Scottish shale Scottish shale

Roughcraig Oil Works

Former parish and county:
New Monkland., Lanarkshire
Local authority:
North Lanarkshire
William Forsyth
Presumably equipped c.1866
Presumably dismantled after 1874
Current status of site:
Housing or urban greenspace
Regional overview:


Redwood notes that Roughcraig Oil Works was active between 1864 and 1871.

Sales notices (see References below) refer to "Roughcraigs Colliery and Oil Works" suggesting that oil retorts were located close to the pit head. Both colliery and oil works were advertised for sale in late 1866, following the death of Mr. Clarkson, and residual equipment auctioned off in early 1869.

It appears that the colliery and oil works were purchased by William Forsyth, but that oil production did not resume; the oil works lying silent until 1874.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1864, showing area centred on Roughcraig.

  • Rateable value by year
    • Date Rateable Value Owner Occupier Notes
      1886 £80 Clarkston & Spence Clarkston & Spence
      1887 £54 William Forsyth William Forsyth Not Working
      1888 £54 William Forsyth William Forsyth Working
      1869-74 £54 William Forsyth William Forsyth
  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references

      There will be Sold, by Public Roup (unless previously disposed of by private bargain), within the Facility Hall, Glasgow. upon the 12th Day of December at two o'clock in the afternoon, THE RIGHT to the LEASE held by the late Firm of Clarkson & Spence. Coalmasters and Oil Manufacturers Roughcralg, neat Airdrle, together with the COLLIERY. MACHINERY. and PLANT. and also Ten OIL RETORTS, and Whole APPURTENANCIES connected therewith. The Lands contain the Humph, Splint; Virtuewell, Kiltongue. end Drumgray Seams of Coal, with a very productive shale, and that section of Minerals called the Musselband, which section includes the Musselband and Ball Ironstone. The Lease, which is for Nineteen' Years from Martinmass 1865, is a very favourable one; and the Colliery and Oil Works have been carried on profitably, and the same is being disposed of in consequence of the death of Mr Clarkson, one of the Partners. There is seldom an opportunity of acquiring such a work as this now presented. To insure competition, the Upset Price has been reduced to £1816. For further particulars, apply to Mr.John Rankin, Solicitor, Airdrie; Mr. Henry McLachan, Accountant. Coatbridge and Mr. John K. Peebles, Solicitor and Town-Clerk. Airdrie in whose hands are an Inventory of the Plant, and articles of Roup. Mr. John Spears, 11 Bank Street, Airdrie will show the Works to intending purchasers, and also give any information required.

      Glasgow Herald, 10th December 1866


      Public Sale of SHALE, CRUDE OIL, BRICKS & LIME, Boiler, Travelling Crane, Force Pump, Cart Weighs, &c. At Roughcraig Colliery and Oil Works, belonging to the late Firm of Clarkson & Spence.- These will be sold by Public Roup on Tuesday, 19th Feb., at Roughcraig Colliery and Oil Works, Airdrie, the following viz: About 30 Tons of Gas Coal, Shale, and Limestone; about 3000 Gallons of Crude Oil, of a first-rate quality; Several Thousand Bricks. And a Quantity of Lime, 1 Strong Boiler, with Double Cocks- tor holding oil. 21 feet by 6 feet 3 inches, nearly New. 1 Force Pump with Lead Pipe, 1 travelling Crane; 1 Sawmill; 1Pair Pit Fanners, 1 Set Cart Weights, I Set Huteh Weighs with weight, 1 set Scales and weights, Cart and Harness Lot of malleable Iron Rails, Lot of Cast-Iron Plates, Hutch Wheels and Couplings, Hooks and Muzzles for Waggons, Batons, Sleepers. Pit and other Wood, Pinehes, Crowbars, Bolts and Nuts, Furnace Bars,, Grindstone, Round and Square- Mouthed Shovels. Riddles, Wheelbarrows, Iron Scraps, Old Ropes and Chains; Smiths' Tools including Bellows, Vice, Anvil, Hammers, Tongs, Dies, Taps &c.:Saws and Augers, Several Barrels of Tools, 1 Barrel White Lead, Davy and Flame Lamps, Desk and Stool, &c.. Sale to Commencing at Twelve O'clock. GEO GENTLES, Auction.

      Glasgow Herald, 15th February 1867