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Boghall No. 1 pit

Location 55.886704, -3.588616, show in map
Shale-field Cousland and Seafield shale-field
Dates opened and closed Probably open c.1868, closed before 1895
Owner E. Meldrum & Co. (Meldrum, M'Lagan and Simpson), Uphall Mineral Oil Co., Uphall Oil Co.
Type of working Vertical shaft 36 fathoms deep
Seams worked Fells shale
Oil works served Boghall shale oil works, often referred to as Starlaw Oil Works
Current status of site Site of mine now within agricultural land, only visible as a crop mark.


The Boghall pits served the Boghall (or Starlaw) Shale Oil Works that operated between 1868 and 1882. The history and numbering of these pits remains unclear, and it seems possible that Boghall No.1 Pit was the " Starlaw Pit ", site in 1870 of one of the shale oil industry's most tragic accidents.

Mining plans show three shafts located immediately north of the supposed site of Boghall Oil Works. No.1 pit (presumably Boghall No.1 pit) was sunk 36 fathoms to the Fells shale. A further shaft to the Fells shale is unnumbered but is dated "1877". No.2 pit (presumably Boghall No.2 pit) was sunk 18 fathoms to the Houstoun coal.

A Geological Survey plan (15144-01 LSP 566) shows an area of working in the Barracks shale passing beneath the location of No. 1 pit, although there is no suggestion that it was accessed from the shaft. In the absence of other information on from where this seam was accessed, plans showing the extent of these workings are included in the "Underground Workings" section below.

The sites of the three shafts now lie in agricultural land immediately north of Easter Inch Moss and Seafield Law local nature reserve: an area of higher ground created from landfill activities and the re-modelling of Seafield Oil Works bing. The site of No.1 and No.2 pits are marked only by changes in soil consistency; a small area of ashes marks the site of the 1877 shaft.


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

Underground Workings

Recent Images


..the Uphall Mineral Oil Company...At Boghall they have two pits with both shale and coal workings in each of them. The Falkirk Herald 24th January 1874


Coal Authority mine abandonment catalogue list the following shale workings:

Also the following associated coal workings: