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Shale Villages


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Deans cottages

Location 55.899687, -3.585087; within the new town of Livingston show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Built c.1885?
Ownership history West Lothian Oil Company Ltd, Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd, Scottish Oils Ltd
Demolition history Demolished in the early 1960's?
Current status of site Distribution depot


Built presumably to serve the Deans Oil Works of the West Lothian Oil Company, and subsequently leased to Pumpherston Oil Company, who acquired the oil works following failure of that company.

Comprising four rows; three with eight two-room homes and one with twelve two-room homes. Substantial sculleries were added to houses some time after 1916.


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

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"In Deans there are 36 house leased to the Pumpherston Oil Co. 24 houses consist of room and kitchen, and 12 have an attic in addition. Rental for the former is 2/9, and for the latter is 3/3 per week, inclusive of rates. Coal cellars are provided, but no wash-houses. The house form three sides of a square. Three stand-pipes supply the water. Clothes poles are erected. Privies and ashpits are in the centre of the square. Sewage is by open channel in front of the houses." Theodore K. Irvine, Report on the Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field, 1914.

DEANS: Twenty seven houses have been officially closed. Only eight houses are occupied and these will be closed when they become vacant. No block is completely empty to permit demolition. Arrangements to be made to rehouse the tenants as soon as possible. The Secretary to arrange for the site to be renounced. Memorandum of meeting held at Middleton Hall on 9th September 1958 to review position of house properties etc.

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