Scottish shale Scottish shale

Stewartfield No.1 mine

Uphall, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Broxburn Shale
Prior to 1897
Current status of site:
Public woodland
Regional overview:


Inclined adit, about 1 in 15

Serving Broxburn Oil Works

The history of the shale workings in the Stewartfield area is unclear. It appears that Stewartfield No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 Pits were early, shallow shafts that were ultimately linked up underground. Stewartfield No. 1 and No. 2 mines were subsequently developed, following the seam of Broxburn Shale from its outcrop close to Broxburn Oil Works, linking existing workings, and providing access to the most distant reserves.

Stewartfield No. 1 Mine exploited Broxburn Shale reserves lying to the south west of Broxburn Oil Works by means of a long roadway through earlier shale workings. Hutches of shale would emerge from the adit into an area of opencast working and hauled onto staging (also serving No. 2 Mine) before crossing the canal to Broxburn Oil Works.

Mineral statistics of 1883 record the Stewartfield No.1 mine worked the 4.5 ft Broxburn shale by stoop and room, employed 8 on the surface and 86 underground, under the management of Alex Kennedy. The down and upcast shafts were 10x8 and 9x6 respectively with a depth of 78 ft. The non-fiery workings were ventilated by fan.

Records for 1884 note that the workings were served by a fan at No.3 Stewartfield.

  • Location & workings at Stewartfield No.1 mine
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  • Detailed maps
  • Recent images

  • Newspaper references
    • It has been decided to stop No. 1 mine Stewartfield, on account of the cost of pumping there, and the plant is being removed. The men are being employed elsewhere, and the output will be made up from the Dunnet mine and Newliston. (September 1923). The arrangements for the abandonment of No. 1 mine Stewartfield have been completed (November 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. 4349, showing workings in the Broxburn and Curly Shales from "Stewartfield No. 1", abandoned in 1903.
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 7781, showing workings in the Broxburn, Curly, Grey, Fells and Dunnet shales from "Stewartfield No. 1", abandoned in 1923.
  • Additional resources
    • Oral history transcript: Mrs Boag & Mr Black