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Scottish mines

Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Renfrewshire Coal Oil > Blackstoun Pits

Blackstoun coal & shale pits

Location Parish of Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire. (55.853881,-4.486865), show in map
Shale-field Renfrewshire shale field
Dates opened and closed c.1870 to c.1886
Owner Allan Craig and Sons
Type of working pit
Seams worked Lilles coal shale, coal
Oil works served Blackstoun Oil Works
Current status of site site of wastewater treatment works


The Blackstoun pits and oil works of Allan Craig and Sons, was a completely separate operation from the Blackstone pits and oil works of Wm. Black & Son, which lay about a mile to the north east.

Allan Craig & Sons operated Blackstoun pit from c.1870 until closure c.1885. Both coal and shale appear to have been worked, the later supplying their Blackstoun oil works, which presumably lay close to site of the pit. A. Craig is noted as manager in 1885.

The location of Blackstoun oil works and pits are not marked on OS maps. A pencil annotation to Geological Survey plan LSP 792 indicates the site of "Craig's Works pit"; presumably Blackstoun pit, and notes that shale lay at 35 fathoms. The site is marked by a modest spoil heap on the 1895 OS map. Plan LSP 792 also shows a "new pit" a short distance to the east, marked as being 40 fathoms to the shale. It is not known whether this was also worked by Allan Craig & Sons.

Location Maps

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

Key to markers on the location maps.

  1. show in map (55.853881,-4.486865), site of "Craigs Works pit" - probably Blackstoun pit
  2. show in map (55.856745,-4.478933), marked as "new pit"

Site Maps

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


EXPLOSION OF FIRE DAMP IN A SHALE PIT. An accident of a serious nature, involving danger to the lives of eight men, occurred yesterday afternoon in Blackston Pit, near Linwood (of which Messrs Allan Craig & Son are the proprietors), by an explosion of fire damp. The occurrence took place about four o' clock when the men were working in the pit, and apprehensions were entertained that the whole number were killed. It was some time before any men could venture down the pit to ascertain whether the men were dead or alive, and messengers were at once despatched to Johnstone for medical assistance. Dr.s M'Laren and Gardner were soon on the spot to render any assistance required. It was not till the lapse of several hours, however, before the men were got up, when they were all fortunately alive, though some of them were severely burned. The names of the men who were working in the pit at the time the occurrence took place are Mr Allan Craig, one of the partners, who was much burned both, on the face and hands; Thomas M'Cabe, living in Johnstone, also much burned, particularly on the face, Dougal M'Dougal, also much burned; Michael Killin, Jas. M.'lnnes. Patrick M'Ewan and his son, and James M'Glynn, all living in Linwood. The scene of the disaster was visited by a large number of people from Johnston and Linwood. The pit is not an old one, and has not been long in operation.
The Glasgow Herald 7th November 1871

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