Scottish shale Scottish shale

Philpstoun No. 1 (Whitequarries) mine

Abercorn, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Broxburn Shale
Current status of site:
Site mainly returned to agriculture


Inclined adit

Serving Niddry Castle Crude Oil Works

A mine driven immediately prior to World War Two to reach reserves of Broxburn and Dunnet Shales lying north of the Midhope fault and extending beneath the River Forth. These new workings were presumably linking to the abandoned workings of Philpstoun No. 1 mine (closed 1931), lying 1.3 miles to the south west. The new mine reached the surface about 350m north of Philpstoun No. 6 Mine; which was reconstructed at the same time. The pithead facilities of No. 6 were used by both mines, with the main haulage engine for No. 1 Mine was located on the No. 6 Mine site. Shale was transported to Niddry Castle Crude Oil Works by an extension of the tramway that served the Duddingston Mines.

Shale-field: Champfleurie, Philpstoun and Blackness shale-fields.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1955.

  • Location & workings at Philpstoun (Whitequarries) No. 1 mine
    • Show seams:

  • Detailed maps
  • Drawings

    Recent images

  • Newspaper references
    • The largest turbine pumps in use are in No.1 mine, Philpstoun.... are driven by motors of 300 h.p. ...Similar pumps... driven by motors of 120 h.p. each, are installed in No.6 mine Philpstoun. It is interesting to note that these pumps, in No.1 and No.6 mines, were used in 1938 to unwater the mines, prior to their re-opening.

      From MacLennan, Electrical Services in the Shale Oil Industry. Institute of Petroleum, 1950

  • External references
    • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 15108, showing workings in the Broxburn Upper, Main, and Dunnet Shales from Philpstoun No. 1 Mine, abandoned in 1962.

  • Additional resources
      • Oral history transcript: Mr James Hanlon & Mr Irvine Hanlon
      • Oral history transcript: Mr Leslie Johnstone
      • Oral history transcript: Mr D. McLeod
      • Oral history transcript: Mr Robin Moore
      • Oral history transcript: Mr & Mrs Paterson
      • Oral history transcript: Mr James Tafts
      • Oral history transcript: Mr A. Taylor
  • Related file records