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Scottish mines

Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Philpstoun No.5 mine

Philpstoun No. 5 mine

Location 55.954746, -3.510127, show in map
Shale-field Ecclesmachan shale-field
Dates opened and closed Open post 1895, abandoned 1911
Owner James Ross & Company
Type of working Inclined adit
Seams worked Broxburn Shale
Oil works served Philpstoun Oil Works
Current status of site Site returned to agriculture, only shale in the plough-soil now marks the location


A short-lived mine, sited in a prominent location close to the ridge of a hill beside the B8046 Ecclesmachan - Threemiletown road. The mine and its connecting railway seems to have been built after the survey for the 1897 OS map, and all traces seem to have been dismantled, (except minor railway earthworks through woodlands at 55.959105, -3.516686), prior to the survey for the 1916 edition. The OS one inch map, surveyed c.1902 does however show the mine and the railway that served it. The map suggests that a branch of the standard gauge railway serving Philpstoun No. 4 and other mines was constructed, which linked up with a second line; presumably a narrow-gauge tramway bring shale down the hillside from the mine.


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

Underground Workings

Recent Images


On the east side of the Little Ochiltree basin, and near Drumforth, Messrs. James Ross & Co. have mined the Broxburn shale (No.5 mine) from its outcrop to a depth of 150 fathoms of vertical distance from the surface. At first the dip of the mine is very steep till it reaches the shale, but it becomes less (about 1 in 4) as the shale workings advance to the north west. Oil Shales of the Lothians; British Geological Survey, 1906.


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