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Shale Villages


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Companies & Works > Shale Villages > Mossend


Location 55.855913, -3.571425; half a mile north of West Calder show in map
Former parish and county Parish of West Calder, Edinburghshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Built c.1870
Ownership history Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Progressively demolished during 1950's, finally cleared c.1968
Current status of site Rough ground and grazing


Constructed by Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company to house mining staff working the Polbeth shale pits that supplied Addiewell Chemical Works. Comprising of:

Sculleries were fitted to most homes c.1920.


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

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"There are 140 double-apartment houses. The water is supplied by four stand-pipes. The rental is 2/3 per week, inclusive of rates. There are no coal cellars, wash-houses, or sculleries. Dry privies exist, but are practically public nuisances. The refuse is removed weekly by the Oil Company. The sewage is disposed of in an open channel. There is a contrast in black and white about these houses - the gables are blackened with tar, whilst the fronts and backs of the house are whitewashed." Theodore K. Irvine, Report on the Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field, 1914.

MOSSEND "East Street: 12 houses closed. Application for closing orders to be made when houses become vacant. No block completely empty. Front Street: Houses being maintained, one house has been closed because of excessive repairs necessary." Meeting held at Middleton Hall on 9th September 1958 to review position of house properties etc.


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