Located in the South Lanarkshire town of Biggar, the only remaining gasworks in Scotland was built in 1839 to provide gas for street lighting and domestic use. It operated until 1963. Coal was heated in retorts to drive off the gas and coal-tar. Tar and poisonous Hydrogen Sulphide were removed from the gas, and the residual coke was used to heat the retorts. The resulting clean gas was stored in small gasometers to maintain a supply at constant pressure for the town.
Most local gasworks in Scotland were demolished after a gas grid using natural gas from the North Sea, became available in the 1970s. Biggar Gasworks, however, was preserved with financial support from Historic Scotland, the Scottish Development Department and the National Museums of Scotland.
The museum is in the care of the Biggar Museum Trust.