Scottish shale Scottish shale

Whiterigg Oil Works

Alternative names:
Whiterigg Oil Works, Craigmauken Chemical Works
Former parish and county:
Parish of New Monkland, Lanarkshire
Local authority:
North Lanarkshire
John James Patison
Possibly constructed c. 1860
Possibly dismantled c.1880
Current status of site:
Agriculture presumably following opencast mining of the area
Regional overview:


Redwood notes that Whiterigg Oil Works, proprietor James Pattison [sic], operated between 1865 and 1870.

A small early oilworks, little larger than a laboratory, which was operated by James Patison for about twenty years. Frequent advertisments in the Glasgow Herald gives the impression that Patison furnished his works with items of second hand plant and machinery.

It should be noted that Stanrigg Oil Works was also sometimes referred to as Whiterigg Oil Works.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1864, showing chemical works and a number of small buildings within a yeard.

  • Rateable value by year
    • Date Rateable Value Owner Occupier Notes
      1862-63 £18 John James Pattison John James Pattison
      1864 £30 John James Pattison John James Pattison
      1865-70 £36 John James Pattison John James Pattison
      1871 £30 John James Pattison John James Pattison
      1872-74 £20 John James Pattison John James Pattison
      1875 £10 John James Pattison John James Pattison
      1876-80 £15 John James Pattison John James Pattison
  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references
    • AIR-BLAST APPARATUS, Steam Engine, 10-inch cylinder and boiler complete; price, £110.- John Patison, Whiterigg, Airdrie.

      Glasgow Herald, 22nd February 1872


      PLANKS suitable for scaffolding or pit shafts (about 240, little used) John Patison, Whiterigg, Airdrie.

      Glasgow Herald, 8th May 1874


      PIPES, about 24 inch inside, branches in each prefered, also charcoal mill; state price. John Patison, Whiterigg, Airdrie.

      Glasgow Herald, 5th February 1875


      ESTATE (Agricultural and Mineral), over 300 acres, 5 per cent , for Sale. John Patison, Whiterigg Chemical Works, Airdrie.

      Scotsman, 26th April 1875


      COPPER WORM for still, with iron tank cooler £6, Iron pan, 6ft diameter £5; Pattison, Whitrigg, Airdrie.

      Glasgow Herald, 10th October 1879


      PIPE or HOSE (flexible), a few yards, 2.5 or 3 inches inside, coiled with wire; Patison, Whiterigg, Airdrie.

      Glasgow Herald, 27th April 1880


      John James Patison... was born in Leith in 1828, and ultimately lived in Airdrie, at Barblues Cottage, where he commenced experiments with the carbonisation of shale....Following on from these early experiments he stated shortly afterwards a chemical works at Stand, near Airdrie, which was subsequently removed – either in 1856 or 1857 – to Whiterigg, also near Airdrie, being known as Whiterigg Chemical Works. The first process carried out was the distillation of shale refuse for the production of oil, and Patison was one of the earliest practical workers in the commercial development of the Scottish shale oil industry.......All his life Patison remained keenly interested in the shale oil industry. He carried on the Whiterigg Chemical Works along with a son until 1886, when he retired from active business; and he died at Inverkeithing, in Fifeshire, in July 1905.

      "Some Notes on a Neglected Worthy" by David Brownlie, published in The People,s Journal?, 4th February 1925