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

Deans No.1 mine

Location 55.899802, -3.580533, show in map
Shale-field Deans shale-field
Dates opened and closed Probably opened c. 1884, abandoned 1906. Pattison Shale last worked c.1902
Owner West Lothian Oil Company Ltd and probably Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Inclined adit
Seams worked Dunnet and Pattison Shale
Oil works served Deans Crude Oil Works
Current status of site Landscaped woodland within Deans industrial estate


NOTE: There is some suggestion that "Mine No. 2" and "Mine No. 3" may have been incorrectly labelled on the 1897 O.S map, and that No. 2 should be labeled as No. 3 and visa versa. Until further evidence comes to light however, it is assumed that the labels on the OS map are correct.

The early history of the Deans mines remains unclear. Deans No. 1 exploited a number of areas of Dunnet Shale; these workings were eventually continuous with those of West Lothian Oil Company's Deans No.3 mine. Cross-cut mines also provided access to large areas of Pattison (Under Dunnet) Shale.

The Pumpherston Oil Company purchased the local mineral rights several years after the failure of the West Lothian Oil Company c.1891, and appear to have re-opened No. 1 Mine. No. 1 and No. 3 Mines were linked underground and by a surface tramway. Shale was quarried in the area between No. 1 and No. 3 Mines, and workings to the Pattison Shale and the Stanley Shale seem to have led off that quarried area.


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

Underground Workings


Recent Images


Many… had pointed out to them with satisfaction,the open quarry, where they had, so to speak, a bing of shale that would keep them going for years. Had they wrought that quarry alone, which they could easily have done at that time, they would have saved in the meantime a large amount of capital expenditure, but this would not have been fair for the future of the company. What they had been anxious about, and what they had done had to be to develop the two mines that they had opened out to the Dunnet and Fells seams. First AGM of the West Lothian Oil Company Ltd reported in Glasgow Herald, 7th February 1885.

...a fresh seam of shale (the "Barrack") has been successfully opened into, greatly superior to any shale hitherto obtained on the property, yielding, per ton, much more oil, which is finer in quality, richer in scale, and produces greatly more sulphate of ammonia, which this special and unusual advantage, that it is brought to the surface by one of the existing mines. Further, an outcrop of "Dunnet" shale, of great thickness and excellent quality, in still better condition in the mine, has been opened up, which is capable of yielding a large supply by open cast or quarrying, at a much lower rate of cost than anything hitherto known. AGM of West Lothian Oil Company Ltd, The Scotsman 27th September 1886.

Their mines were in good order, and they were opening up a new mine which would help to keep their shale at a moderate cost. The new mine was in the side of the quarry, and was a specially valuable part of the present properties, and thus lessening the cost of drawing; and it likewise opened up a great field of shale about 18 feet in thickness. The extra cost of this new mine would be small. Fifth AGM of West Lothian Oil Company Ltd, The Scotsman 12th June 1889.


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