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Scottish mines

Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Polbeth No. 26 mine

Polbeth No. 26 mine

Location 55.858896, -3.556443, show in map
Shale-field Polbeth and Gavieside shale-fields
Dates opened and closed Opened c.1880's? closed c.1900, re-opened 1920's? abandoned 1947
Owner Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Inclined adit, at a gradient of 1 in 1.6
Seams worked Dunnet or Middle Dunnet Shale
Oil works served Addiewell Chemical Works
Current status of site Landscaped public space, winding engine house is now Polbeth Community Centre


Extensive, steeply inclined workings in the Dunnet Shale, north east of West Calder, with a cross cut mine proving access to further Dunnet Shale beneath Mossend.


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

Underground Workings


Recent Images


The breaking of an axle of one of the carriages in the main line resulted in a collision and damage which caused the loss of output for a day and a half (June 1924). The new electric haulage to replace 4 ponies is being erected; one of sections has approached a large fault, and we are considering the advisability of going through this (October 1924). The new electric haulage has been put to work and is giving every satisfaction (November 1924). From Scottish Oils Ltd, Managing Director's Monthly Report to the Board. (BP Archive No. 215662)

Steam is still used (for haulage) on a heavy duty at No.26 mine, Polbeth. In this case the average gradient of the mine is 32 degrees, and highly satisfactory results have been obtained by use of two-stepped steel carriages which hold four hutches. Sneddon, Caldwell and Stein, Seventy Five Years of Oil Shale Mining, Institute of Petroleum, 1938

Accident Records


Additional Resources

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