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Shale Villages

 

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Meadow Bank & West Straiton cottages

Location 55.884633, -3.167011; immediately west of Straiton show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Liberton, Edinburghshire
Current local authority area Midlothian
Construction history Probably built 1880's
Ownership history Clippens Oil Company Ltd (Old), Clippens Oil Company Ltd (New)
Demolition history Mostly demolished c.1920
Current status of site West Straiton and one row of Meadow Bank extant, remainder of site in industrial use or wasteland

Background

Meadow Bank Cottages appear to have been substantial two-storey rows, probably built by the Clippens Oil Company following their purchase of Straiton Oil Works and their construction of Pentland Oil Works c.1882. The 1894 OS map shows four two-storey rows with eight two-room homes on each level, and one two-storey row with nine. It is unclear what the detached structures shown between these rows represent. The 1907 map surprisingly shows many of the rows in a ruinous condition; (perhaps as a consequent of subsidence from adjacent limestone workings?) The one row that survives today is the last remaining example of two-storey housing from the shale oil industry.

West Straiton Cottages is a stone-built single-storey row of ten two-room homes, which remain in use today. They seem likely to have been constructed before the oil works were bought by the Clippens Oil Company.

The Clippens Oil Company also constructed houses at Pentland and owned Mayshade House in Loanhead. David Kerr (The Shale Oil Industry at Pentland and Straiton, Scottish Local History Journal Vol. 37, 1996) indicates that Clippens also owned or built houses at Haywood Terrace, East and Mid Straiton, and Oakbank Cottages.

Maps

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

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