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Home > Companies & Works > Scottish Oil Works > Champfleurie oil works

Champfleurie Oil Works

also referred to as Linlithgow Oil Works

Location 55.965330, -3.539411. show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Linlithgow, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Built c. 1884
Ownership history Linlithgow Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Presumably demolished c.1903
Current status of site Derelict land until c.2002, now site of Bridgend Golf Club

Background

A large-scale enterprise, inspired by the success of the Broxburn Oil Company Ltd, and equipped with crude oil works, refinery and a candle plant. The Linlithgow Oil Company Ltd struggled for profitability throughout its short life. The works were initially equipped, in part, with outdated Henderson retorts, the quality of local shales seldom reached expectation, and by the time the works were opened, market conditions were poor. The refinery processed crude oil from many of the smaller crude oil producers such as the Holmes Oil Company Ltd, the Hermand Oil Company Ltd and the New Hermand Oil Company Ltd. The company was wound-up in 1902.

See information about the railways that served the works

Valuation Records

Entries from 1884 to 1903. Download details

Maps

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

Recent Images

Snippets

ATTEMPT TO WRECK A TRAIN - At Linlithgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday – before Sheriff Substitute Macleod, two labourers, names Michael Conner and Frank Douglas, were charged with having, on 18th inst., placed a large stone on the mineral railway at Champfleurie, with the intention of throwing the workmen's train off the rails. The stone was placed between the rails at a narrow part of a bridge where the railway crosses a stream, and in such a position as to make an accident seem almost inevitable. The train has just ascended an incline, and was getting up speed when it struck the stone, and while no serious damage was done, the engine had a miraculous escape. They pleaded not guilty, but were convicted on evidence, and sentenced to 60 days' imprisonment each, with hard labour. The Sheriff said he did not think that the accused had intended to injure any one by what they did. It looked more like a drunken joke, but a line of railway was not a place for practising jokes of this kind, because the consequences might have been very serious. Falkirk Herald, 29th July 1899.

THE AFFAIRS OF LINLITHGOW OIL COMPANY. The report circulated yesterday as to the proposal to wind up Linlithgow Oil Company continues to excite much attention in the Linlithgow district. It can hardly be said, however, that the resolution of the directors has come as a surprise, because by shareholders and others something of this kind has been looked for for the past two years, and among commercial men the opinion is expressed that it might have been better had the directorate adopted such a course years ago. The works, which are situated on the estate of Champfleurie, about two miles from Linlithgow, occupy a considerable area, and give employment to hundreds of miners and oilworkers. The shale field is also extensive, and it is said that some parts of it have not yet been operated upon. Quite recently a coal mine was opened up on the Ochiltreeside, which belong to Lord Rosebery, and it was thought that by this means a saving would be effected in the providing of fuel for the works. The mine, however, on which a considerable sum of money had been expended, was not a success. The feeling in Linlithgow is that the works will be kept in operation meantime. The works are the chief source of employment in Linlithgow district; the outlook is gloomy. Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 5th February 1902.

THE STOPPAGE OF LINLITHGOW OIL WORKS. Rumours to the effect that Linlithgow Oil Works would probably be restarted and kept in operation while the liquidation process is proceeding have been current for the past few days. While many families have left the district, others remain in the hope that employment may be found at some of the surrounding works. It is expected that the official liquidators will shortly visit the works for the purpose of taking an inventory of the stock and plant. Edinburgh Evening News, 17th February 1902.

THE LINLITHGOW OIL COMPANY LIMITED (in liquidation) MACHINERY, PLANT &c., FOR SALE, BY PRIVATE TENDER. To be SOLD, the whole remaining MACHINERY, PLANT &c. consisting, inter alia. of SULPHATE OF AMMONIA PLANT, REFINERY PLANT, REFRIGERATING PLANT, CANDLEMAKING MACHINERY, COOPERAGE PLANT, STOCK TANKS (up to 50,000 Gallons) PIT RAILS, PUMPING and OTHER ENGINES, and other MISCELLANEOUS PLANT. The Machinery, Plant &c have been catalogued in two sections- (1) Heritable, and (2) Movable. Each section to be offered separately. Catalogues on Application. All Offers must be addressed to "The Joint Liquidators" at No.3 Albyn Place, Edinburgh, marked "Offer for Machinery, Plant, &c." on or before Saturday 11th April 1903. The Scotsman, 30th March 1903.

A report has gained currency in Linlithgow to the effect that the prospect of a new company being floated to work the shale fields of Champfleurie and Ochiltree, on the estates of Captain Johnston-Stewart and Lord Rosebery, is more hopeful than ever. At present the state of the oil industry is very satisfactory, and this, together with the fact that the shale field at Linlithgow lies so adjacent to those of other companies lends credence to the report. The work of clearing out the old plant is being pushed forward, and by November term a definite decision is expected to have been reached. Edinburgh Evening News, 18th August 1903.

The work of dismantling and removing the plant at Champfleurie is being steadily pushed forward. The large Pentifex & Wood's patent ice-making or freezing machine is said to have been purchansed by the Nobel's Explosives Company. The purchases made by Messrs J. B. Thomas & Co., one of which was an exceptionally large-sized steam boiler, were conveyed by traction engine to Linlithgow at the beginning of the week. There is still a considerable portion of the plant to disconnect and remove.  With reference to future prospects, the report that a new company will be floated in the near future continues to gain much credence, and just as the one begets public confidence, the other as to the possibility of the shale field being worked by one of the adjoining companies is the less credited.  The “secret,” however, is not likely to be much longer withheld from an anxious and long-expectant community.  In connection with it all, it is satisfactory to know that the trade continues good in all branches. The Falkirk Herald, 17th October 1903.

Accident Records

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