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Woodmuir Colliery, Pits Nos.5 And 6

Colliery (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Woodmuir Colliery, Pits Nos.5 And 6

Classification Colliery (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Breich

Canmore ID 100387

Site Number NS96SE 10

NGR NS 9721 6076

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish West Calder
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NS96SE 10.00 9721 6076

NS96SE 10.01 Centred NS 9700 6080 Rig

Woodmuir Colliery Pits Nos. 5 & 6 are situated some 600m ESE of the village of Briech. It was connected by a now abandoned mineral railway to the main Edinburgh to Glasgow railway at a junction 800m NE of the mine.

Of the surviving buildings, the most prominent is that of the washery, still standing to roof height and set against a large spoil heap which is being slowly reduced by extraction. A second building still upstanding, is the shell of the pit-head baths. Although the roof has been removed, the steel framing is extant as are some of the floor tiles. Nothing remains of the pit-head structures, though there are two depressions in the area between the washery and the pit-head baths which may be where the shaft was located.

Woodmuir Colliery is depicted on the 2nd edition of the OS 25-inch map (Edinburghshire, 1906), sheet X.8, as roofed, and the mineral railway which connects to the main line is shown as the Woodmuir Branch, continuing SW towards a further coal mine, several small pits and a series of quarries E of the large Levenseat limestone and sand quarries (NS95SW 7.00).

The colliery overlies patches of rig-and-furrow cultivation, with further areas to the W and N.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE) June 1994.

(Location cited as NS 9721 6073). WOODMUIR Colliery

Location: West Calder

Previous Owners: Woodmuir Coal Company, United Collieries Limited from 1902

Types of Coal: Coking, House, Manufacturing and Steam

Sinking/Production Commenced: 1896

Year Closed: 1963

Average Workforce: 255

Peak Workforce: 273

Peak Year: 1963

Shaft/Mine Details: 2 shafts, No. 5 90m (downcast) and No. 6 91m deep (upcast)

Details in 1948: Output 285 tons per day, 73,500 tons per annum, longwall working. 210 employees. 2 screen tables. Jig and feldspar washer (Dickson and Mann) [equipment for grading coal by size and for wet cleaning prior to sale]. No baths. Canteen (packed meals), first-aid room. All electricity from Loganlea Colliery (NS96SE 20). Report dated 30-07-1948.

Other Details: Range of ruined beehive coke ovens survive nearby.

M K Oglethorpe 2006.


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