Scottish shale Scottish shale

Balbardie - old pits

Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
pre 1855
pre 1883
Current status of site:
Site landscaped as part of Balbardie park, no surface features remain.
Regional overview:
Pits - pre 1855

One of two pits shown in the lands of Balbardie on the 1855 OS map, some distance south of the Dovecot pit.

Marked as "Balbardie Pit" but appearing also to be associated with a mine entrance. It is shown as a disused shaft on the 1895 map. The adjacent site was subsequently developed into the Balbardie Colliery mine.

  • Location map and boundary of the Balbardie lands.


    The first to work the Balbardie seam in modern fashion was a Mr Hosie, who lost his life in the Winchburgh railway collision. Mr. Hosie commenced between 1850 and 1860. Previous to that there were outcrop workings, a day level being run from the Bathgate burn to the outcrop of the seams. In those days there were not the facilities for pumping water that exist to-day, and only the coal to the rise this day level was worked in to take the water off it. The Balbardie was worked for the house coal, and the value of the blackband iron being unknown at that date, it was passed by as useless Mr Mushet discovered that this mineral contained sufficient ironstone worth smelting, and this discovery was the real foundation of Bathgate’s prosperity. Mr Hosie's pit. which had a vertical shaft, was about fifty yards from the outlet of the present coal mine, and also mine a few yards away.

    Linlithgowshire Gazette, 14th March 1902. See full account