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Scottish mines

Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Hillend coal pit

Hillend coal pit

Location 55.954883, -3.494207, show in map
Shale-field Ecclesmachan district
Dates opened and closed Open c.1855, closed 1874
Owner Unknown, subsequently Uphall Mineral Oil Company, Uphall Mineral Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Vertical shaft
Seams worked Houston Coal
Oil works served Uphall Oil Works or Hopetoun Oil Works
Current status of site Waste heaps survive within woodland areas


A pit, or a number of pits, working the Houston Coal and established prior to the shale oil period. Notes associated with "shale seams" sketch (see Drawings) suggest that the pit was worked for a period by the Uphall Mineral Oil Company, later the Uphall Mineral Oil Company Ltd, presumably to fuel their Uphall Oil Works (opened c.1866) or their Hopetoun Oil Works (opened c.1872)

The first edition OS map (c.1856) shows a building - presumably an engine-house - adjacent to a shaft and a refuse heap. An "old shaft" close to a weighing machine is shown on the approach road to the site from the public Faucheldean to Ochiltree road. The second edition OS map (c.1897) shows no trace of the pit building shown on the earlier survey, although the outline of the refuse tip had been incorporated in the field boundary, and this area had become established as woodland by the time of the 1916 survey.

The second edition (c.1897) was the earliest to show a second area of disturbed ground, presumably a mine waste tip, (at 55.954950, -3.491521) , about 150m. east of the shaft shown on the 1856 plan. This suggests a new shaft may have been sunk close to this location, most likely that operated for a period by the Uphall Oil Company Ltd. BGS plan LSP 67R (see Drawings, below) marks a "pit" at this location.


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

Underground Workings


Recent Images


"At Hillend pit........The roof of the seam is generally weak, and the coal is so full of pyrites and ribs of stone as to be unprofitable for mining purposes except during times of scarcity and high prices." British Geological Survey, Oil Shales of the Lothians, First Edition 1906


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