Scottish shale Scottish shale

Burntisland No.3 mine

Former parish and county:
Parish of Burntisland, Fifeshire
Local authority:
Seams worked:
Dunnet Shale
Current status of site:
Wooded waste ground
Regional overview:


Vertical shaft

Serving Binnend Oil & Mineral Works

Also known as Whinnyhall No.3, this mine dipped to the North East, exploiting shale in the eastern parts of the Burntisland shale-field.

Mineral statistics (see below) for 1883 records that No.3 pit worked a 6' seam of Dunnet shale by a combination of stoop and room, and longwall working. 5 were employed on the surface and 32 underground (5 and 40 in 1884) under the management of Jno. Louden. The downcast shaft measured 10'x5' and was 150' deep. the upcast 5.5'x5' and 160' deep. The mine was non-firery, ventilated by steam jet, and was double shifted.

Shale-field: Burntisland shale-field.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1895, showing adit heading north eastwards.

  • Location & workings at Burntisland No.3 mine
    • Show seams:

  • Detailed maps
  • Mineral Statistics
    • During much of the Victorian period, Her Majesty's Inspectors of Mines produced an annual report to the Secretary of State recording the output of coal and other minerals, plus a variety of associated statistics, including a list of mines. The format and detail of these "Mineral Statistics" varied considerably, each Mine Inspector compiling a report of this own area according to his own style. Scotland was served by two mines inspectors; being divided into eastern and western districts.


      The most detailed of these reports provide substantial information on each pit, including details of shafts, ventilation and methods of working, and the number employed at each site. Others provide little more than name of the pit, the owner, and the seam worked. Mineral Statistics for certain years have been digitised in full and are available through, others are available, for a fee as Google books, and some have been partly transcribed (to varying degrees of accuracy) and made available through various mines research sites. Our museum holds a number of annual Mineral Statistics from the 1880's.

  • Newspaper references
    • WANTED, thorough practical Winding Engineman; must be steady and sober. - No.3 Shale Mine, Burntisland Oil Works.

      Glasgow Herald, 12th July 1888

  • External references
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. S5107, showing workings in unnamed shale and Dunnet Shale from Winnyhall or Burntisland, abandoned 1900.
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 1524, showing workings in unnamed shale from Winnyhall or Burntisland, abandoned 1883.
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 3186, showing workings in Dunnet Shale and an unnamed shale from Winnyhall or Burntisland, dated 1894.