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Shale Villages


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Stankard Rows

Location 55.920358, -3.506341, north of Uphall Station show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history c.1866, with an additional row built during the 1870's
Ownership history Uphall Oil Company Ltd, Youngs Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd (from 1885)
Demolition history Demolished 1930's
Current status of site Woodland


Stankards Rows (often referred to as Randy Rows) was built to house workers at Uphall Oil Works. The dwellings originally comprised of three rows each with six single-room houses and one row with twelve single room houses. A row of six two-room houses were built during the 1870's. The village became increasing overshadowed by Stankards bing and was demolished in the 1930's. A semi-detached cottage (Elmbank and Lilybank) was built to the south of the rows c.1900 and survived into the 1960's.


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

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Stankards Rows consist of six double- and thirty single-apartment houses. There are no coal-cellars, washhouses, or sculleries. Ash-pits and privies exist. The ash-pits are emptied at irregular intervals, and are from 10 to 15 yards from houses. Rents are 2/5 and 1/8 per week, inclusive of local and county rates. These houses are of a very poor type. Theodore K. Irvine, Report on the Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field, 1914.

In Randy Rows there was no scullery, everyone had to wash in the kitchen. The oil workers were so dirty coming from their work that they had to take off their shirts while washing. There was no "wee house", but one small yard in the centre of the Rows had to serve. This yard was for about twenty houses, every house packed with lodgers. There was a centre wall, one side for women, the other for men. It took you some time to know which was which, as there were no notices." "My Story by Paddy the Cope", an autobiography by Patrick Gallacher, published 1939.

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