Scottish shale Scottish shale

Kipps - early pits

Torphichen, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Fleming & Wotherspoon
c.1840, although coal mining activity in the area from early times.
Current status of site:
Returned to agriculture, no surface traces remain
Regional overview:
Pits - pre 1855

A small, and much faulted, area of coal, said to have worked from "very early days", and then for a short period during the 1840's.

  • Location map


    When visited c.1840 by R.F. Franks, reporting to the Childrens Employment Commission, Messrs. Fleming & Wotherspoon were leaseholders of the Kipps Colliery. Among those interviewed were Mr Magnus Aitken, manager of Kipps Colliery who testified " I was formerly partner in the colliery which I now am manager to; the works requiring an increase of capital they have passed into new hands. New seams have been discovered, and machinery and preparations are nearly complete for very extensive coal and iron-stone operations."


    Coal is said to have been at one time worked to a small extent near Cathlaw House, and there is a detached portion of coal at Kipps, where it appears from Sir William Sibbald's history of the county, published at the commencement of the eighteenth century, coal was worked at a very early period. A pit has been lately sunk at Kipps, where the strata dip to the North-West is 1 foot in 3. There is an old pit a short way east from this pit which is 10 fathoms deep, in which a bed of coal, lying above the seam the present pit is sunk to, was formerly worked, but after a few months it was found impossible to carry it on, in consequence of the excessive number of faults in the field,

    On the mines, minerals and geology of West Lothian - Charles Forsyth, Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, III series, vol 2. 1846



    THE COPARTNERSHIP carried on at KIPPS COLLIERY in the County of Linlithgow, under the firm of FLEMING & WOTHERSPOON , as Coal Masters, was today DISSOLVED by mutual consent. Mr ROBERT WATT, Writer, Airdrie is authorised and empowered to collect and discharge the outstanding debts due to the Company.

    Signed Wm. FLEMING, GAVIN WOTHERSPOON, - Signed ROBERT WATT, Witness; JAMES SNEDDON Whitness, Airdrie 29th Jun., 1842.

    The Scotsman, 31st December 1842.


    Scots Bankrupts

    Gavin Wotherspoon, sometime one of the lessees of the Kipps Colliery, parish of Torphichen and county of Linlithgow, thereafter merchant and trader in Airdrie. Creditors meet in the Royal Hotel , Airdrie, on 3d and 23d, January, at one o'clock.

    The Scotsman, 27th December 1843.



    William Fleming, presently merchant in Airdrie, and sometime partner of the concern of Fleming & Wotherspoon, coalmasters Kipps Colliery.

    Greenock Advertiser, 23rd July 1844.


    LINLITHGOW AND STIRLINGSHIRE FOXHOUNDS........... He had no sooner got into this cover than he was forced to take the open again at the west side, where he found shelter in the old mine at Kipps farm …....

    West Lothian Courier, 31st December 1898