Scottish shale Scottish shale


Alternative names:
Old Holygate
Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Probably built c.1868
Demolished 1936
Current status of site:
Holygate Place, local authority housing built c.1937

Built during the late 1860's to serve Robert Bell's various oil interests in the Broxburn area. The 1871 census records 66 homes. The 1890's OS map shows two rows of 8 dwellings, three rows of 6 dwellings and one row with 4 dwellings; all seemingly single rooms. Also two back-to-back blocks of 8 dwellings and one back-to-back block with 12 dwellings.

During the 1880's the Broxburn Oil Company constructed housing at New Holygate, on an adjacent site, south of West Main Street.

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  • Newspaper references
    • The brick rows belonging to Broxburn Oil Company at Holygate and at Greendykes Road suffered most, owing to the chimney-stalks falling through the roofs. In this way 15 houses were rendered uninhabitable, the families having to remove yesterday. At Holygate the residents had narrow escapes from injury, one family having to be extricated from the debris. Telegraphic communication was broken, and broken trees, pailings, flagstaffs, &c, all told of the tremendous force of the wind.

      Glasgow Herald, 22nd December 1900


      Report on housing conditions at Old Holygate.

      West Lothian Courier (page 3.), 14th July 1911


      Houses in the Old Holygate are being demolished.

      West Lothian Courier (page 8), 27th March 1936


      Progress on new houses being built at Holygate.

      West Lothian Courier (page 7), 5th November 1937