Biggar is a small market town mostly built along a single main street. As in most towns in the United Kingdom, a company was established in the nineteenth to provide coal gas, initially for lighting but subsequently for cooking and heating. The Biggar Gas Light Company which completed its gasworks in 1839 was typical of those in many small towns, but it was one of the last in Scotland to be closed when natural gas from the North Sea replaced coal gas. After it ceased operation in 1973 the works passed into the guardianship of the then Scottish Development Department, and is now managed by Historic Scotland. As in similar establishments the Biggar Gasworks burned coal in retorts producing coal gas which was stored in gasholders and coke which was sold as a by-product. The horizontal retorts survive in a retort house of 1914, and the older retort house also remains having been used for many years as a coal store. The two small gasholders date from 1858 and 1879, but were subsequently altered. A video provides an introduction to the history of gas making, and there is an exhibition of domestic gas appliances. The works at Biggar is a small example of its kind, but is the most complete of the three gasworks (the others are at Fakenham and Carrickfergus) preserved in the United Kingdom.