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Stanrigg Oil Works

Location 55.885927, -3.947601. show in map
Former parish and county Parish of New Monkland, Lanarkshire
Current local authority area North Lanarkshire
Construction history Built c.1866
Ownership history William Black, Stanrigg Oil Company, William Black & Sons Ltd
Demolition history Presumably dismantled c.1903
Current status of site Site landscaped following opencast working


The last and the largest of the coal-oil works, producing crude oil and refined products from local coals. Redwood notes that Stanrigg Oil Works, operated by Black, were started in 1865 and were still going.

Valuation Records

Entries from 1865 to 1903. Also referred to as Whiterigg Works. Download details


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



FIRE AT AN OIL WORKS – About four o'clock yesterday morning (Tuesday) fire accidentally broke out in Whiterigg Oil Works, Whiterigg, belonging to William Black, Esq., coalmaster, there. The fire originated in one of the retorts, and speedily communicated with the stock of manufactured oil, the most of which was barrelled. Out of 21 retorts, 16 were partially destroyed, and 2000 gallons of oil consumed in the conflagration. The fire lasted for about four hours, and through the activity of William Black jun., and a number of workmen, Captain Clark, and some constables, a considerable quantity of barrelled oil was secured. The loss is estimated at about £300. Glasgow Herald 15th November 1865

The demand for oil is increasing and the Airdrie Oil Works, which have been standing for some time, have again resumed operations. The Stanrigg Oil Company, through the active superintendence of Mr Jeffrey, an now produce an oil of greatly superior quality to the best American and for which a higher price is now obtained. The Scotsman 14th February 1870

JOHNSTONE – EXTENSIVE LEASE OF MINERALS. Messrs. William Black and Sons, of Stanrigg, Airdrie, have leased from Mr Spier about 400 acres of minerals on his estate at Blackstone, in the Johnstone Area. The minerals comprise ironstone, shale, and coal. Glasgow Herald 25th April 1872.

Whiterigg, belonging to Messrs Black & Co., is a large village, consisting, for the most part, of new brick rows, and a large square, also new, called Airdriehill Square. These are excellent two-roomed houses, with 7 wash-houses and ashpits and closets behind. The rent is 2s a week. There is, however, an old row in Whiterigg, consisting of very inferior houses. There are no back windows, and the interiors are poor in the extreme, both as to accommodation and furniture. Everybody declares that they are not fit for human beings to stay in, and I quite agree with everybody. They are not decently habitable even for Irish human beings, the least tidy of the mining class, who seem to keep this row all to themselves. Pit water is used at Whiterigg. The Glasgow Herald, 9th March 1875.

In the Motherwell area a thin parrot shale occurs as a roof to the Virtuewell Coal and was formerly used in the distillation of oil. The old Stanrigg Oil Works between Airdrie and Longriggend were set up to treat this shale. Memoirs of the Geological Survey in Scotland Vol XXIV Cannel Coals, Lignite and Mineral Oil in Scotland by W. Gibson 1922

Accident Records

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