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Capeldrae Oil Works

Location Uncertain, perhaps in the vicinity of 56.164265, -3.285713, show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Auchterderran, Fife
Current local authority area Fife
Construction history Built c.1866
Ownership history Capeldrae Oil Company, Capeldrae Oil and Coal Company Ltd
Demolition history Oil works dismantled c.1868?
Current status of site Opencast workings ?


Redwood notes that Capeldrae Oil Works operated 1864-68 and were subsequently Westfield Oil Works

Apparently a very small-scale oil works that operated for only a few years. The Capeldrae Oil and Coal Company continued in existance until 1878, presumably concerned with coal mining operations.

Clues to the location of Capeldrae oil works are provided by the North British Railway (Additional Works and Powers) Act of 1872, which includes powers to construct the "Capeldrae deviation" ; a line terminating in a field "occupied by the Capeldrae Oil and Coal company", described as being near South Bogside. This appears never to have been built (perhaps because the oil works had closed?) and powers were abandoned in 1875.

It appears that Westfield Oil Works were subsequently built on, or close to, the former site of Capeldrae oil works.

Operations of the Capeldrae Oil and Coal Company Ltd. appear completely separate from those of the Lochore and Capeldrae Cannel Coal Company Ltd., established in 1872 with a share capital of £110,000. Their prospectus stated;

"The cannel has for many years been wrought at Capeldrae, and is known as one of the finest in Scotland. The same seam has been discovered at Lochore and Crosshill, and is being worked at these properties.... all workings have hitherto been restricted by the want of railway accomodation"

One of the directors of the Capeldrae Oil and Coal Company Ltd was George Gray, Coalmaster, Leavenseat, then the proprietor of Levenseat oil works.

Valuation Records

Entries between 1866 and 1888 cover both Capeldrae and Westfield Oil Works. Download details


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


FOR SALE BY PRIVATE BARGAIN, THE ESTATE of STRATHRUDDIE, lying in the Parish of Auchterderran, Fife. This Property consists of One farm and extends to 166 Acres or thereby. The Dwelling-House is new, and the Steading in good order. Coal, Iron and Shale are known to exist in the Property and Paraffine oil Works are in full operation close to the boundaries. The Scotsman 1st December 1866.

A Railway (hereinafter referred to as Railway No. 9) commencing in the Parish of Beath, in the County of Fife, by a junction with the Kinross-shire Railway of the Company at or near the south end of the Passenger Platform at Kelty Station, and terminating in the parish of Auchterderran, in the County of Fife, in a field adjoining the public road leading from Kinnesswood to and beyond Auchterderran at a point in the said field 180 yards or thereabouts eastward from the south-east corner of South Bogside Farm House, and 20 yards or thereabouts westward from the point where the road leading from Capledrae Coal and Oil Works joins the said public road, which intended Railway and Works will pass from, through or into, or be situated within, the Parishes, extra-parochial and other places following, or some of them (that is to say) – Beath, Ballingry, and Auchterderran, in the County of Fife. North British Railway Act, quoted in The Falkirk Herald 30th November 1871.

NOTICE is hereby given that at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the CAPELDRAE OIL AND COAL COMPANY, LIMITED, held in the Cafe Royal Hotel, Edinburgh, on the 9th day of December 1S78, the following Extraordinary Resolution was unanimously adopted :— "That as it has been proved to their satisfaction that the Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities,continue its business, it is advisable to surrender the leases, and wind up the Company ; and that a Liquidator be appointed, and all necessary steps taken forthwith to wind up the Company voluntarily. Mr. J. Connal was unanimously appointed Liquidator. J. CONNAL, Liquidator. Westfield of Capledrae, 24th December 1878. The Edinburgh Gazette 31st December 1878

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