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Scottish mines

Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Gavieside No.2 pit

Gavieside No.2 pit

Location 55.865148, -3.559669, show in map
Shale-field Polbeth and Gavieside shale-field
Dates opened and closed Open c.1863? abandoned 1879
Owner West Calder Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Vertical shaft
Seams worked Fells Shale ?
Oil works served Gavieside Paraffin Oil Works
Current status of site Wooded waste land, no trace remains of surface features


The arrangement and history of the pits and mines serving West Calder Oil Company's Gavieside Paraffin Oil Works remains unclear.

The Fells Shale (named after A.M. Fell, Works Manager of the Gavieside Paraffin Oil Works) outcropped close to the oil works. British Geological Survey plan LSP 471 shows two pits (numbered No. 1 and No. 2) and two unidentified mines, all apparently accessing the Fells Shale. The list of "Pits and Mines Sunk" indicates that only two pits and two mines served the Gavieside Paraffin Oil Works (named in this document as "West Calder Oil Works").

Gavieside No. 1 Pit is listed on abandonment plans as working the Fells Shale and one (or both) of the mines appear to follow the seam of Fells Shale into the ground from its outcrop. It seem likely that Gavieside No. 2 Pit also exploited the Fells Shale, although the Broxburn Shale was subsequently worked at a greater depth from Polbeth No. 27 Mine.


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

Underground Workings


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