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Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


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

Linwood ironstone, coal & shale pits

Location Parish of Kilbachan, County of Renfrew - various sites
Shale-field Renfrewshire shalefield
Dates opened and closed Active between c.1868 and post 1885
Owner Various including James Anderson & Son, Clippens Oil Co., Merry & Cunninghame, James Dunlop & Co.
Type of working Pits
Seams worked Ironstone, coal, Lille's coal-shale
Oil works served Linwood Shale Oil Works, Clippens Oil Works, and perhaps others
Current status of site Within the town of Linwood; No surviving surface features


Available evidence suggests two separate pits, or groups of workings in the Linwood area:

Directory Listings

References from annual mineral statistics :

Entries in "Watson's Directory for Paisley"

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 (55.845319, -4.486333) Active "ironstone pit" marked on the 1857 OS map, close to the River Cart
  2. show in map (55.846876, -4.487321) Active "ironstone pit" marked on the 1857 OS map, close to Linwood village
  3. show in map (55.846268, -4.492858) Show as "old shaft" on 1895, this is probably the site of Linwood pit of James Anderson & Son, serving the Linwood shale oil works, most likely on a site adjoining the pit. Andrew Wilson in Linwood's Lost Railways (Renfrewshire Local History Federation Journal Vol. 12 2003-4) states this to be "Barrowman's Pit" serving the Linwood shale oil works. Watson's Directory lists John Barrowman as underground oversman at the Linwood shale oil pits, living initially in a house at the works; this doubtless account for the name "Barrowmonous Cottage" shown on the 1895 OS map. However; newspaper accounts suggest James Dunlop & Co.'s Linwood No. 2 ironstone pit lay in the lands of Green farm to the south west of Linwood, and connected by railway to Linwood No.1 pit. This suggested a site very close to "Barrowman's Pit" , and perhaps a re-use or redevelopment of the earlier workings
  4. show in map (55.850711, -4.491848) Probably the site of Linwood No.1 ironstone pit. Local historian Andrew Wilson (see above) states that "Dunlop's Pit" lay adjacent to the Caledonian Railway's Linwood Goods Depot. This is supported by a reference to James Dunlop & Co.'s Linwood No.1 pit in the Caledonian Railway Act of 1883 (see below)

Site Maps

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


INFIRMARY—The Treasurer of the Infirmary requests us to acknowledge with thanks, receipt of the undernoted sums handed him in aid of the institution, viz : Workers of Messrs. Colin Dunlop & Co., Blackstone and Linwood pits, per Peter Niven, Esq., manager, per Mr James Thomson, cashier, £11 18s 0d
The Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser, 26th December 1863

Thefts.—Patrick Lynch, a labourer, was sentenced to imprisonment for stealing four and a half stones of corn, a bag, and a lamp from a stable at No. 1 ironstone pit, Linwood, the door of which he had forced open.
The Paisley & Renfrewshire Advertiser, 14th December 1867

PAISLEY FATAL ACCIDENT IN AN IRONSTONE PIT, - On Thursday, William Anderson, miner, residing at Linwood, met with an accident which occasioned his death, in the No. 2 Linwood Pit, which pit is situated on the farm of Green, parish of Kilbarchan. Anderson, it appears. was employed along with two others in sinking the pit, and was being drawn up along with one of his companions, when his shoulder came in contact with a mid partition, whereby he was jerked out of the machine, and fell to the bottom from a height of about eight fathoms. His collar-bone was broken, and he was so much injured internally that he died in the course of two hours afterwards. The unfortunate man was about 31 years of age.
The Glasgow Herald 17th October 1873

To confirm an agreement entered Into between Robert Thomas Napier Speir of Culdees Castle and of Blackstone, and James Dunlop of Tollcross. carrying on business coal and iron master at Clyde Iron Works, and elsewhere, under the firm of James Dunlop & Company, and the Company, dated the day of April, and 19th and 24th days of May 1881, and any subsequent agreements between those parties, for the sale to the Company of the Branch Railway leading from the said James Dunlop & Company's ironstone pit, called Linwood Pit No. 2, on the south-western side of the village of Linwood, to the Company's Glasgow and Greenock Line on the Farm of Blackstoun Mains, near the post indicating a distance on that line of 9 1/4 miles from Glasgow, including the depot adjoining to the said Branch Railway, near the pit called Linwood Pit No. 1. and the lands upon which the said Branch Railway and depot are formed and adjoining thereto, all the Parish of Kilbarchan. the county of Renfrew; and to provide that the said Branch Railway, Depot, and land shall form part of the Company's undertaking as also to enable the said parties enter into further agreements with each other with respect the said Branch Railway. Depot, and Lands.
From the Caledonian Railway (Further Powers) Act 1882, printed in the Dundee Advertiser, 28th December 1881

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