Scottish shale Scottish shale

Westwood house (lands)

Alternative names:
Westwood House, City Farm, Stepends.
Livingston, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Mr. Wilkie, Robert Steuart, Captain Robert Steuart, Trustees of Captain Robert Stewart, Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd

westwood wilkie.jpg

The eastern part of the Westwood estate (described here as Westwood east lands) consisted of Westwood House and it's grounds, City farm and land at Stepends. For some purposes this was considered separate from the western part of the estate (described here as Westwood west lands), consisting mainly of Briechdykes farm.

Westwood was put up for sale in 1807 by the then owner, Mr. Wilkie. The estate then consisted of the house and the farms of City, Stepend, and (Breich)Dykes, plus also the farms of Auchinhard, Wester Breich and Mid Breich. By the shale era, the latter three farms were under separate ownership and no longer part of the Westwood estate. The 1807 sale notice indicated that woods and plantations had been planted about 30 years previously, suggesting that the enclosure and improvement of the lands may have take place during the 1770's. Westwood mansion house and its associated offices seem to have been constructed a little before 1807

Prior to 1850, the Westwood estate was acquired by Robert Steuart of Carfin. The Steuart family sold the Carfin estate and its substantial coal mining interests, in 1854. At Westwood, seams of coal and other minerals were first worked in the eastern part of the estate (see Westwood east lands and Breichdyke pits (see also Briechdykes pits) eastern part. Captain Robert Steuart (son of Robert Steuart) took the lead in business of the estate, establishing the Westwood oil works in about 1866. Captain Robert fell heir to the 435 acre estate on the death of his father in 1875, aged 71

Mineral lease agreements (new)

  • 1869-1890 - leased to Young's Oil Co. by Robert Steuart - see
  • 1894-1909 (relinquished 1900) - leased to Young's Oil Co. by Robert Steuart - see
  • 1906-1937 - leased to Oakbank Oil Co. by Robert Steuart's trustees - see 183755 (page 29)
  • 1913-1944 - leased to Oakbank Oil Co. by Robert Steuart's trustees - see 213942 (?)
  • 1944-1970 (relinquished 1963) - leased to Oakbank Oil Co. by Robert Steuart's trustees - see 18377 (page 287?)

  • Sale and Lease Notices for the Westwood Estate (both east and west lands)
    • 1764 | 1765 | 1766 | 1767 | 1768 | 1769 | 1770 | 1771 | 1772 | 1773 |
      1774 | 1775 | 1776 | 1777 | 1778 | 1779 | 1780 | 1781 | 1782 | 1783 |
      1784 | 1785 | 1786 | 1787 | 1788 | 1789 | 1790 | 1791 | 1792 | 1793 |
      1794 | 1795 | 1796 | 1797 | 1798 | 1799 | 1800 | 1801 | 1802 | 1803 |
      1804 | 1805 | 1806 | 1807 | 1808 | 1809 | 1810 | 1811 | 1812 | 1813 |
      1814 | 1815 | 1816 | 1817 | 1818 | 1819 | 1820 | 1821 | 1822 | 1823 |
      1824 | 1825 | 1826 | 1827 | 1828 | 1829 | 1830 | 1831 | 1832 | 1833 |
      1834 | 1835 | 1836 | 1837 | 1838 | 1839 | 1840 | 1841 | 1842 | 1843 |
      1844 | 1845 | 1846 | 1847 | 1848 | 1849 | 1850 | 1851 | 1852 | 1853 |
      1854 | 1855 | 1856 | 1857 | 1858 | 1859 | 1860 | 1861 | 1862 | 1863 |
      1864 | 1865 | 1866 | 1867 | 1868 | 1869 | 1870 | 1871 | 1872 | 1873 |
      1874 | 1875 | 1876 | 1877 | 1878 | 1879 | 1880 | 1881 | 1882 | 1883 |
      1884 | 1885 | 1886 | 1887 | 1888 | 1889 | 1890 | 1891 | 1892 | 1893 |
      1894 | 1895 | 1896 | 1897 | 1898 | 1899 | 1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 |
      1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 |
      1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918
    • 1764
      • A00006: 03/03/1764

        There is to be set and........immediately or at Whitsunday....such number of years as parties can agree, the going coal at Breich belonging to Sir David Cunynghame of Livingstone, Baroner, lying twelve miles west of Edinburgh and within two of Bathgate, and Mid-Calder. The seam is betwixt an ell and forty inches thick, dipping one foot in six, and above 200 feet of streek from cropt to depth quite level-free. A shank upon the middle of the streek is about eight fathoms deep. For further particulars, enquire John Gray, Factor to the said Sir David Cunynghame, at his house at Livingstone-kirk.

        The Caledonian Mercury 3rd March 1764

    • 1795
      • A00007: 06/06/1795


        To be SOLD by public roup, within the Royal Exchange Coffcehouse, Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 8th day of July 1775, betwixt the hours of one and two afternoon, THE EASTER HALF of the LANDS of HANDOXWOOD EASTER, or RASHIEHILL, with the houses and pertinents thereof, in the parish of West Calder, and sheriffdom of Edinburgh, containing 552acres, 352 of which are croft, and the rest pasture land. The projected Canal to Edinburgh will most probably go through some part of these lands, or parts in their immediate neighbourhood whatever line may be ultimately adopted; and being full of coal, iron, and freestone, this circumstance must, add very considerably to their value. There is at present a free stone quarry, of a very superior quality, open in the grounds, of twenty feet in thickness, within four feet of the surface, which can be wrought at a small expense, and where the stones can be cut of any size. The lands themselves are highly improveable. They are under rack at present at a rent of 701. and for delivery of one fat wedder, two stones of butter, md eighteen hens. There are fourteen years from Martinmas next yet to run of the prefent lease, originally granted for thirty-eight years from Martinmas 1771, and the rental may be fairly expectd at least to double at the expiry thereof. The proprietor was offered from the present tenant, several years ago, a confiderable immediate rise of rent for an additional nineteen yeers lease, and 12 per cent, for any sum he might lay out on the erection of a Mill upon the water of Briech, which runs through the lands, and which is much wanted in the neighourhood. The croft land, containing. 352 acres, may he inclosed with drystone dykes at a trifling expence, from the command of the finest stone for that purpose.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 6th June 1795

    • 1801
      • A00008: 13/04/1801


        If not sold before Wednesday the 29th day of April curt. then to be exposed by public auction, in John's Coffeehouse, Edinburgh, upon that day, at 1 o'clock: THE LANDS of NORTH BRIECH, consisting of 392 Scotch acres, or thereby, all arable ground. and etwixt 8 and 9 acres of planting. This valuable property lies only about 2- hours ride to the west of Edinburgh, two miles south-west from Livingston, and about a quarter of a mile to the southward of the great turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and a mile from the villages of Blackburn and West Calder. There is coal in the lands, and plenty of lime can be procured from different works at an easy rate, nor more than 11/2 miles distance. If it shall appear more agreeable to intending purchasers, the premisses will be disposed of so three Lots, each lying conmpactly wthin itself, and all having very desirable situations for mansion-house.

        LOT 1, The Farm of EASTER BREICH preserrtly possessed by Thomas Grahame, but whose lease expires with the present crop, when possession will be given. There are about 140 Scotch acres in this farm, all excellent arablc ground, in high condition; it is divided by stone dykes, some of thein are backed well with hedges, into five inclosures, well watered and sheltered; the public road to Hamilton forms the southern boundary, and on the east and north it is partly bounded by the Waters of Almond and Breich, both of them fine trouting streams, and the country around abounds svith game. The Vote, if wished for, will go along with this lot.

        LOT II.-The Farm of MIDDLE BREICH, immediately to the westward of the former: It contains about 119 arable acres, ornamented and sheltered with 7 acres of very-thriving planting, from 12 to 18 years old. The ground of this lot, excepting about 10 acres, is of an equal good quality with the first, and possesses the same local advantages, having the same boundary on the south, and the waters of Tailend and Almond on the north; it is divided with hedge and ditch into five fields, and is at present rented for no more than 50l. per annum, with some kain and carriages, but upon the expiry of the lease in six years, a very great rise will be got.

        LOT 111.-The Farm of WESTER BREICH, adjoining to the last Lot, and containing about. 134 acres. This farm has been two years in the proprietor's own hands, who has been at a very great expence in improving them by hedging, ditching, draining, liming, and labouring them, according to the most approved modes. Eighteen years ago the lands were set for 5s. 9d. per acre on a lease, which was brought up, but as consequence of the late improvements, three fields of the farm were let by public roup, for the present year only, at irom 3l. 17s. 6d. to 5l. per acre. Possession will be given of this lot at Martinmas first. Intending purchasers will apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor, John's Street, Glasgow ; Mr Martin, No. 5 George Street, Edinburgh, or Mess. M'Nair. and Elder, writers in Giasgow, either of whom will show a plan of the grounds. Mr Martin has powers to sell hy private bargain. The premisses will be shewn by James Watson, at Wester Breich Farm.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 13th April 1801

    • 1802
      • A00010: 16/01/1802

        FARM IN WEST LOTHIAN, to be sold by private bargain at a very low price

        REMAINING LOT OF NORTH BRIECH ESTATE, viz, the WES'I'ER FARM, two miles south-west of Livingstone. and one mile from the south turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow containing 134 acres all arable, 40 of which were sown off with grass seeds last spring, the greater part being previously fallowed and limed. Twenty acres have been summer fallowed and limed during last summer, part dunged for pease and turnips, and now finished for a crop, together with other improvements executed in a superior style, and at a great expense. The public burdens are trifling. Two lime-kilns are within a mile of the property. A purchaser may have immediate possession; or a respectable tenant will give One Pound of rent per acre, for a lease of nineteen years. Apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor at Mrs Brown's lodgings, No.5, North side, George Street, Edinburgh who will furnish indubitable good rights and purge all encumbrances, to the satisfaction of a purchaser. James Watson, overseer at Breich, will show the premises

        The Caledonian Mercury, 16th January 1802

    • 1804
      • A00001: 07/09/1804


        THE ESTATE of WESTWOOD, consisting of the following Farms: Easter and Wester Breich, Dykes, Auchinhard, City, and Stepend , containing about 500 English acres, situated in the parish of Livingstone, West Lothian, only 2 ½ hours ride from Edinburgh. A great part of these farms are sheltered with valuable plantations,- 30 years old. there are a. COAL, 5 ½ feet thick, extending over more than a hundred acres; the lands also abound with IRON STONE and a FREE STONE; the Mansion house is new and well finished, containing dining and drawing-roomns, Also bed-chambers, kitchen &c.; the offices are at a convenient distance, consisting of a double coach-house, stable, barn, hay-loft, and servants house. During the last four years very extensive improvements have been going on a upon this estate; lime and coal. is to be had within a mile ofthe mansion-house. A purchaser may have immediate possession of the farms of City and Stepends, containing upwards of one hundred and seventy English acres, (all in grass and corn) with the manslon-house, offices, kitchen garden, and the plantations surrounding said farms. The title deeds are clear and distinct. For further particulars please apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor; or Mr James Elder, writer in Glasgow.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 7th September 1804

    • 1805
      • A00009: 22/04/1805

        MIDDLE BRIECH. - To be Let for such term of'years as shall be agreed upon, and entered to at Martinmas 1806,

        THE LANDS of MIDDLE BRIECH, situated in the the parish of Livington, about 5 miles west of' Mid-Calder upon the road leading to Hamilton, which forms the southern boundary, and bounded upon the north by the Foulshiels Burn and water of the Almond. These lands consist of 126 acres or thereby, including about 7 acres of planting, and are divided with hedge and ditch into five fields. The ground, excepting a few acres next the road, is of as excellent quality, and plenty of lime can be procured from different works in the neighbourhood at an easy rate. Offers in writing may be made to the proprietor Mr. Moodie, No. 31. George Street and such as shall not be accepted of; will, if required, be concealed.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 22nd April 1805

    • 1817
      • A00012: 20/02/1817


        To LET, on a lease for nineteen years, and entered to at Martinmas 1817, THE LANDS and FARM of BRIECH- MILL, with the CORN and BARLEY MILL there to belonging, lying in the parish, and about a mile from the village,of West Calder. The farm contains 100 Scotch acres, or thereby, mostly inclosed with stone dykes, and subdivided with thriving hedges. The soil is a good loam, and partly holm land. Offers may be given in, on or before the 29th March curt. to Mr Archibald Mackinlay, Treasurer to George Watson's HospItal South Bridge Street, or James Jollie, W. S. Duke Street, Edinburgh. Edinburgh, 11th March 1817.

        The Caledonian Mercury 20th March 1817

    • 1820
      • A00013: 22/04/1820


        Upon Monday the 8th day of May next, at one o'clock, upon the ground, if not previously disposed of by private bargain, THAT valuable FIELD of GROUND, known by the name of BRIECH DYKES, with the Steading of Houses thereon, part of the estate of WESTWOOD, West Lothian.

        This field measures about 68 Scots acres, 9 or 10 of which are in crop, the remainder in valuable pasture, eight years old. It is bounded by a river on the south, by a public road on the north, and on the west by a park lately sold. On the opposite side of the river is a corn mill, on the lands of Briech Mill, the property of Watson's Hospital. There is a coal in the land 5 1/2 feet thick, the crop of which was worked for many years in the adjoining field; and for which in this district the demand would be considerable. The adjoining farm has produced excellent wheat. for years. The public burdens are trifling.. Immediate possession may be had, and the arrangements for payment will be liberal. A servant will show the ground. For further particulars application may be made to D. Bain; accountant, 27 Castle Street, Edinburgh; or to the proprietor.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 22nd April 1820

    • 1836
      • A00017: 23/03/1836


        Upset Price Reduced

        To be SOLD by public roup, within the Old Signet Hall, Royal Excenge, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 6th April next, at two o'clock afternoon, either in one lot or in three lots conveniently divided

        THE LANDS of WESTWOOD, in the parish of Livingstone, 16 miles from Edinburgh and 26 from Glasgow, containing about 354 Scots acres of arable land and about 16 of thriving plantation.

        The land is capable of great improvement and is particularly adapted for line, of which the neighbourhood affords and ample supply. One side of the property, nearly a mile in extent, is bounded by the water of Briech, which has a gradual fall of about 55 feet.

        Beside the mansion house which is a compact modern cottage with substantial farm steadings on the property. The lands abound in coal, which was wrought in a former period, and they also abound with ironstone and fireclay, which might be wrought to advantage.

        The proposed railway betwixt Edinburgh and Glasgow is intended to be carried through, or to skirt the property. The upset price will be such as to afford and ample return to a purchaser.

        For further particulars, application may be made to Mr. BAUCHOP, Brucefield, who will give directions to show the lands; Mr Roderick Mackenzie, writer, 13 John St, Glasgow; or to Robert Johnston jnr W.S, 2, Scotland Street, Edinburgh, who is in possession of the title-deeds and a plan of the estate.

        The Scotsman, 23rd March 1836

    • 1845
      • A00015: 17/01/1845

        TO BE LET, For such a term of Years as may be agreed on, THE FARM and LANDS of WESTER BRIECH, in the Parish of Livingstone, as the same were lately possessed by Mr. Robert Shanks, situated about a mile south from Blackburn, and lying centrically between that village and West Calder, Whitburn and Livingstone. The Farm contains 151 Acres or thereby, Scotch Measure, all arable, and is of excellent soil, well sub-divided, and sheltered by tidying plantations. Entry may be had immediately to both Houses and Lands. Apply to Geo. Strang, writer, 20, Miller Street, Glasgow, with whom offers may be lodged.

        The Glasgow Herald, 17th January 1845

    • 1855
      • A00014: 04/04/1855

        FARMS TO BE LET.

        FARM of CITY, in the Parish of Livingstone, near West Calder, containing about 100 Imperial acres, the greater portion of which is tile-drained; and The FARM of BRIECH DYKES, part of the same Estate, containing about 220 Imperial acres, two-thirds of which have been recently tile-drained, and the remainder will be also done if required; are both to be Let for Nineteen Years, with immediate entry, and the ploughing done for this crop. The gardener at Westwood, will show the Lands, and all further particulars may be obtained from the Proprietor, there, or at 32, Royal Terrace, Edinburgh.

        North British Agriculturalist, 4th April 1855

    • 1859
      • A00002: 19/03/1859


        SEAMS of SMITHY and other COALS, FIRECLAY, IRONSTONE, and LIMESTONE, in the Estate of Westwood, extending to upwards of 230 acres, lying in the Parish of Livingstone, and about a mile distant from the Bathgate and Morningside Railway, are to be Let. A good Seam of Smithy Coal, upwards of 5 feet in thickness, with several smaller Seams of good quality, and well adapted for the manufacture of Coke, have been opened up in different parts of the property. Two of these rest upon Seams of good Fireclay, suitable for making Ovens, or any other purposes. There are also several Seams of Ironstone, amounting altogether to some feet in thickness, and which may be seen at the outcrop, with Lime, and dense stratum of Pitchy Bituminous Shale. For farther particulars and terms, application may be made to the Proprietor, Robert Steuart, Esq. of Carfin, Moray Place, Edinburgh; or Thomas Sprot, Esq., W.S., there.

        The Falkirk Herald, 17th March 1859

    • 1861
      • A00019: 04/10/1861


        GAS COAL, BITUMINOUS shale, HOUSEHOLD; and SMITHY COAL, and OTHER MINERALS, in part of the Estate of Houston, the Parish of Uphall and County of Linlithgow, adjoining the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, extending to about 280 acres. The Mineral Field has not been fully explored, but, only at a short distance from the Torbanehill Mineral District, there are good prospects of Gas Coal and Bituminous Shale being found in the Lands. For further particulars, apply to William Waddell, W. S., Royal Circus, Edinburgh ; or, to the Proprietor, Houston House, who will show the Mineral Field. 16th October, 1861.

        The Falkirk Herald, 4th October 1861

      • A00018: 23/11/1861


        THE FARM of WESTER BRIECH, in the Parish of Livingstone, County of Linlithgow, distant about a mile from the villages of Blackburn and West Calder, and three miles from Bathgate, presently possessed by Mr Hugh Wood. Is TO LET for such number of Years may be agreed on, with Immediate Entry to part the lands, including the Fields that were in Tillage this year, and Entry the remainder of the Lands and to the Houses at Whitsunday next. The Farm contains 151 Acres, or thereby, Scotch Measure, and is good soil and well watered, sub-divided, and Fenced. With the exception of from Seven to Nine Acres in Plantation, &c., it all Arable, and to the extent of fully one-third has been thoroughly Drained. The Dwelling House, which consists of Two Storeys, whole other houses are Substantial and chiefly New, and afford ample accommodation.

        The Lands are little more than three miles distant from the Harburn Station, on the Edinburgh Branch of the Caledonian and from the Bathgate Livingstone Stations, on the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, and there are two Goods Railway Stations within about two miles of the Farm. Offers to lodged, on or before the 30th day of December next, with the Proprietor, Mr George Strang, 13 Carlton Place, Glasgow. A person employed the Farm will point out the Boundaries. The Proprietor does not bind himself to accept the highest or any offer.

        The Glasgow Saturday Post, 23rd November 1861

    • 1864
      • A00003: 27/07/1864


        A MINERAL FIELD, of about 230 Acres, containing Several Seams of Superior Bituminous Shale, with Smithy and other Coals, Fireclay, Ironstone, aud Limestone, in the Estate of Westwood, lying in the parish of Livingstone, about a mile distant from the Edinburgh, Bathgate, and Morningside Railway, and well suited for an extenstive Mineral Oil Work, is to be Let. For further particulars and terms, application may be made to the Proprietor, Robert Steuart, Esq. of Westwood, West Calder; Thomas Sprot, Esq., W.S., Edinburgh or Messrs. Mackenzie & Moore, ME, Glasgow.

        The Glasgow Herald, 27th July 1864

    • 1874
      • A00004: 22/07/1874

        FARM TO LET

        The FARM of BREICHDYKES, on the estate of Westwood and parish of Livingstone, extending to 210 Imperial Acres or thereby, to be let for nineteen years from Whitsunday, 1875. The farm is all thoroughly tile drained. Dwelling house and steading were re-roofed an thoroughly put in order in 1872. It is specially adapted for a dairy farm, the populous village of West Calder being within a mile, and there is a private railway siding (Caledonian) on the ground. The outgoing tenant (who is relinquishing farming) will show the boundaries. For other particulars, or with offers, address the proprietor, Westwood, West Calder, or Messrs Sprot & Wordie, W.S. 10 Drummond Place, Edinburgh

        The Scotsman, 22nd July, 1874

    • 1918
      • A00005: 12/01/1918


        The Lands extend to about 450 acres, about one-half of which is included in the Farm of City . The remainder is let for grazing and a portion for cropping. The Land is all within easy distance of West Calder, with excellent market facilities. The Mansion-House contains 4 Public and 14 Bed Rooms , with Ample Servants' Accommodation. There is a Gravitation Water Supply, Large Garden with Glass Houses, and Good Gardener's House; also a Conservatory at the House , Extensive Offices , and a Good Lodge. It is about 3 miles from West Calder Station by road , and about 1 1/2 miles by footpath, 5 miles from Bathgate, 12 from Linlithgow, and 17 from Edinburgh, with good roads . There is a row of 25 Cottages on the West End of the Estate: also two Large Cottages. The House and Offices at City Farm are comparatively new, and are suitable for the Farm. There it some Timber on the Estate ready for cutting. The Minerals are let on Lease , and are reserved from the Sale. The Rent, exclusive of Minerals, is about £480 , including £50 for the Mansion-House, and the Public Bnrdens are about £70 . The Rents could be increased as a considerable extent is let at a low rate for grazing . Further particulars and Orders to View can be obtained from Messrs CARMENT, WEDDERBURN & WATSON , W.S., 2 Glenfinlas Street , Edinburgh , who have the Titles and with whom Offers should be lodged.

        The Scotsman 12th January 1918

  • Related file records