In search of a lost coal mine
Beoch No. 4 mine 1937-1968
Here are some photos of Beoch No. 4 mine. OS Grid ref NS 50 09, near Dalmellington, Aysrhsire, Scotland. At 1100 feet it was the highest coal mine in Scotland.
|Map plus recent satellite image|
Researching the history of Galloway (to the south of Ayrshire) I have spent many hours on the maps section of the National Library of Scotland website trying to find farms and crofts which were abandoned due to agricultural improvement in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I have also used satellite images to look at their locations and visited some of the sites, looking for any traces on the ground.
Apart from a few traces of old field boundaries and remnants of rig and furrow cultivation, the old farms and crofts have vanished, erased by 200 years of agricultural improvement or by more recent forestry plantations.
With mines like Beoch No. 4 which are part of living memory not ancient history, I had expected to find more surviving evidence of their existence. But- apart from the open cast mines- it seems Ayrshire's coal mining industry has vanished from the landscape as completely as Galloway's medieval farms have.