Scottish shale Scottish shale

Hawick Oil Works

Alternative names:
Hawick Paraffin Oil Refinery
Former parish and county:
Parish of Hawick, Roxburghshire
Local authority:
Scottish Borders
Built c. 1868
Presumably dismantled c. 1869
Current status of site:
Car park, industrial buildings


A short-lived paraffin refinery, located controversially in the centre of Hawick. Not listed by Redwood.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1862, showing Gas Works site, adjacent to which the paraffin refinery was built.

  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references
    • The following is a report by Dr. Stevenson Macadam, with reference to a proposal to erect a Paraffine Oil Manufactory at Hawick.....the paraffine oil refinery in question is intended primarily to work up the crude oil obtained from the adjoining so-called Gas-work; but as it is highly probable that the crude oil so obtained will fall far short of the quantity actually capable of being refined in the work, the oil company intent to refine crude Pennsylvanian petroleum and shale oils, according to the market and demand for such. It is not proposed to use the Canadian petroleum, which is the most offensive in refining.

      Stirling Observer, 16th August 1866


      The CLERK then read the Sanitary Committee's report on the oil-refining works in course of erection near the gas-works, to the effect that the Council had no power at the present stage to interfere, nothing noxious or offensive having yet arisen from the works, and the proprietor having assured them that they would not prove so; that, however, the Council should intimated to the proprietor that they are not to be held as consenting to the erection of the works, or to be debarred from objecting to them at a future time, should they prove noxious or offensive.

      Scotsman, 10th August 1866



      To be SOLD by Private Bargain, ALL and WHOLE that Portion of the UNDER COMMON-HAUGH OF HAWICK, extending 1 acre 2 Roods 21 Poles 7 yards, or thereby, with the BUILDINGS and other HERITABLE OBJECTS thereon, lately occupied by Mr. John Wield, as a Paraffin Manufactory......... The Plan will be shown, and several Portions of Ground pointed out by Mr. YOUNG, the Manager of Hawick Gasworks.

      Scotsman, 18th November 1868


      There will be Exposed to Public SALE, in Suitable Lots, at Hawick on Tuesday the 8th day of December next, at Ten o'clock forenoon. The WHOLE MOVABLE PLANT connected with the Extensive PARAFFINE OIL REFINERY in HAWICK, belonging to the Sequestrated Estate of JOHN WIELD, Chemist, Druggist and Oil Refiner there and consisting of: 16 Large Oil Tanks capable of containing 12,000 gallons – a large number of Cast-Iron Boilers, 4ft. By 3ft. – 2 Malleable Iron Stills, 9ft by 5ft. With internal fittings for superheating, also Copper Disengaging Apparatus – 1 Hydraulic Press, with 10-inch Ras, has only been two months in use – 3 small retorts for Re-distillation, with Condensing and Separating Apparatus, to be sold with the Brick-Work – a large variety of Chemical Apparatus – a very large quantity of cast and malleable Iron Pipes of various sizes from 1 to 6 inches with Brass and Cast Iron Cocks, and a lot of other connections – 1 Acid Tank of Lead, in two compartments, with two brass forcing cylinders – and a large quantity of Lead Pipes, with Brass Mountings. COOPERAGE. 166 Casks containing tar – upwards of 400 empty Paraffine Casks, say 30 gallons each, and a large number of various sizes – upwards of 700 old and new Paraffin Cask Ends – a large quantity of Cooper’s Tools, comprising of everything requisite for carry on of business on a large scale – 15 cwt of Hoop Iron, of various sizes, and also a considerable quantity of Rivets – 2 Cooper’s Benches – also a Steaming and Glueing Apparatus...

      Scotsman, 5th December 1868