Scottish shale Scottish shale

Northrigg No.7 pit

Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Current status of site:
Site largely landscaped following opencasting with woodland across much of site

Pit in the lands of Torbanehill, on the site of Torbanehill No.7 pit, perhaps utilizing the original shaft, sunk c.1855. Extending to the Mill Coal at 14 fathoms, Armadale Main Coal at 28 fathoms, and Colinburn Coal at 42 fathoms. Total depth of the shaft was 249ft with workings linked underground with those of Northrigg No.2 pit. The pithead was linked by tramway to Northrigg No.1 mine and Northrigg No.2 mine.

  • Location of pit, and land ownership boundary


    Early on Monday morning a disastrous fire broke out at No. 7 Pit. Northrigg, belonging to Messrs Jas. Wood, Ltd.. coalmasters, which resulted in the whole of the pit scree and wooden framework, together with the machinery and coal cleaning plant bring burned to the ground. The engine house and stalk alone are intact. It appears the fire originated in the pitheadman's box. The strong wind blowing at the time. the three night men were unable to do anything to subdue the flames, which speedily got a good hold. The lurid glare of the burning woodwork was seen for several miles around by workmen proceeding to their work. It is only about 2 years since the pit was opened, and this disaster will ensure considerable distress among the employees who number over 200. However, a large number of the men have obtained employment at the various other pis in the district. The damage is estimated £2,100, and is said to b covered by insurance. The pit was fitted up all modern coal cleaning machinery, and had on output of over 400 tons per day.

    West Lothian Courier, 24th January 1902



    Last week a report was current that trade did not improve soon, that No. 7 Pit, Torbanehill, was to closed, and the report is now verified with the intimation being received from headquarters that the pit has to be closed to-morrow. No. 7, Torbanehill. is one of the pits that were acquired by the United Collieries Company from Mr Wood three years ago, and since the change of ownership came about those engaged in the pit have been very irregularly employed, so much so, that many left to look for more regular work elsewhere. The pit is one that the company can well afford to let stand until there is greater demand for coal, since the workings are not troubled with water, and no pumping gear is required to be kept in operation. No doubt the few men employed in it will be put up the other pits in the district.

    West Lothian Courier, 1st September 1905



    To-day No. 2 and No. 7 Pit.. Northrigg, Armadale, belonging to the United Collieries, Ltd., will close down for an indefinite period. The pits gave employment to 300 workers, and of thus number 200 are resident in Armadale and district, 75 in Whitburn and 25 in Bathgate. Pumping operations after Saturday will cease, but every precaution, we are informed. will be taken to ensure that the pits will not be flooded. - Mr Findlay, general manager, explained to a press representative that owing to the industrial upheaval last year the corporations and railways in Scotland and England had bought in or contracted for foreign coal, and would not be in the market for home production until September or October. We are fighting keenly for markets lost during the strike. In the proces they were faced with periods when not a single order was coming in, end this necessitated putting men on short time. It was with a view to, as far as possible, keep men steadily at work that it had been decided until brighter times come to closedown No. 2 and No. 7 Pits, Northrigg. The workers in these pits, it was hoped, would be absorbed in the other pits. Of course, as Mr Findlay remarked, this could not be done at once. It took time to make arrangements. He hoped, however. ere the end of May to have all the workers engaged in other pits. There was plenty of coal in No. 2 and 7 pits, and while pumping operations were meantime going to be suspended every precaution would be taken against flooding. The moment brighter signs were showing in the coal industry the pits would be reopened. There was no intention, he said, of wrapping the pits.

    West Lothian Courier, 6th May 1927



    Fire was discovered to have broken out late last night in Northrigg No. 7 pit, Armadale, owned by United Fireclay Products, Ltd. Fortunately there were no men at work. Bathgate, West Calder and Coatbridge Fire Brigade units were summoned. They have not yet located the fire. They are trying to get access from No. 2 pit, Blackridge. The manager, Mr Hugh Crawford, accompanied by another official, attempted to descend the shaft at No. 7 pit but were overcome by smoke. They were brought to the surface, where, after attention, they recovered. The pit at one time produced both coal and clay but it now only produces clay, the coal having been worked out many years ago.

    Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18th December 1950


    The 90ft chimney stack at No 7 Clay Mine, Northrigg was struck by lightning and two thirds of it was brought crashing down.

    West Lothian Courier, 10th August 1956