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Deans Oil Works

Location 55.897343, -3.572117 show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Built c. 1884
Ownership history West Lothian Oil Company Ltd, Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Plant dismantled c.1948, site cleared, c.1951
Current status of site Secure car storage, indoor go-kart centre


The West Lothian Oil Company Ltd was formed in 1883 to construct a crude oil works at Deans which would serve an existing refinery owned by the company at Braehead (Benhar) near Fauldhouse. The enterprise was not successful and discussion at Shareholder's Meetings were of unsound management, defective retorts and equipment, and dubious practice by Directors. When the Company failed in 1891, the liquidator noted: "that the Company spent large sums of money, sinking pits, and providing machinery etc. for shale oil workings at Boghall and erecting works for the distillation of shale and manufacturing of crude oil. The operations of the Company had been unsuccessful and the Company had incurred large losses." The West Lothian Oil Company Ltd built housing for its workforce at Deans.

After a period of disuse, the site and mineral leases were acquired by the Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd who constructed a new crude oil works on the site and developed new mines to the south and east of the works (Deans No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6 & No. 7). The company also constructed a substantial new village at Livingston Station to house its workforce, served with electrical power from the works. Crude oil was transported to Pumpherston for refining. Production continued until c.1948, and most of the site cleared other than the office block and the 1930's bath-house which survived into the 1990's.

In the early 1950's the oil works site was taken over by the Royal Engineers who constructed a range of steel framed storage buildings that remain in use (2013) as commercial storage units. The Deans bing was cleared during the late 1970's, much of the blaes being transported by rail to the Renfrewshire area for use in construction of the M8.

Valuation Records

Entries between 1884 and 1956. Download details


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

Archive Images

Plans and Drawings

Present-day Images

Accident Records

Additional Resources


BATHS FOR OIL WORKERS AT LIVINGSTONE - A well-equipped set of baths was opened by Scottish Oils (Ltd.) at Deans Oil Works, Livingstone yesterday for the benefit of their workers. There are over 200 lockers where the workmen leave their dirty clothes to be dried. Spray baths with hot and cold water are provided. Boot cleaning machines have been installed, and there is a canteen where the workmen may make tea. A well-fitted ambulance room where accident cases may be treated forms part of the buildings. The Scotsman, 22nd July 1937

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