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Shale Villages


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Dalmeny rows

Location 55.975851, -3.375290; immediately south of the village of Dalmeny show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Dalmeny, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area City of Edinburgh
Construction history Built c.1872
Ownership history Dalmeny Oil Company Ltd (Old), Dalmeny Oil Company Ltd (New), Scottish Oils Ltd
Demolition history One row survived into the 1960's
Current status of site Arable farmland


Built to serve Dalmeny Oil Works, construction of which began in 1870. The prospectus for the Dalmeny Oil Company, issued in September 1872, states "there are also a number of excellent workman's houses, and a manager's house, belonging to the works."

The 1897 OS map shows one row of 20 single room homes and one row of 6 single room homes, Also two rows, each with about 16 homes, probably with two rooms, and a long row of 18 two-room homes with their own gardens, running south to north. This long row survived to be marked on 1960's OS maps.

Rosshill Terrace, two rows of two storey brick built homes that survive close to Dalmeny railway station (55.986529, -3.380510) , have been described by some as "oil worker's houses". It seems likely that this was not the case, and that they were built by the Forth Bridge Company c.1890 to house their workforce.


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

Residents of the Rows

Recent Images


"At Dalmeny there are 51 houses of two apartments, with scullery. Coal cellars and dry closets are provided for each tenant, but no wash-houses. Gravitation water is supplied by a few stand-pipes. Drying space is provided. Refuse is removed daily by the company. The rental for these houses is 3/6 week; inclusive of rates. There are also 21 single apartment houses, with similar conditions to above, rental 1/9 per week. Ashed pathways exist, and consequently, in wet weather are in a very dirty condition. The appearance of the rows are anything but inviting as a place of habitation for the population of 434 persons." Theodore K. Irvine, Report on the Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field, 1914.

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