Scottish shale Scottish shale

Polbeth No. 27 mine

West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Broxburn Shale, Broxburn Shale (2nd Phase)
After 1880? Re-opened c.1891?
1887 & 1898?
Current status of site:
Agricultural land with few surviving surface features other than waste exposed on side of burn
Regional overview:


Inclined shaft. to the Broxburn shale

Serving Addiewell Oil Works

Also known as Gavieside No. 27, this mine worked the Broxburn Shale that lay beneath the former site of Gavieside Paraffin Oil Works. This seam lay beneath the Fells Shale worked from Gavieside No. 1 Pit and No. 2 Pit. Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company presumably acquired the mineral rights following collapse of the West Calder Oil Company, c.1880. The mine appears to have been abandoned c.1887, re-opened c.1891 and finally closed c.1898. British Geological Survey plan LSP 471 illustrates the extent of each episode.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1895, showing the mine in operation.

  • Location & workings at Polbeth No.27 mine
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  • Detailed maps
  • Recent images

  • Newspaper references

      CERTIFICATED OVERSMEN WANTED to take charge of this Company's new mine openings - viz., (1) at No.11 pit, Polbeth; (2) at No. 27 Mine, Polbeth; (3) at No.31 pit Polbeth. Applications to be made by letter to the undersigned on or before Monday 23rd instant. JOHN FYFE, Managing Director.

      Scotsman, 13th November 1891

  • External references
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 2129, showing workings in the Thick Shale from Polbeth or Gavieside No. 27, abandoned in 1887.
      • Agreement No. 471. Licence under the Explosives Act for a mixed explosives store at No.27 mine, Polbeth, in a small locked box at the pithead, March 1911. Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd; Inventory of Leases, Agreements &c. BP Archive 215854.