Scottish shale Scottish shale

Pyothall No.5 pit

Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Broxburn Shale
Current status of site:
Pit site in green space adjacent to housing
Regional overview:


Vertical shaft

Serving Broxburn Oil Works

Workings in the Broxburn Shales, latterly linked to the workings of Haycraigs Mines. The underground workings of Pyothall No. 5 Pit seems to have been linked to Broxburn Shale workings from Albyn Mine and Dunnet Shale workings from Dunnet (Sandhole) Mines.

Mineral Statistics (see below) for 1883 record that the Broxburn shale was worked at "No.5 Pyathall" using stoop and room method; 4 were employed on the surface, 20 underground, ( 7 and 48 in 1884), under the management of Alex Kennedy. The downcast shaft measured 10' x7' and was 440ft deep, the upcast 4.5' x 7't and 460ft deep. It was considered a firey pit, ventilated by steam, and was double-shifted.

Shale-field: Broxburn district.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1896, showing pit in operation.

  • Location & workings at Pyothall No.5 pit
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  • Detailed maps
  • Recent images

  • 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
    • A turbine pump from Ingliston has been substituted for the Riedler steam pump, and a new lodgement made, which, it is expected, will economise on steam when pumping is heavy (June 1923). The dismantling of the pumping plant at Pyothall Pit is proceeding (November 1923). In Broxburn, the removal of plant from Pyothall pit has been completed (December 1923).

      From Scottish Oils Ltd, Managing Director's Monthly Report to the Board. (BP Archive No. 215662)

  • External references
    • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 6934, showing workings in the Curly, Broxburn and Grey Shales from Haycraigs Mine and Pyothall No. 5 Pit, abandoned in 1919.