Addiewell in 1900

Sketch, map and description of the village c. 1900

By Sybil Cavanagh

Addiewell in 1900:

Addiewell, a manufacturing village in West Calder parish, Edinburghshire, on the verge of the county,near the Cleland branch of the Caledonian railway, one and a half miles WSW of West Calder.  It has a post office, with money order and savings bank departments, under West Calder and an Established church built in 1884.

Founded about 1866 in connection with large chemical works, it comprises a great number of factory buildings, retort sheds, etc., and it looks like an assemblage of numerous factories and their appurtenances for a diversity of purposes.  The works cover 70 acres, produce vast quantities of paraffin oil, naphtha, paraffin candles, and ammonia, and serve also as auxiliaries to the great chemical works in the vicinity of Bathgate.  

A public school, with accommodation for 552 children, had (1891) an average attendance of 307, and a grant of £335 17s 10d.  

Pop. (1891), 1696. 

Extract from Francis Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, published in 1901. (This book can be consulted in full in the West Lothian Local History Library in County Buildings, Linlithgow.)
Note:  Edinburghshire is the old name for Midlothian.
The Established Church is an old term for the Church of Scotland

Sketch Map

Addiewell is shown in this bird's eye view as it was about the year 1900, when the Oil Works were in their heyday, and the village was busy, smoky, smelly, thronged and thriving. 

The sketch is not to scale, but look at it together with the map, which shows Addiewell a little later - in 1917.  In the intervening years, the UF Church (the 'tin church') has been built in the Square, but little else has changed.

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Photo:Bird's eye view of Addiewell about 1900.  Not entirely accurate as to scale and orientation, but gives a good idea of what the old village looked like.

Bird's eye view of Addiewell about 1900. Not entirely accurate as to scale and orientation, but gives a good idea of what the old village looked like.

West Lothian Local History Library.

Photo:Addiewell in 1917.

Addiewell in 1917.

Ordnance Survey, 3rd ed.

The map shows more or less the same area of present day Addiewell as the 1907 map

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This page was added by Sybil Cavanagh on 25/04/2012.