Disused Shale Mine / Cave, Mid Calder, West Lothian

Disused Mine in Mid Calder. Quote from a website: These early shale workings supplied Oakbank Oil Works prior to sinking Oakbank No. 1 and 2 Pits. Substantial remains exist of workings in the cliffs on the west bank of the Linhouse Water that now form part of Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. The 1869 estate plan (below) suggests that the standard gauge mineral railway that subsequently served Oakbank No. 1 & 2 Pits initially terminated close to the east bank of the Linhouse water, from where a bridge across the river provided access to the mines in Calder Wood. Efforts were made during the 1990's to block access into these adits. Prior to that, the adventurous (or foolhardy) were able to explore a network of stoop and room workings extending back into the cliff. In some area, the presence of timber props protruding a foot or so from the floor of the tunnel suggested that the original roof had collapsed, leaving a void above the original workings. The mine entrances can only be reached following a difficult scramble down the steep sides of the valley, then following a rough track beside the river which is only safely accessible when water in the river is low.