Scottish shale Scottish shale

Easton No.1 pit

Alternative names:
Hopetoun pit
Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Regional overview:

A pit in the Earl of Hopetoun's Ballencrieff estate. The first pit at Easton was sunk by James Wood & Co. in about 1891, but seems never to have been completed and is marked as "disused" on the 1895 OS map. In 1896 the Balbardie Colliery Co. Ltd took over the site, but chose to sink new shafts a little to the west of the abandoned ones. The pit developed into a substantial operation, linked underground to Balbardie No.2 pit and remained in operation until 1973..

  • Location map and boundary of the Ballencreiff lands.


    Since Balbardie Colliery was formed into limited liability company it seems it is to take new lease of life. At present arrangements as being pushed forward to go on with the sinking of the pit commenced by Mr Wood at Easton. This has been taken over by the Balbardie Company, and sinking will be started immediately, but not on the same site as where unfinished shaft stands.. It will be farther west a park length. Of course this won't make matters hum all once. It is expected that 2 1/2 years will have elapsed before it can be said there is much doing at the new colliery.

    West Lothian Courier, 16th May 1896


    Easton pit, which took about two years to sink, was started in September 1896, and reached the seam in twenty-one months. It is 173 fathoms deep and works the Balbardie seam, the jewel seam, and main seam. Its equipment is most complete, and consists in addition to the winding engine, a large compound and condensing pumping engine, compound and condensing engine for generating electricity for the underground haulage and the pumping the colliery, a high-pressure steam engine for generating electricity for lighting the colliery, and complete plant for cleaning and screening the coal.

    Linlithgowshire Gazette, 14th March 1902, See full record


    Easton Colliery is likely to close in May with the loss of some 600 jobs to the West Lothian district. The viability of the colliery is in question and there seems little likelihood of any reprieve though there is still plenty of coal left in the pit. This however is difficult to win by modern machine methods due to an ususually high rate of geological faults in the seams. If Easton closes it will leave but two colleries still operating in West Lothian; Kinneil and Polkemmet (Whitburn).

    West Lothian Courier, 9th February 1973