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England - Shale Oil


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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Oil in England > Grosmont Oil Works

Grosmont Oil Works

Location Unknown, probably in the vicinity of 54.437086, -0.726998, show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Grosmont
Current local authority area North Yorkshire
Opened 1865?
Closed 1866?
Number of Retorts not known
Ownership history Charles and Thomas Bagnall
Current status of site Ironworks site now car park

In October 1864, James George Beckton of Whitby patented a process for retorting oil-shales and coals using the waste heat from blast furnaces. Messrs. Bagnall established a small scale plant using Beckton's process at their Grosmont Iron Works. This was widely reported in the press and led to speculation that the Jurassic shales found in association with ironstone throughout the Cleveland district would become a valuable resource.

A report in early 1866 that "at Whitby the crude oil got by the Beckton process can be supplied in large quantities at £5 per ton", suggests that a reasonable quantity of oil was produced, but no evidence exists that manufacture continued following dramatic fall in oil prices later that year.

The former ironworks site was subject of an archaeological survey in 2007



Ordnance Survey maps reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland.