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Shale Villages


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Greendykes cottages

Location Uncertain, perhaps 55.945772, -3.472287; about two miles north of Broxburn. show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Pre-1860?
Ownership history Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Extant ?
Current status of site Residential ?


A 1914 report into the housing conditions in the Scottish Shale Fields (see snippets, below) describes housing owned by Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company "off Greendykes Road". Greendykes Road runs north from Broxburn, past Broxburn Rows and Albyn Cottages towards Greendykes farm. The road (B8020) continues to Winchburgh past the site of Hopetoun Oil Works. It would seem likely that housing owned by Young's Company would be at the northern end of Greendykes Road, to serve the company's Hopetoun Oil Works and associated mines. It is possible that the report refers to Greendykes Cottages, a range of stone-built cottages pre-dating the shale industry that still survive in residential use. It is conceivable that the range of buildings could have been subdivided to provide the 16 single apartment dwellings referred to in the report, but further research is required to confirm this.


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

Recent Images


The brick rows belonging to Broxburn Oil Company at Holygate and at Greendykes Road suffered most, owing to the chimney-stalks falling through the roofs. In this way 15 houses were rendered uninhabitable, the families having to remove yesterday. At Holygate the residents had narrow escapes from injury, one family having to be extricated from the debris. Telegraphic communication was broken, and broken trees, pailings, flagstaffs, &c, all told of the tremendous force of the wind. Glasgow Herald, 22nd December 1900

" Messrs Young's Oil Company own sixteen houses, mostly single apartments, off Greendykes Road. There is no washhouse, and one stand-pipe supplies the gravitation water. The sewage is conveyed by a broken brick channel. The tenants have built themselves wooden coal-cellars. There are two ash-pits and two privies of a most objectionable character. A drying green is provided. The rental is 1/3 weekly, inclusive of rates." Theodore K. Irvine, Report on the Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field, 1914

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