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Shale Villages


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Livingston Station

Location 55.900099, -3.564902; now part of the "new town" of Livingston show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Current local authority area West Lothian
Construction history Built c.1905 - c.1910
Ownership history Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Rows demolished 1960's - 80's
Current status of site Redeveloped for housing. Villas, shop and other community building survive


A substantial village built by the Pumpherston Oil Company during the first decade of the 20th century to house the workforce of Deans Oil Works. Most rows contained eight two-room homes with a generous scullery. Houses at the end of each row had an attic bedroom with a window on the gable wall. Gardens and a drying green were also provided. The village comprised of:

Demolition began in the 1960's; Glen Road and some housing on Main Street surviving into the 1970's.


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

Archive Images

Plans & Drawings

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"In this village there are 179 houses with a population of 1,105 persons. More than 160 of the houses are owned by the Pumpherston Oil Co. The village will compare favourably with most mining villages for the general arrangement and position. Most of the houses have little gardens in the front, others have gardens both front and back, as also drying greens fenced off with iron railings. Swings and play centres are provided for the children. There are 76 houses consisting of room , kitchen, scullery with boiler and sink, also coal cellar. In 40 houses there is a w.c. for every two tenants, and in 36 houses a w.c. is provided for each tenant - rental 4/- weekly, inclusive of rates. There are 88 houses having the same accommodation as above, with an attic in addition, which are let at a rental of 4/6 weekly. All the houses have front and back doors. Drying greens are provided. The space between the backdoors of each house is cemented. All refuse is removed from dust-bins daily by the Company. Two families frequently live in one house, owing to the scarcity of houses. An institute with library, and a bowling green, are made good use of by the workers. Spray baths are to be had at the institute, for a small charge. We believe the troubles which arise from time to time are, in a measure, associated with the defective system of sewage disposal, which is discharged in a wood near the village. It should be easily remedied." Theodore K. Irvine, Report on the Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field, 1914.

"Livingston Station: All houses to be maintained including Sunnydean and Deanbank. The roads in this village will require to be resurfaced when the installation of a new sewer by the County Council has been completed." Meeting at Middleton Hall on 9th September 1958 to review the position of house properties etc.


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