Scottish shale Scottish shale

Armadale Oil Works

Alternative names:
Armadale Paraffin Works
Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Built 1865, or earlier
Presumably dismantled 1867, or later
Current status of site:
Public space within housing


A small and short-lived crude oil works promoted by two local business men, and utilising a local shale.

Redwood notes that the works were operated by P. Scott, between 1863 and 1867; "24 Horizontal Retorts, crude only, gravity 895 to 902."

The article "Armadale; past and present" (see References, below) describes the works as sited "a short distance east from the South Street railway level crossing". The dotted area shown on the 1896 OS map presumably represents the "small area of burnt blaes" described in the article.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1898, with the presumed site of Armadale Oil Works in the centre of the map.

  • Rateable value by year
    • Date Rateable Value Owner Occupier Notes
      1865 £15 Peter Scott Peter Scott
      1866 £61.17 Peter Scott Peter Scott
      1867 £40 Peter Scott Peter Scott
  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Recent images

  • Newspaper references

      To be SOLD by Public Roup, within Robertson's Hotel, Bathgate on Tuesday the fifth day of February next at Two o'clock P.M. If not previously disposed of by Private Bargain.

      THE CRUDE OIL-WORKS at ARMADALE, which belonged to Peter Scott, Oil Manufacturer there, now to his Trust Estate. The Works consist of Forty-five horizontal retorts, with the Fittings necessary for the manufacture of Oil, in good working order. The works occupy about 2 Acres of Ground, leased by Mr. Scott for fifteen years; and the landlord will, if satisfied with the proposed Purchaser, interpose no obstacles beyond the fair protection of his rights in the way of a transfer. There is a siding from the adjacent line of the North British Railway into the Works. For the Terms of Lease and Transfer, and any further particulars, apply to CHARLES ALLAN, Solicitor in Bathgate, 14th January 1867.

      Scotsman, 16th January 1867


      SALE To be Sold, by Public Roup, by the Trustee on the Trust Estate of Peter Scott, Oil Manufacturer, at the Works Armadale, near Bathgate, on Monday the 25th day of Feb. current. THE Whole of the MOVEABLE PLANT connected with said Works, consisting of a Steam Engine, Winding Gearing, Pullies and Ropes, Pit Barring, Slides, Cage and other Connections, Fire Rakes, Shovels, Spades, Three Weighing Machines, Five Iron Hutches, Two Iron Barrows, Office Furniture, and other Articles; also, about 2300 Gallons of Shale Crude Oil. Ready Money. Sale to begin at Two o'clock P.M., MUNGO CHAPMAN, Auctioneer. Bathgate, 14th February, 1867.

      Glasgow Herald, 20th February 1867


      CRUDE OIL WORKS AT ARMADALE IN THE PARISH OF BATHGATE FOR SALE, Upset price reduced to £650. TO BE SOLD, BY PUBLIC ROUP, Within Robertson's Hotel, Bathgate, on Tuesday the 30th day of April curt at Two o'clock P.M., (if not previously disposed of by private bargain.) THE CRUDE OIL WORKS at Armadale, belonging to the Trust Estate of Peter Scott, Oil Manufacturer, there-all as formerly Advertised. For the terms of the Lease and Transfer, and any further particulars, apply to Charles Allan, Solicitor in Bathgate. 15th April, 1867.

      Glasgow Herald, 24th April 1867


      RETORTS – Ten New Horizontal Retorts for Sale – Apply to Thomas Wilson, Mineral Borer, Armadale.

      Glasgow Herald, 25th June 1869


      Mr Peter Scott, who had come from Bathgate and opened an ironmongery shop, influenced by the great profits that were believed to be made from the oil industry, induced Mr. Duncan Livingston, a well-to-do miner, to join with him in building up an oil work a short distance east from the South Street railway level crossing. Here, in 1865, they sank a pit to a seam of shale, and erected plant for extracting the oil. The deposit of shale, however, did not prove of a paying quality, and after a short experience, in which the partners lost heavily, the works were abandoned, the only thing left to mark the spot being a small bing of burnt blaes and the office and weigh-house, now owned and occupied by Mr. William Paul.

      From Armadale: Past and Present by R. Hynd-Brown, published in the West Lothian Courier,1906.