Scottish shale Scottish shale

Blackstone Oil Works

Alternative names:
Blackston Oil Works
Former parish and county:
Parish of Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire
Local authority:
In operation as an oil works from c.1872, site in use until c.1900
Oil works plant dismantled during the 1890's ?
Current status of site:
Farm and wooded waste ground


Redwood notes

"Blackston Oil Works, proprietor Blackston Mineral Company, and located at Blackston, Paisley., operated between 1872 and 1879".

In about 1872, Airdrie coalmaster William Black and his associates acquired the mineral lease of the Blackstone estate from Thomas Speir, and set about sinking a pit to exploit coal, ironstone and shale. They formed the Blackstone Mineral Oil Company, listed in directories as "coal and ironstone masters, coal and shale oil proprietors".

The oil works seem likely to have been sited close to the Blackstone pits; the 1895 OS map, (surveyed following the dismantling of the oil works), shows a likely site slightly to the west of the shafts. Oil production seems likely to have ceased by 1880, however minerals continued to be worked at Blackstone into the first decade of the 20th century. Limestone seems also worked on site, and a brickworks was established c. 1905, presumably consuming the waste products of past mining operations. OS maps of the 1940's show the Blackstone site cleared of buildings and an aerial ropeway in operation to supply waste from the Blackstone bing to Walkinshaw brickworks.

The Blackstone oil works, operated by the Blackstone Mineral Oil Co., was an entirely separate operation from the Blackstoun Oil Works of Messrs. Allan Craig and Sons, which lay about a mile to the south west.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1896 (6" OS), showing the works in operation.

Directory Listings

From Watson's Directory for Paisley:

  • BLACKSTON Mineral Company, Blackston – Robert Waddell, manager (1885-89), William Kirkwood, manager (1892-93), Peter Paterson, manager. (1894-95)
  • BLACK, William & Sons Limited, Blackstone works (1896-99) Blackstone works and Blackstone brickworks (1900+)
  • UNITED COLLIERIES, Blackston brickworks (1905+)
  • KIRKWOOD, William, manager Blackston works – cottage Blackston (1889-92)
  • NIVEN, Robert, cashier, Blackstoun Pits (1876)
  • PARK, Isaac, clerk, Blackston Mineral Co. – house Blackstone cottage (1894) Wm. Black & Sons Ltd. – house (1896-97)
  • RUSSELL, Thomas, clerk and cashier to Blackston Mineral Co. (1885-89) cashier to Blackston Mineral Co. –house 18 Greenhill Rd, Paisley (1890-95)
  • RUSSELL, Thomas, cashier to William Black & Sons Ltd. –house 18 Greenhill Rd, Paisley (1896)
  • WADDELL, Robert, manager, Blackstoun Pits (1876-79), manager, Blackstoun Works (1880-84) cottage; Blackston (1885-87)
  • WILSON, Alex., oversman, Blackstoun Pit (1876-78)

  • Rateable value by year
    • Date Rateable Value Owner Occupier Notes
      1872-73 £100 Allan Craig & Son Allan Craig & Son
      1874 £100 Allan Craig & Son Allan Craig & Son Oil Works
      £650 Blackstoun Mineral Oil Company Blackstoun Mineral Oil Company
  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references

      We understand that Messrs. William Black & Sons of Airdrie have leased a large extent on minerals on the Blackstoun estate from Mr. Spiers, the proprietor, embracing ironstone, shale and coal.

      Glasgow Herald, 25th April 1872



      On Wednesday, the workers at Blackstone Work were allowed a half-day holiday and a handsome treat by the kindness of their employers, on the occasion of the marriage of Mr. Gavin Black, Stanrigg, one of the owners, Toasts were drunk with enthusiasm to the health of the newly-married couple, and prosperity to Messrs. Wm. Black & Sons. Dancing followed, which was vigorously sustained till late when all parted highly pleased with the entertainment.

      Glasgow Herald, 27th September 1872