Scottish shale Scottish shale

Roman Camp - Almondfield Oil Works

Alternative names:
Almondfield Refinery, Almondfield Chemical Works
Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Built c.1866
Ceased operation c.1869, site cleared c.1884
Current status of site:


A small paraffin refinery at an unknown location within Uphall parish which was not listed by Redwood. Valuation rolls suggest that Almondfield might have been part of the former Roman Camp oil works sites which operated for four or five years, then left unlet for more than a decade. The works appears in editions of the Edinburgh Post Office Directory between 1866 and 1869, listed simply as; "Vallance, Oil Refinery, Almondfield". The place-name "Almondfield" does not appear on local Ordnance Survery maps.

Peter Caldwell in his book "Broxburn Shale; the rise and fall of an industry" (Grimsay Press 2010) states:"James (sic?)Vallance, a chemist from Paisley, had an oil refinery built at Almondfield." " This refinery stood just East of the Arches on the south side of the present main road. In the field directly opposite, on the north side of the road, there was a shale mine (Newliston Shale Mine)". No source is given for this information, and the site suggested by Peter Caldwell lies just outside of the boundaries of Uphall parish.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1897.

  • Valuation rolls by year
    • Date Rateable value Owner Notes
      1865 £70 Willaim Fraser and William Fraser Jnr.
      1866 £25 John Valance Name change to Almondfield
      1867 £30 John Valance
      1868 £20 John Valance
      1869-79 £8 John Valance Unlet
      1880-83 £8 John Valance 1 acre, grounds only
      1884 John Valance Site of building
  • Location map
  • Newspaper references
    • SEQUESTRATION of ANDREW TAYLOR, Manufacturing Chemist, Uphall, by Bathgate. DAVID MARSHALL, Chartered Accountant in Edinburgh, has been elected Trustee on the estate; and Robert Kay Kinnimount, Merchant, Stewartfield, Broxburn, Alexander Sim, one of the Partners of the North British Colour Company, Leith, and John Vallance, Oil Refiner, Broxburn, have been elected Commissioners. The examination of the Bankrupt will take place within the Sheriff-Court-house, Linlithgow, on Wednesday the 5th day of June next, at one o'clock afternoon. The Creditors will meet within the Trustee's Chambers, 36, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, on Thursday the 13th day of June next, at two o'clock afternoon. DAVID MARSHALL, Trustee. Edinburgh, May 29, 1867.

      Edinburgh Gazette, 31st May 1867