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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Philpstoun (Whitequarries) No.1 mine

Philpstoun (Whitequarries) No. 1 mine

Location 55.982934, -3.485461 show in map
Shale-field Champfleurie, Philpstoun and Blackness shale-fields
Dates opened and closed Opened 1939, abandoned 1962
Owner Oakbank Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Inclined adit
Seams worked Broxburn Upper, Main, and Dunnet Shales
Oil works served Niddry Castle Crude Oil Works
Current status of site Site mainly returned to agriculture


A mine driven immediately prior to World War Two to reach reserves of Broxburn and Dunnet Shales lying north of the Midhope fault and extending beneath the River Forth. These new workings were presumably linking to the abandoned workings of Philpstoun No. 1 mine (closed 1931), lying 1.3 miles to the south west. The new mine reached the surface about 350m north of Philpstoun No. 6 Mine; which was reconstructed at the same time. The pithead facilities of No. 6 were used by both mines, with the main haulage engine for No. 1 Mine was located on the No. 6 Mine site. Shale was transported to Niddry Castle Crude Oil Works by an extension of the tramway that served the Duddingston Mines.


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

Underground Workings

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The largest turbine pumps in use are in No.1 mine, Philpstoun.... are driven by motors of 300 h.p. ...Similar pumps... driven by motors of 120 h.p. each, are installed in No.6 mine Philpstoun. It is interesting to note that these pumps, in No.1 and No.6 mines, were used in 1938 to unwater the mines, prior to their re-opening. From MacLennan, Electrical Services in the Shale Oil Industry. Institute of Petroleum, 1950.

Accident Records


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