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Coal shale pits


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

Douglas ironstone, coal & shale pits

Location Parish of Abbey, Renfrewshire - various sites
Shale-field Renfrewshire shalefield
Dates opened and closed Minerals worked from 1850's to early 20th century, shale worked 1880's?
Owner Merry & Cunninghame, Walkinshaw Oil Co. Ltd.
Type of working Pits
Seams worked Lillie's coal-shale, ironstone, coal
Oil works served Inkerman oil works
Current status of site Waste ground, industrial park


The Douglas mineral field shares most of its history with the Abercorn shalefield.

The first edition OS map (c.1858) shows Candren ironstone pit (later Douglas No,1. pit) in operation. A second pit, (Douglas No.3), appears on the second edition map (c.1895).

Inkerman brickworks, were built (during the1880's?) close to Douglas No.2 pit and remained in production until the mid-20th century. Following closure of the Inkerman oil works and its private railway during the 1890's, a new siding was built between Inkerman brickworks to the Glasgow & South Western Railway's new Paisley and Barrhead District line

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 Douglas No.1, "Candren pit" on first edition OS map (c.1858), intact in the second edition (c.1896) (55.850448, -4.474606)
  2. show in map Bogside pit, perhaps Douglas No.2 pit (55.858620, -4.455447)
  3. show in map Douglas No.3, shown intact on the 1896 OS map, (55.851801, -4.467716)


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


PAISLEY. FATAL ACCIDENT AT INKERMAN, RENFREWSHIRE. -On Saturday morning an accident occurred at the new Candren Pit, near Inkerman, and which has resulted in the death of one man and the serious injury of a second. The engineer of the pit had noticed that there was something wrong with the pump, and two men, named M'Laughlan or M'Leod and Thomas Barclay, were sent down to examine it. This they did, and were again hauled up; and while they were on the point of getting of the "kettle," or bucket, on which they were standing, it suddenly ran down the pit. M'Lauchlan was precipitated to the bottom, and as there was six or eight feet of water in the pit, he was lifeless when a searcher went down the pit. Barclay, by a desperate leap, just when be felt the bucket giving way, succeeded in escaping the pit mouth, but was very seriously injured. The cause of the accident appears not to be very clearly ascertained yet, but at present the case is being investigated by the authorities The deceased resided at 57 George Street, Paisley. He was married and leaves a family.
The Glasgow Herald, 5th July 1858

THE RECENT ACCIDENT AT INKERMAN - We regret to hear that another of the parties injured last week by the bursting of the steam pipe at the Candren ironstone pit, died on Monday, at Inkerman, where he resided. Deceased was a miner, named Thomas Mouncey, and his is the third death resulting from this accident. The manager, Mr. Davidson, who was also injured, is recovering
The Glasgow Herald, 21st June 1860

About ten o'clock on Thursday morning John Freeman, miner, sustained a severe injury of both legs at the Old Candren (2) pit, Inkerman. He was conveyed immediately to the Paisley Infirmary, and there attended to.
The Paisley & Renfrewshire Advertiser, 18th December 1858

SHERIFF CRIMINAL COURT. The following cases were disposed of, on Thursday, at the instance of Mr. D. McFarlane, procurator-fiscal, before John Dunn, Esq., officiating as Sheriff:— Malcolm M'Donald was accused of having on the 18th of July last, stolen, from a railway waggon on the branch railway leading from the pits near Linwood, a brass bush, the property of the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company ; and farther, (2) with having the 19th of July, stolen from a railway waggon on the same branch railway, near the Old Candren Pit, another brass bush, likewise the property of the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company. M'Donald pled guilty to the first charge, and after a suitable admonition, the Sheriff sentenced him to 60 days' imprisonment
The Paisley and Renfrewshire Advertiser, 17th August 1861

FATAL ACCIDENT AT AN IRONSTONE PIT.—A young man named Barclay, belonging to Kilbirnie, was killed Monday, in Boghead Pit. It appears that there are two seams of ironstone in this pit, an upper and lower one, and that Barclay had been working in the upper seam the accident happened. He was putting on the hutch with the ironstone when it went off the rails, and the engineman drew him up the shift. Barclay was killed being crushed between the side of the shaft and the hoist. Monday was his first day this pit.
The Paisley & Renfrewshire Advertiser, 29th July 1871

An alarming explosion of fire-damp occurred yesterday afternoon in the shale and coal-pit No. 2 Douglas, at the village of Inkerman, near Paisley. The presence of fire-damp in the portion of the workings in which the accident took place had been suspected in the morning, and the men who were working there were warned to leave it. They did so, but returned to it against orders, it is said, about two o'clock. The noise of an explosion was heard shortly afterwards.
The number of men usually employed in the pit is 105, but there were only seven below at the time. It was at first believed that several were killed and the rest more or less seriously injured, and alarming reports were circulated among the inhabitants of the district. On a descent being made three men were found to have been seriously burned, but the others, who had been working some distance off were unhurt.
The most serious case amongst the injured men is that Isaac Goodwin, years of age, residing in Inkerman. The other two are brothers—Hugh Donnelly, 36 years Archibald Donnelly, 28 years of age both residing in Paisley. The Douglas Pit belongs to the Walkinshaw Oil Company.
Edinburgh Evening News 30th August 1884


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