Scottish shale Scottish shale

Mid Breich No.1 mine

Livingston, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Seams worked:
Fells Shale
Current status of site:
Within arable field; no trace of surface features remain
Regional overview:


Inclined shaft

Serving Breich Oil Works

Very small scale workings in the Fells Shale. Geological survey plan LSP 575 indicates that the mine was last worked in 1901, and also marks an air pit to the Fells Shale 16 fathoms deep. The 1897 OS map shows no trace of the mine, but identifies the air pit. It seems likely that this was the new mine referred to at the first AGM of the New Hermand Oil Company in 1900

  • Location & workings at Mid Breich No.1 mine
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  • Newspaper references
    • It was pretty well understood that when the works of any company had stood idle for about eight years it could not be started right away without hitches here and there... They had to rely upon No.4 pit for a full supply of shale. They were disappointed, and within the past few months they had made sure of new supplies of shale. They were now pretty well off in that respect, and within the next week they would be opening a new mine at West Breich, in addition to one on Mid Breich, on their own property.

      First annual general meeting of the New Hermand Oil Company, reported in Glasgow Herald, 24th July 1900

  • External references
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. S4841, showing workings in the Broxburn, Fells, and Thick Shale from Breich, abandoned in 1901.
      • Coal Authority Mine Abandonment Catalogue No. 4396, showing workings in the Fells Shale (1903) and Houston Coal (1901) from Breich.