Scottish shale Scottish shale

Woodmuir No.2 pit

West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian
Scott and Gilmour
George E., John & Wm Darling
pre 1873
pre 1895

A pit in the lands of Woodmuir, to the China Coal at 25 fathoms, the Jewel Coal at 46 fathoms and the Bathgate Main Coal at 56 fathoms.. Presumably this was one of two pits at Woodmuir referred to in a sale notice of July 1870

No.2 is not listed in the 1886 list of mines, so presumably closed prior to that date, and the 1893 OS map shows no pithead buildings other than a chimney and reservoir. A cutting, heading south west from the pithead, might have served a mine or drainage channel, and is perhaps related to a statement in 1870 sales notice, that the pits were "drained to a great extent by a day-level".

Three banks of beehive coking kilns were constructed close to the pithead, on the opposite side of the mineral railway that served the Woodmuir pits. The coking kilns were in operation by 1878, but appear disused on the 1893 O.S. map. The ruins of the kilns survive, although damaged by forestry operations, and were designated a scheduled monument in 2005. An archaeological assessment was made, although the report makes many false assumptions over the history of the site. A 3D survey was conducted of one of the three banks of kilns, which can be viewed at See also, the story; The Beehives at Woodmuir.

  • Location of pit, and boundary of the lands of Woodmuir


    Discovery of a Dead Body in Coalpit.—Yesterday the dead body of a man, much disfigured by bruise, was found at the bottom of No. 2 pit of the Woodmuir Colliery, West Calder. is supposed to be the body of tramp, who, having lost his way across the moor, had accidentally fallen into the pit, the injuries being the result of the body coming violently in contact with the framework of the shaft in its descent.

    Edinburgh Evening News, 8th October 1873


    CONTRACTORS Wanted to Drive Two Communication Headings in Woodmuir No.2 Pit. - They may be seen and particulars learned by applying at the Pit on or before Friday 15th

    Hamilton Advertiser, 9th December 1876


    FATAL PIT ACCIDENT NEAR WEST CALDER Yesterday morning a lad of 16 years of age, named Alexander Crookston, was killed in No, 2 Woodmuir Pit, West Calder, through being run over with a hutch. Crookston who was employed as a drawer in the pit, was standing in the way when a hutch was sent down from the top the incline. It rushed down with such force that he was unable to get clear of it in time.

    Glasgow Herald, 25th July 1879