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Scottish mines

Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits



A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Easter Briech No. 1 & 2 pits

Easter Breich No.1 & 2 pits

Location 55.865917, -3.578847 (No. 1),show in map 55.865157, -3.580176 (No. 2) show in map
Shale-field Breich shale-field
Dates opened and closed Probably opened c.1878 and abandoned c.1892
Owner James Thornton, then Hermand Oil Company Ltd (Old), Hermand Oil Company Ltd (New)
Type of working Vertical shafts: No.1; 222ft (37 fathoms), No.2; 156 ft (26 fathoms)
Seams worked Fells Shale
Oil works served Breich Oil Works, previously the shale was sold to other companies
Current status of site Woodland with remains of bings and irregular ground. The "office" building survives


Thomas and James Thornton seem to have started mining at Easter Breich in c.1878, supplying shale to Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company and probably other oil companies. Following creation of the Hermand Oil Company Ltd, of which James Thornton was a director, output from Easter Breich was transported to Breich Oil Works by a tramway running parallel to the West Calder loop line. Houston Coal was worked at the nearby Easter Breich Coal Mine.

See also Early Workings in the Breich Area


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

Underground Workings

Plan of Workings

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Accident Records

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