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Balgray oil works

Location Uncertain, described at "near Annicklodge" show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Dreghorn, Ayrshire
Current local authority area North Ayrshire
Construction history pre-1870
Ownership history Glengarnock Iron Co.
Demolition history Seemingly closed in 1875
Current status of site Uncertain

Not listed by Redwood

One of a number of small oil works that utilised a seam of "parrot shale" or "shale coal" found in the Kilwinning area. (other oil works were at Annick Lodge, Doura, Fergushill, Kilwinning, and Patterton)

The only known evidence for an oil works at Balgray is

  1. Entries between 1870 and 1872 in the Glasgow Post Office Directory under Paraffin Oil Manufacturers for "Balgray Oil Works; office, 127 St. Vincent St."
  2. Newspaper references detailed below

The farms of West Balgray and East Balgray, lie immediately north of the presumed site of Annick Lodge Oil Works, but maps reveal no evidence of mineral working or any other clues as to where an oil works might have been located. Valuation rolls from 1875 record that the lands of Balgray and Standeep were owned by Robert Dunlop Allison of Balgray, but that "minerals (shale)" were held by Merry & Cunninghame, Coalmasters, although ascribed no rateable value.

It remains possible that the Balgray oil works were located in the Annick Lodge or Doura areas, or elsewhere where traces of the works have been obscured by later development of the the site.



Assets listed in a sales notice of 1875 include 39 cast iron retorts


Valuation Records

None so far located



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

Recent Images


SUICIDE.—On Saturday evening last, William Paterson, aged 33 years, oil manager at Balgray Oil Work, Annicklodge, parish of Irvine, committed suicide by thinking a quantity of vitrol in a house used for making ammonia at said oil work, and belonging to the Glengarnock Iron Coy., from the effects of which he died at five o'clock the following morning. It appears that deceased had been very much addicted to drinking for some time past, and was very much under its influence when he committed.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald 29th January 1870


OILWORK FOR SALE, BY PUBLIC AUCTION. There will be Sold, by Public Auction, the OILWORK at BALGRAY, near Annicklodge, on Thursday, 9th September, 1875, consisting of

The above will be put up in lots to suit Buyers. Annicklodge is three miles from Irvine Station and a Conveyance will start from the Station on the arrival of the 10.40 Train from Glasgow. Sale to commence at One o'clock. Terms-Cash at Sale. JOHN PARKER, Auctioneer.

Glasgow Herald, Monday 30 August 1875.

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