Scottish shale Scottish shale

Crofthead (Stonehead) No.1 pit

Alternative names:
Thornton's No.1 pit, Stonehead No.1 pit
Whitburn, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
pre 1855
post 1895
Current status of site:
Site within rough grazing

A major ironstone pit in the lands of Crofthead Stonehead. Probably sunk in the 1840's by the Coltness Iron Co. and active at the time of the 1856 OS map. The shaft was later developed (or re-opened) to reach coal reserves, and was often referred to as Stonehead colliery. The pit was served by a branch of the mineral railway that linked the Crofthead pits to the Wilsontown, Coltness and Morningside Railway. The pithead site remains as rough grazing, with a rectangle of scorched grass marking the site of the shaft, a ironstone waste bing, largely devoid of vegetation lies to the west of the shaft, while the later, greener, coal waste bing lies to the east.

  • The 1885 List of Mines records Crofthead No.1 as owned by the Crofthead Coal Co. Ltd. manager Wm Clelland, worked by the stoop and room method, employing 3 on the surface and 20 underground. The downcast shaft was 9' x 5' and 60 ft deep, the upcast was 6' x 3 ½' and 255 feet deep. It was a non-fiery pit ventilated by furnace

  • Location of pit, and boundary of the lands of Crofthead (Stonehead)


    Accident Mineral Shank Stonehead. —On Tuesday night, the 12th, fatal accident befel John Young, aged 21, shanker at pit, presently being sunk for minerals, on Crofthead estate, Whitburn parish. Young, with one of the contractors, was working the bottom of the shank, which is 50 fathoms in depth. A large barrel of water had been taken up the top, and after the tackling had been uncoupled from it, to attached to a "kettle," the end of the chain with the loose '' muzzle" at it, from some cause or other, slipped or was drawn off the side of the barrel on which it was resting, and the muzzle, which weighs fully 3 pounds, was jerked off'and dropped down the shank. It struck Young on the head, fracturing it frightfully. He was brought up quite insensible, and died on the following Thursday afternoon. The matter is undergoing investigation.

    Falkirk Herald, 21st October 1852