Scottish shale Scottish shale

Torbanehill (lands)

Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian

Between the 1840's and 70's, the Torbanehill estate was owned by James Gillespie and his heirs. From 1850, mineral rights were leased to James Russel & Son for a 25 year period who worked the rich Boghead Gas coal (the "Torbane mineral") and small quantities of common coal and fireclay. These reserves were close to exhaustion by 1865 other than protected areas beneath Torbanehill house, which were worked by Thomas Thornton in around 1870. During the 1880's sunk a series of small pits were sunk by Robert Horne & Co. to work the remaining pockets of Boghead Gas Coal, close to its outcrop. In the 20th century, deeper seams of coal and fireclay were worked by United Collieries from Southrigg No.7 pit, and fireclay from Drum No.1 & 2 pits. During the 1980's and 90's much of the area was worked by opencast methods, obliterating most surface features.

Other related pages - Beyond the Garden Wall - The Great Fire of Torbanehill - The Remarkable Torbanehill Mineral

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