Scottish shale Scottish shale

Roman Camp No.3 mine

Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Pumpherston Shale
Pre 1906
Current status of site:
Site substantially re-modelled and now waste land
Regional overview:


Inclined adit

Serving Roman Camp Oil Works

One of a sequence of steeply inclined mines following the outcrop of Pumpherston Shales along the western arm of the Pumpherston anticline, No. 3 Mine exploited Jubilee shale lying mainly to the north of the Edinburgh to Bathgate railway.

Each of the O.S. maps show a structure straddling the mineral railway; presumably containing a hopper into which standard gauge wagons tipped or discharged their shale. From this hopper, hutches of shale would have been drawn up a steep incline, passing beneath a second line of railway to reach the top of the retorts.

The 1917 shows the modest surface works of No. 3 Mine, whose produce appears to have fed the hopper structure (which seems to be labelled "No.1"), along with shale brought by tramway from Roman Camp No. 4 Mine.

The land has been re-graded and ground levels changed considerably since the closure of Roman Camp Oil Works; little survives of this complex of workings other than the railway bridge.

Shale-field: Pumpherston shale-field.

Mapped by the Ordnance Survey of c.1897 seems to show Holmes mine out of use, prior to development of No. 3 Mine.

  • Location & workings at Roman Camp No.3 mine
    • Show seams:

  • Detailed maps
  • Archive images

  • Drawings

    Recent images

  • Newspaper references
    • Roman Camp No.3, worked by Broxburn Oil Co., has been driven from the south side of the Edinburgh and Bathgate railway in the direction of Powflats where it passed through the east and west dolerite sills, about 100 feet broad. The shale on both sides of this igneous intrusion was burnt, and the operation of driving a mine though this dyke proved a laborious one.

      Oil Shales of the Lothians; British Geological Survey, 1906


      Arrangements are being made to cut off the Curly Brae Section where a crush, which we have not been able to check, has been giving a great deal of trouble (June 1925).

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

  • External references
    • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 12465, showing workings in the Wee, Jubilee, Curly, Plain and Maybrick seams, abandoned in 1938.

  • Additional resources
    • Oral history transcript: Mr Archibald Fairley