Scottish shale Scottish shale

Shotts Oil Works

Alternative names:
Hillhouseridge Oil Works, Simpson's Oil Works
Shotts, Lanarkshire
Local authority:
North Lanarkshire
Built c. 1866
Presumably dismantled after 1875
Current status of site:


Redwood notes that Shotts Oil Works, proprietors Geo. Gray and Alex Dick, operated between 1865 and 1871. The works were equipped with 30 Horizontal retorts, producing crude oil only, and supplying the North British Oil & Candle Company and Uphall Oil Company. Between 1873 and 1875, valuation rolls show the site as "not working" and owned by the Benhar Coal Company, a firm run by George Simpson.

The location of the works can be worked out from Airey's Railway Map of Scotland (printed 1875) which show's distances of "Simpson's Oil Works" in relation to various collieries along the Hartwoodhill branch of the North British Railway. Scaling from collieries marked on the 1895 OS map, the site of the former oil works coincides with an area marked as rough ground associated with two small bings and an "old shaft".

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1898 with the location of the works marked in red.

  • Rateable value by year
    • Date Rateable Value Owner Occupier Notes
      1866 £120 George Gray of Leavenseat George Gray of Leavenseat 30 retorts
      1867-72 £100 George Gray of Leavenseat George Gray of Leavenseat 75 retorts
      1873 £15 Benhar Coal Company Benhar Coal Company Not working
      1874-75 £40 Benhar Coal Company Benhar Coal Company Not working
  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references
    • A well attended meeting of crude coal oil manufacturers was held yesterday afternoon, in Waverley Temperance Hotel, Glasgow – Mr. George Gray, of Shotts Oil Works, presiding.

      Scotsman, 22nd March 1866


      FOR SALE. THE following GOING COLLIERIES and WORKS in the Counties of Lanark and Linlithgow. 1. The HARTWOODHILL COLLIERY near Shotts, fitted to an presently working the Benhar Coal and Shale in the Lands of Hartwoodhill and Hillhouseridge, with the SHOTTS OIL WORKS connected therewith, consisting of 75 retorts, 3 Stills, &c. The Hartwoodhill Branch of the North British Railway accommodates both of the Works.

      Scotsman, 28th December 1868



      This is an action for damages, arising out of novel circumstances, The pursuer, who resides at Levenseat, Edinburghshire, asks £6958, 0s. in name of damages for breach of agreement by the defender, coal-master Levenseat. In July the pursuer was engaged as manager of the defender's works and pits for four years. At that time the defender was the sole owner of Hartwoodhill Collieries, the Shotts Oil Works, the Levenseat Lime Works and the Levenseat Oil Works, and the pursuer was to receive £250 a-year, and certain percentages of the profits of the various works and pits. In July 1872, the defender sold Harwoodhill Collieries and the Shotts Oil Works to the Benhar Coal Company with the pursuer's knowledge or consent.

      Scotsman, 29th January 1873