plate was found within a ditch near our car park, and came from a ‘Beetonette’ portable cooking range made of cast iron by the Carron Company. This company, based in Falkirk, was founded in 1759 and over the years made everything from cannon to postboxes. They were making Beetonette ranges at least as early as 1902 and as late as 1938.  


(1) The Beetonette printed on an envelope posted in 1902, and a Carron Company advert from 1938; (2) Beetonette name plate found at Auchindrain; and (3) a Carron company brochure from 1913.



Given these dates and where this plate was found, we think that the range to which it was originally attached was probably in our Building R, McIntyres’ House. This building was occupied by the Stewart and McPhail families frpm the 1870s until 1904, when it became home to the “Dacks” Munro family until 1925.  By 1931 one of the McPhails – Neil – was back, sharing the house with his niece and nephew Flora and Ian McIntyre.  They stayed until around 1960.   A McIntyre family member who visited as a child remembered the kitchen as having a big black range. In 1967 the house was completely modernised to provide accomodation for the museum’s first site manager, and the range would have been removed then.  Could it have been the Beetonette from which this name plate came?  Did the name plate escape when the scrap ron was being taken away? As with so many things at Auchindrain, we’ll probably never know for certain.