Scottish shale Scottish shale

Baads No.9 pit

Alternative names:
Baads No.9, Blackbraes No.9
West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Fells Shale
Current status of site:
Within an area of rough grazing, with overgrown mounds of mine waste


Vertical shaft, 214 ft deep to the Fells shale

Serving Addiewell Oil Works

Sometimes referred to as Addiewell No. 9, or Blackbrae No. 9, this pit was developed by Young's oil company to exploit a small area of Fells shale, separated from the main area to the north by the West Calder burn.. The 1896 Ordnance Survey map shows an "old shaft" and areas of waste marking the site of No.9 pit. To the north, in the valley of the West Calder burn, the "old level" and "old quarries", might represent workings that served the short-lived Burngrange Oil Works that operated on the site prior to Young's lease of the minerals.

It seems that the shaft, protected behind a fence of railway sleepers, survived within living memory. The waste bings close to the pithead have been excavated for path material in recent years, and traces remain of the "old level" earthworks close to the West Calder burn. Earthworks also survive of a pond to the south of the road, which might have been related to the pit.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1897 shows a rectangular "old shaft" on site of the pit.

  • Location & Workings at Baads No.9 Mine
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  • Detailed maps
  • Recent images

  • Newspaper references
    • OFFERS are WANTED for WORKING the SHALE from No.9 pit in the Lands of Baads, and from No.7 pit in the Lands of Polbeth, both in the Parish of West Calder. Conditions of Let can be learned on application at the Office here. Sealed Offers to be addressed to Mr. R. Scott, Manager, and lodged by Friday 3rd July next. Addiewell Chemical Works, West Calder, 20th June, 1868.

      Glasgow Herald, 24th June 1868


      To the south of Burngrange, in the West Calder burn, thin laminated sandstones with shaley partings intervene between the Fells shale and Houston coal. A pit sunk 25 yards to the west of this coal outcrop, alongside the public road, reached the shale at 32 fathoms, and here the vertical distance between shale and coal is 150 feet.

      Oil-shales of the Lothians; first edition, British Geological Survey, 1906

  • External references
    • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. S4811, showing workings in the Thick Shale from Baads No. 9, abandoned in 1867.