Scottish shale Scottish shale

Hermand No.5 pit

West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Broxburn Shale
Last worked 1892, abandoned 1894
Current status of site:
Site returned to agriculture; no trace of surface works survive


Vertical shaft, 11 fathoms to Houston coal, 43 fathoms to Fells Shale

Serving Hermand Oil Works

A pit sited within the lands of Birniehill farm. A "mineral railway" transported shale from No. 5 pit to staging and crushers, sited close to Hermand Oil Works, that also processed output from Hermand No.6 mine.

Shale-field: West Calder district.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1895, appearing to show the mine intact.

  • Location & workings at Hermand No.5 pit
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  • Detailed maps
  • Drawings

    Recent images

  • Newspaper references
    • The South Hermand field, in the neighbourhood of Birnie Hill was worked both by pits and mines for some years by the Hermand Oil Co. Ltd., but has been abandoned on account of the number of faults which intersect the ground and the heavy pumping that was necessary to keep the workings dry.

      Oil Shales of the Lothians; British Geological Survey, 1906

  • External references
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 3123, showing workings in the Fells and Broxburn Shales from Hermand No. 5 and No. 6, abandoned in 1894.
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 12743, showing workings in the Houston Coal from Birniehill, abandoned in 1940.