Scottish shale Scottish shale

Avonhead Coal Company

Pre 1871
Post 1879
Registered office:

Not known

Oil works:

The Avonhead Coal Company - described as coal and shale masters, and oil distillers - shared most partners with the tube manufacturers Gray & Wylie; proprietors of the Clifton Ironworks in Coatbridge. The company supplied oil shale to a number of small oil producers based on their Avonhead site, but no evidence has yet been found that the company produced oil on their own account.


  • Colin Campbell - Miner, Coatbridge, subsequently Avonhead, New Monkland (until 13th July 1871)
  • James Gray - Potato Merchant, Glasgow (until 7th Janary 1878)
  • William Wylie (until 12th December 1878)
  • William Wylie, Junior, (until 12th December 1878)
  • Joseph Wylie (until 12th December 1878)
  • John Wylie (sole partner from 12th December 1878)

  • Newspaper references
    • SHALE – THE AVONHEAD COAL COMPANY is prepared to receive Offers for their Johnstone SHALE, yielding 30 gallons per Ton, or thereby. There are above 3000 Tons in stock, with an output of 20 Tons per day, which can be greatly increased if required. The above can be loaded in Trucks, or if preferred, Ground will be given for the erection of Retorts. For further particulars apply at Clifton Ironworks, Coatbridge, or at the colliery office, Avonhead.

      Glasgow Herald, 16th November 1867


      THE Company of COLVILLE & GRAY. Malleable Iron Manufacturers, Coatbndge, and Partners of The AVONHEAD COAL COMPANY. Coal and Shale Masters, Avonhead, has been DISSOLVED at a date of mutual consent of the Subscribers, the sole Partners thereof. The Subscriber, Thomas Gray, who has passed the Company estates, will pay all debts due by, and is authorised to receive payment of all debted to Colville & Gray. Glasgow, September 15th 1870.


      NOTICE. THE Subscriber, DAVID COLVILLE, Malleable Iron Manufacturer, Coatbndge, of this date ceased to have any interest in THE AVONHEAD COAL COMPANY, Coal and Shale Masters, Avonhead. Glasgow, September 15th 1870.


      Edinburgh Gazette, 20th September 1870Edinburgh Gazette, 20th September 1870


      THE Subscriber, Colin Campbell, formerly Miner, Coatbridge, now residing at Avonhead, New Monkland, ceased, with consent of the other Subscribers, the only other Partners in the Company, of the date hereof, to be a Partner or to have any interest in the Company or Firm carrying on business as Coal and Shale Masters and Oil Distillers, at Avonhead and elsewhere, under the Firm of THE AVONHEAD COAL COMPANY. - COLIN CAMPBELL. JAMES GRAY. GRAY & WYLIE. (WILLIAM CURRIE, Clerk, Clifton Iron Works, Coatbridge, Witness. JOHN ROBB, Joiner, Clifton Iron Works, Witness.) Coatbridge, July 13, 1871.

      Edinburgh Gazette, 28th July 1871


      James Gray, Potato Merchant, Glasgow, has, with consent of the other Subscribers and remaining Partners, retired as a Partner from the Company or Firm carrying on business as Coal and Shale Master and Oil Distillers at Avonhead and elsewhere, under the firm of the Avonhead Coal Company, as upon the date thereof 7th January 1878.

      Edinburgh Gazette, 1878


      The deceased William Wylie, Tube Manufacturer in Glasgow, ceased, on the 12th day of December 1878, to have any interest as a partner, either on his own account, or as representing and on behalf of his two sons William Wylie Junior, and Joseph Wylie in (1st) the Company carrying on business as Malleable Iron Manufacturers at Clifton Iron Works, Coatbridge, former the firm of GRAY & WYLIE, thereafter under the firm of JOHN WYLIE & COMPANY and (2nd) in the company or firm carrying on business as Coal and Shale Masters and Oil Distillers at Avonhead and elsewhere under the Firm of the AVONHEAD COAL COMPANY; and the said William Wylie Junior and Joseph Wylie, also of the said date ceased to have any interest as Partners in the said Companies. The Subscriber John Wylie has since said date carried on, and still carries on the said firms of JOHN WYLIE & COMPANY and THE AVONHEAD COAL COMPANY as sole partner therein. Glasgow 18th June 1879.

      Edinburgh Gazette 24th June 1879


    A new company; the Avonhead Coal Co. Ltd., was established in 1911 to continue mining at Avonhead. It is interesting to note that their listing in the 1924 Colliery Year Book and Colliery Trades Directory still makes mention of the oil shale working.

    The Clifton Iron Works, Coatbridge, at one time operated by Messrs. Gray & Wyllie, pictured c.1900.