Scottish shale Scottish shale

Woodmuir - early pits (south)

West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian

Small-scale coal pits in the southern part of the lands of Woodmuir

Coal seems to have been worked from early in the 19th century in a number of small pits either side of the Skolie burn. A map of 1822 shows "colliers houses" (labelled on later maps as Burn Row) close to a group of pits. The 1852 OS map shows a group of four shafts labelled "Woodmuir Colliery", and associated notes record that ten colliers were employed there and that the works begun about ten years previously. The topography allowed the shallow workings to be drained by adits and coal could be wound to the surface by horse gin. These small pits were probably closed by about 1860.

Burn Row


A colliery on the lands of Wood Muir, it was opened about 12 years ago and about 10 colliers were engaged in the mine, the average daily prodiction is about 14 tons. The seam lies about 11 fathoms from the surface and is about 472 feet thick. This pit has the advantage of a natural fall for the water and the coals are brought to the surface by horse power. The colliery is on the estate of Robert Souter but it is the property of Thomas Thornton he having purchased the minerals.

Midlothian OS Name Book, 1852-53 - OS1/11/42/8


Subscriptions to the Patriotic Fund; West-Calder Parish: Calder, Thomas, Woodmuir Coal-works, 1s ; Douglas, John, Woodmuir Coalworks, 1s; Hamilton, John, Woodmuir Coalworks, 1s; Mackie, David, Woodmuir Coalworks. 2s 6d;

Caledonian Mercury, 22th March 1855