East Ayrshire

A location in East Ayrshire, Killoch lies on the A70 trunk road, 2 miles (3 km) west of Ochiltree and 2½ miles (4 km) northeast of Drongan. There are farms at Killoch and Killochside. The National Coal Board began sinking a super-pit here in 1953. This strikingly modern concrete structure was the work of Egon Riss (1901-64), a respected Austrian architect who settled in Scotland. Killoch Colliery opened in 1960 and comprised two shafts ; the first 757m / 2482 feet deep and 7.4m / 24 feet in diameter and the second 736m / 2414 feet deep and 6.15m / 20 feet in diameter. In 1965, it became the first Scottish colliery to produce one million tons of coal in a year, at which time it employed 2300 men. Much of its output was exported to Northern Ireland to run power stations. Killoch was eventually linked underground to the Barony Colliery, but closed in 1987 and was demolished shortly thereafter. The site now washes, processes and blends coal brought from several nearby open-cast mines, and is still served by a branch of the railway.

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