Scottish shale Scottish shale

British Oil Works, Saltney

Former parish and county:
Parish of Hawarden, County of Flint, Wales
Local authority:
c.1867? - final contents auctioned off 1874?
Current status of site:
Site now part of a modern industrial estate


A small-scale oil refinery, built by the British Oil & Cannel Co. Ltd. to process crude oil produced at the company's Meadow Vale Oil Works in Leeswood.

The refinery site lay close to St. David's Oil Works, Saltney and was well placed for distribution of products by rail or sea. On failure of the British Oil & Cannel Co. in 1867, the premises, described as:

"A plot of land containing 3,500 superficial square yards or thereabouts, situated in Saltney, near Chester, in the parish of Hawarden and county of Flint, together with the oil refinery and grease manufactory, buildings, office, stable, and other erections."

Many of the refinery buildings appear subsequently to have re-used as a manure works.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1869, clearly showing the "British Oil Works".

Number of retorts: None - refinery only.

  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references
    • Depression of Trade at Saltney.......The first oil works, known as the British Oil and Cannel Company are now closed, but the inhabitants are not very sorry, on account of the obnoxious effluvia.

      Cheshire Observer, 21st December 1867


      Important Sale of Plant and Machinery and other Effects at the BRITISH OIL WORKS, SALTNEY, near Chester. MESSRS. CHURTON, ELPHICK, A Co. beg to announce that they have been favoured with instructions from Messrs. E. S. Rogers and Co., to SELL BY AUCTION (without reserve) on Wednesday, the 16th September, 1874, commencing at Twelve o'clock noon, punctually, the whole of the valuable PLANT and MACHINERY, including several large cast and wrought- iron and wood store, receiving and bleaching tanks; cast-iron pan to hold two tons; melting pan, 30cwt. iron jacketed pan and fittings, cast-iron 45 barrel still, with worm and tank; wagon boiler still, separators; wrought iron agitators, brass force pump and fittings, iron pumps with eccentric rods, tin pumps, cast-iron well, wood tank for steaming barrels, a large assortment of oil and grease casks, drum barrels, a very valuable horizontal high-pressure STEAM ENGINE, 12 inch cylinder, 2.5 feet stroke, with reversible lever and fittings, by George Bennie & Co., Glasgow; driving straps large CORNISH BOILER, 20 feet long by 5 feet 10 inches in diameter, with fittings complete ; superheater, two weighing machines, quantity of Cast-iron piping and fittings, iron shafting and pulleys, hand-screw paraffin press, complete; tool chest, with stocks and dyes; coopers' tools,- iron and wood trolleys, wheelbarrows, T iron for roofing, iron tramway, quantity of lamp black, pitch, and cement; wood stages and ladders, the contents of the blacksmith's shop, and other miscellaneous effects. N.B.— Catalogues may be had at the Offices of the Auctioneers, Chester, and Whitchurch (Salop).

      Cheshire Observer, 22nd August 1874