Scottish shale Scottish shale

Cobbinshaw South No.3 mine

West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Fraser Shale
Current status of site:
Moorland, with substantial surviving remains of adit and machinery foundations
Regional overview:


Inclined shaft

Serving Tarbrax Oil Works

A short-lived mine, exploiting the Fraser Shale. Not recorded on Ordnance Survey maps, but surviving remains provide an indication of the layout of the mine and the likely route of a haulage linked to Cobbinshaw No. 1 & 2, which now provides a path across the moor.

Shale-field: Cobbinshaw shale-field.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1895, prior to construction of No. 3 mine showing derelict land; formerly South Cobbinshaw Brickworks and Oil Works.

  • Location & workings at Cobbinshaw South No.3 mine
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  • Detailed maps
  • Recent images

  • Newspaper references
    • Regarding the new seam of shale being opened out on the Cobbinshaw estate, a series of twenty bores over a very considerable area had been sunk, and the mine, which was commenced two months ago was already down a distance of sixty fathoms. The shale in the bores and in the mine was six feet thick and was in the most favorable condition for economic mining. Sixty tons of this shale had been taken to Pumpherston and tested in the experimental report there, and the results as regards yield of of oil and sulphate had proved very satisfactory. The shale haulage way from this new works was expected to be completed and working by July, when the development of the mine would be sufficiently advanced to enable an output of shale to be supplied at least equal to meeting the current deficit in outputs. It was estimated that within six months an output of three hundred tons per day will be available from this mine.

      Tarbrax Oil Company Ltd AGM reported in the Scotsman, 30th May 1906

  • External references
    • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 6415, showing workings in the Fraser Shale from Cobbinshaw South No. 3 abandoned in 1915.