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Oil shale pits

Coal shale pits


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Home > Companies & Works > Shale Mines > Viewfield No.4 & 5 pits

Viewfield No. 4 & 5 pits

Location 55.791921, -3.570052, show in map
Shale-field Cobbinshaw shale-field
Dates opened and closed Opened c.1906, abandoned 1920 (No. 4 pit) and 1926 (No. 5 pit)
Owner Tarbrax Oil Company Ltd, Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd
Type of working Vertical shaft, 17 fathoms (No. 4)
Seams worked Fraser Shale (Viewfield No. 4), Fells Shale (Viewfield No. 5)
Oil works served Tarbrax Oil Works
Current status of site Rough grazing, foundations of some buildings still visible


Viewfield No. 4 Pit was sunk to exploit the Fraser Shale and was ultimately linked underground to Greenfield No. 3 Mine. The shaft appears to have been re-sunk to provide access to the Fells Shale and re-named Viewfield No. 5 Pit. Fells Shale workings from Viewfield No. 5 were ultimately linked with those of Cobbinshaw No. 1 & 2 Pits.


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

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To ensure an abundant supply of shale, a new shaft has been sunk on the Viewfield estate to work the same seam as being worked in the Cobbinshaw mine, and a haulage road is being made from the new pit to the works. Tarbrax Oil Company Ltd report to directors reported in the Scotsman, 18th May 1907

The electric winder at No.5 pit Viewfield is now in use for the lowering and raising of men employed on this side of the Cobbinshaw workings. This has resulted in an increase in output, as the men have an hour longer shift at the face (October 1923). Good progress has been made with the equipping of No.5 pit, Viewfield; the new engine house has been built and is ready for the roof; the electrical plant has been installed and the wiring is being done (September 1923). It is proposed now to transfer the shale breaker from No.1 pit to No.5 mine (February 1924). We have begun to open up a new dook at the bottom on No.5 Pit, Viewfield, to open up the field, the preliminary stages of which will probably take several months; thereafter there should be a savings on costs (June 1924). The Oddie-Barclay pump has been put to work, but at present it is only pumping the middle lodgement; within the next few weeks we expect that it will be pumping to the surface, and we will be able to dispense with steam at this pit entirely (January 1925). The Oddie-Barclay pump is now taking the water right to the surface. (March 1925). From Scottish Oils Ltd, Managing Director's Monthly Report to the Board. (BP Archive No. 215662)


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