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Shale Villages

 

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Hermand New Rows

Location 55.847966, -3.553534; about a mile south east of West Calder, show in map
Former parish and county Parish of West Calder, Edinburghshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Uncertain, perhaps 1880's or 90's
Ownership history Hermand Oil Company Ltd (Old), Hermand Oil Company Ltd (New)
Demolition history Partly demolished c.1900, remainder c.1920?
Current status of site Returned to agriculture, although humps and hollows of the rows are still discernable

Background

Hermand New Rows seem likely to have been built to serve Hermand Oil Works. The 1891 census records six households at Hermand New Rows, while 29 households are recorded there in 1901. The 1894 OS map shows two back-to-back rows each with twelve double room dwellings and three back-to-back rows, each with 20 single room dwellings. Each row seems to have a larger dwelling or office at one end. The 1907 map shows each of the rows considerably shortened to provide 8 double room and 16 single rooms houses plus the five larger houses at the row ends. The partial demolition of the village might have been a consequence of the termination of the Hermand Oil Company's lease in 1893 (see Hermand Oil Works). Oil workers also lived in short rows at Danderhall (55.847205, -3.548163), and Shuttlehall (55.848468, -3.550897), although there is no evidence that these buildings were owned by the oil company

Two earlier oil works also operated in the Hermand estate; The Hermand Shale Oil Works with associated housing at Hermand Old (West) Rows, and the East Hermand Crude Oil Works, served by housing at East Hermand Rows

Maps

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

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