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Coal shale pits


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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Addiewell No.1 mine

Addiewell No.1 mine

Location 55.850405, -3.605140, show in map or 55.849672, -3.599991, show in map
Shale-field West Calder shale-field
Dates opened and closed Unknown (55.850405, -3.605140), Operating c1864-6? (55.849672, -3.599991)
Owner James Young, then Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Inclined or level shafts
Seams worked Fells Shale (55.850405, -3.605140), Raeburn Shale (55.849672, -3.599991)
Oil works served Addiewell Chemical Works
Current status of site Both site are within wooded river margins. No trace remains of surface features


Mining plans show two mines, 300 yards apart, on the southern bank of the Breich Water near Addiewell. Both are labelled "No. 1" on mining plans, but it is not known whether either was officially known as "Addiewell No. 1 Mine"

The western mine (at 55.850405, -3.605140) might have been associated with workings in the Fells Shale linking many of the Addiewell pits, including No. 2 Pit. Available plans are difficult to interpret but it seems possible that a level road was driven from the outcrop of the Fells Shale in the river valley. Workings adjacent to this level road were last worked in 1883. It might alternatively be the case that this mine worked the Houston Coal. Oil Shales of the Lothians (British Geological Survey, first edition, 1906), states "On both sides of the Breich Water the Houston Coal was at one time extensively wrought, as shown by the numerous pits and mines defining its outcrop between the Blackbrae and Mid-Breich faults".

The eastern mine (at 55.849672, -3.599991) was linked to the small scale workings in the Raeburn Shale served by Addiewell No. 4 Pit. These were abandoned in 1866. It is possible that No. 1 Mine was an exploratory working, following the Raeburn Shale from its outcrop on the steep hillside south of Breich Water.

See "Early mines and pits in the Addiewell area" for further background.


Ordnance Survey maps reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland.

Underground Workings


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