West Lothian

A small industrial village in West Lothian, Addiewell lies to the south of the Breich Water, 2 miles (3 km) south of Blackburn. The village developed in association with the oil shale industry. James 'Paraffin' Young (1811-83) opened mines and built a refinery here in the 1860s for his Light and Mineral Oil Company. The foundation stone of the oil works was laid by African explorer Dr. David Livingstone (1813-73). The plant operated until the 1950s, although the site was not cleared until the 1980s and the landscape retains evidence of the industry in the form of a large bing, now managed as a reserve by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Addiewell is now dominated by an immense whisky bond and warehouses, the property of the North British Distillery Company. This was developed alongside the A71 road from 1970 and passers-by can enjoy the smell of "the angel's share". There is also an industrial estate, primary school and an unstaffed railway station on the line from Glasgow Central to Edinburgh. Despite local opposition, a new prison was built here through public-private partnership arrangements and opened in 2008.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better