Scottish shale Scottish shale

Gildersome Oil Works

Former parish and county:
Gildersome, West Riding of Yorkshire
Local authority:
City of Leeds
Fredrick Shand Hemming
Current status of site:
Warehouses constructed on the site


Seemingly a small-scale and short-lived crude oil works, equipped with retorts manufactured by Bennie & Co. of Glasgow. It might be assumed that the works were constructed to produce oil from the produce of the nearby colliery, and that when this enterprise failed in c.1869, the works were sold and converted for the production of grease.

Frederick Shand Hemming, listed as owner of the oil works, filed a number of patents in which he was described as a "mining engineer". He was also cited in a high profile divorce case in which he was charged with adultery and described as "a person of considerable means carrying on a business in the city". During his bankruptcy hearings in 1875, he was described as "a gentleman", resident at 8 Belsize Terrace, London.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1888. Presumably the "Grease Works" was developed on the site of the oil works.

Number of retorts: 12.

  • Location map
  • Detailed maps
  • Newspaper references
    • By order of the Mortgagee, without reserve. The PLANT &c. of the GILDERSOME OIL WORKS near LEEDS.

      Messrs HOOPER & CORPE have received instructions to SELL BY AUCTION, at the Black Swan, Leeds, on MONDAY June 14th 1869 at One for Two o'clock, The PLANT and MACHINERY of the above works consisting of 12 Bennie's retorts and furnaces, equal to new; a still, tank and condenser, iron piping, agitator, about 60 barrels, brickwork of office, retorts and chimney shafts, and sundry other items. Catalogues and conditions to be had at the works Gildersome, at the place of sale, and of the Auctioneers, 3, Park Prospect, Queen Street, Westminster, London

      Yorkshire Post and Intelligencer, 10th June 1869


      A Disputed Liability for Rent.—Mr James Alexander, of Grove House, Ripon, sued Mr Frederick Shand Hemming, of Talbot Villas, Leyland Road, Lee, near London, for the sum of £50. Mr. Pullan was for the plaintiff, and Mr Granger for the defendant. In June, 1869, the defendant was the owner of some oil works at Gildersome, which resolved to offer for sale by public auction. The sale was fixed for the 14th June, but the morning that day Mr Alexander agreed to purchase the plant &c. by private contract from Messrs Hooper & Corpe, the auctioneers of London, The rent was due on the 24th June, and in the receipt for the purchase money it was stated that Mr Hemming was to pay the rent to that date.

      Plaintiff did not got the whole of the goods removed before the 24th, and in order to obtain the remainder, the rent not having been discharged by the defendant, had to pay the £50 that had become due. It was this £50 which he now sought to recover. For the defendant it was urged that, inasmuch as plaintiff did not comply with one of the conditions of the sale, to the effect that the goods were be removed before the 21st June, and became liable for the rent by his own neglect, he was not entitled to recover. It was further contended that the auctioneers had authority to sign the agreement. His honour was of opinion that the auctioneers, acting agents, had to authority to sign, and that agreement, Mr Hemming was liable for the rent. He therefore gave a verdict for the amount claimed, £50.

      BOOTH v. HEMMING. - This was another action which Mr Hemming, the defendant in the preceding case, disputed his liability to pay £5 1s. 6d., for work at the oilworks by the plaintiff, a blacksmith, at Gildersome. The defence broke down, and verdict for the full amount was given.

      Yorkshire Post and Intelligencer, 27th May 1873