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Inkerman Oil Works

Location 55.857123, -4.454776, show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Barony, Renfrewshire
Current local authority area Renfrewshire
Construction history Presumably built c.1872
Ownership history Abercorn Oil Company, Walkinshaw Oil Company Ltd, Hermand Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Dismantled c.1899
Current status of site Mostly beneath the A737 / M8 interchange


Redwood lists the site as Abercorn Oil Works, started 1871 by the Abercorn Oil Company, changed hands 1880. He also notes use of horizontal retorts until 1871, and then 240 vertical retorts, producing crude oil only. "After 1880 Walkinshaw Oil Company Ltd were proprietors".

Inkerman Oil Works has been known at various times as Abercorn oil works, Walkinshaw oilworks and Hermand oil works, (but should not be confused with the Abercorn oil works, Paisley of Anderson & Walloch, concerned with the processing of vegetable oils.)

Inkerman works were established in about 1871 by the Abercorn Oil Company. In 1880, when that company was incorporated into the Walkinshaw Oil Company, the “existing oil and brick works and workmen’s houses near Inkerman” were valued at £22,498. East Fulton works, and various mines and mineral rights, were also transferred to the new company. The Walkinshaw Company seemed to have replaced or reconstructed the retorts at Inkerman and constructed a new refinery that both served the Inkerman retorts and processed crude oil bought in from elsewhere. Hot gasses from the retorts fuelled the company’s brickworks at Inkerman, and the company’s railway linked the works with various pits.

Financial problems and issues with the quality of the local shale saw production of crude oil cease in about 1885, the refinery continuing at a reduced level until 1886, and brick production continuing until liquidation of the company in 1890. The refinery was subject of a major fire in January 1885 (this account gives some description of the layout of the buildings and lesser incidents in April 1885 and January 1887.

Under ownership of the Hermand Oil Co Ltd, from 1890, the refinery continued to see little service and the refinery plant and equipment were sold off in 1900

The second edition OS map, surveyed c.1895, shows the site in use as a refinery, although the disused bing provides a clear indication that the site had earlier been used for crude oil production. The four parallel structures in the southern part of the works have the appearance of retort benches, but might perhaps be banks of stills.

Valuation Records

Entries between 1872 and 1899, but empty after 1890. Download details

Directory Listings

From Watson's Directory for Paisley: