GEOLOGY OF THE SURROUNDING AREA
The geology of the Stonehouse area is entirely of Carboniferous age: 360 million years to around 300 million years.
The oldest rocks in the area are Clyde Plateau Volcanics of Lower Carboniferous (Dinantian) age that outcrop to the west of Stonehouse and underlie a large part of Strathaven, as well as small parts of Stonehouse parish e.g. Crumhaugh farm.
Strathclyde Group (Dinantian):
Rocks of the Lawmuir Formation overlie the older Clyde Plateau volcanic; they consist of sandstones with siltstones, mudstones and minor limestones, ironstones and coals e.g. Stonehouse Under Limestone and Cot Castle Clayband Ironstone.
Clackmannan Group (Dinantian – Namurian):
Lower Limestone Formation; composed of cyclic sequences of sandstones, siltstones and mudstones with significant beds of marine limestone, a few thin coals and ironstone. The base of this unit is the Hurlet limestone which was extensively quarried around the area of the Limekilns. The Top Hosie limestones mark the top of this unit.
Limestone Coal Formation: consists of cyclic sequences of sandstones, mudstones and coals. The Crutherland coals are the local equivalent of the 9 Foot seam elsewhere in Lanarkshire.
Upper Limestone Formation: again, a cyclic sequence of sandstones and mudstones with important limestone beds and minor coals and ironstones. The Index limestone marks the base of this unit and locally the Plean No.2 limestone marks the top. Much of the rest of this unit was eroded prior to the deposition of the Passage Formation.
Passage Formation: mainly sandstones with fireclays, seatearths and minor coals.
Coal Measures (Westphalian):
Lower Coal Measures; consist of cyclic sequences of sandstones, mudstones and ironstones with many important coal seams that were worked in mines locally e.g Drumgray Coals and Kiltongue Coal.
Middle Coal Measures; similar sequence to the Lower, but coals locally less important.
Upper (Barren) Coal Measures; similar again to the above but few coals and much of the strata reddened.
Dimlington Ice sheet covered the area from 28,000BP to 18,000BP. Many glaciated features, erosional and depositional, occur within Stonehouse area.
1. COAL: Lower and Middle Coal Measures (Westphalian)
Limestone Coal Group (Namurian)
2. IRONSTONE: Coal Measures and Limestone Coal Group.
3. SANDSTONE: (also known as Dimension stone): Lower Coal Measures. e.g. Overwood Quarries
4. LIMESTONE: Lower Limestone Group – shales w/ ironstone ribs, limestones, a few thin coals. Main limestones: Hurlet, Blackhall and Hosies.
5. Upper Limestone Group – arenaceous character, thick shale beds, 4 – 8 limestones, a few thin coals. Main limestones: Index, Lyoncross, Orchard, Calmy and Pleans.
6. FIRECLAY: Mostly from Passage Group strata but also many inter seam seat earths and clays in Coal Measures.
7. OIL SHALE: The Lawmuir Formation (LWM) is the local equivalent of the Upper Oil-shale Group below the Hurlet Limestone.
COAL MINING IN SCOTLAND
During 12th/13th Centuries – coal was mined by monks of Holyrood, Newbattle, Dunfermline and Paisley Abbeys.
Until the 16th Century coal mining was localised and used only primitive methods.
Pumping machinery was developed at the end of 16th Century which allowed working to greater depths in de-watered mines.
Steam power appeared in early 18th Century. James Watt’s steam engine revolutionised mining in Scotland by allowing better drainage and winding from deeper levels.
The expansion of the iron industry in the 19th Century led to a dramatic increase in coal demand. The rise in coal demand was also linked to improved transport/communications and general economic and social improvement.
Coal output in Scotland was around 40,000t/annum in 1550 which rose to around 500,000t/annum in 1700. Production peaked at 43 million t/annum at the start of WWI.
The Central Coalfield in Lanarkshire is the historical heartland of industrial Scotland where Coal Measures seams were worked to near exhaustion in shallow drift mines long ago and production of good quality coking coals from Limestone Coal Group (Namurian) seams never reached projected levels of production. The Central Coalfield suffered from high production costs and decreasing demand from a declining steel industry.
COAL MINING IN HAMILTON DISTRICT
Late 1830’s – coal mining began in the Quarter area from shallow drift mines. The Ferniegair pits opened around 1859.
By 1818 there were 40 pits located around Hamilton. Steam driven pumps and winding gear had been developed and by the 1890’s there were 257 collieries in the Lanarkshire coalfield and by 1920 the number of miners employed peaked at 62,000 with an annual output of around 18 million tons of coal.
The decline of coal mining in Lanarkshire was due in part to its early development and partly because of the thinner coal seams compared to those in the Lothians and Fife.
COAL MINING IN STONEHOUSE AREA
Canderrigg / Broomfield
Coal Seams of Lanarkshire HAMILTON DISTRICT
Upper (Barren) Coal Measures – only Barncluith coals. Chatelherault sandstone
Middle Coal Measures
Lower Coal Measures
Shotts Gas =Craignethan Dross
Mill = Auchenheath Lime or Dross
Upper Ball =Lesmahagow Main Gas
Limestone Coal Group
Crutherland coals (House, Jaunt and Smithy) =nt to?Nine Foot
Coal Mines and Seams Worked in South Lanarkshire
OVERTON Coltness Iron Co
ASHGILL Merry & Cunninghame
FERNIEGAIR Archd. Russell
MERRYTON Cochrane & Brand
QUARTER Colin, Dunlop & Co
SKELLYTON Hamilton & MacCulloch
CANDERRIG – Dalserf J. Nimmo & Co
OVERWOOD – Stonehouse Overwood Coal Co.
THINACRES – Hamilton “ “ “
KITTYMUIR NO. 2 – St’house W.G. Walker, Airdrie
WOODSIDE – Dalserf Wilson & Clyde Coal Co
SUNNYSIDE – Larkhall
Avonbraes mine opened in 1940, was worked until 1969. It employed 26 men in 1958 and had an annual output of ~7,000 tons.
Beaton’s Lodge mine closed in 1961 – location?
Knowetop and Thinacre mines nationalised in 1947.
Canderrig mine closed in 1958
Coal Authority Data
South Lanarkshire opencast production 1.6Mt 1.3Mt
South Lanarkshire opencast coal Reserves 9.7Mt 8.4Mt
Reserves already permitted 1.2Mt 1.1Mt
BLACKBAND IRONSTONE – ferruginous sedimentary rock associated with Coal Measures Fe carbonate (siderite) with up to 20% coal included which made it easy to smelt.
CLAYBAND IRONSTONE – fine grained red/grey/brown sedimentary rock of clay and siderite. It occurs as nodules, concretions and thin beds associated with coal seams in the Coal Measures.
Blackband ironstone was discovered in coal seams near Quarter in 1863-4 and by 1880 five furnaces were producing cast ingots. However, these deposits were largely exhausted by the late 1880’s.
Along the road between Glassford and Quarter, small mines were developed at Thinacre, Knowetop and Darngaber in the 1870’s possibly to replace the original mines closer to Quarter.
The Lawmuir Formation (LWM), (Upper Oil Shale Group), below the Lower Limestone Group formation (LLGF) contains the Stonehouse Under Limestone, the Cot Castle Ironstone and a number of thin coal seams.
MINING BOGIE (HUTCH) RESTORATION
Around 1995 a number of members from the heritage group retrieved a coal bogie (hutch) from the river Cander near overwood. The attached pictures show the bogie ion various states from its retrevial from the river to new wood for the axles. The repairs were carried out by Douglas Torrance and Robert Freel. The bogie was parked in the garden of 67 King street Stonehouse.
Sandstone was quarried from the Overwood Sandstone within the Lower Coal Measures above the Drumgray Seams at Overwood Quarries between the Cander Burn and Carlisle Road, now the site of a waste sorting operation and proposed location for the Dovesdale waste incinerator. Dates?
Limestone Kilns (736 455): located below the road between Stonehouse and the Avon bridge were used to burn limestone quarried locally from the Hurlet Limestone to provide lime used to improve the quality of agricultural land.
FIRECLAY was worked mainly from Passage Formation strata, but there were also many seat earths and clays beneath coals in the Coal Measures. Clays were extensively quarried for tile making and field drains at the Tile works that were located at the bottom end of Union Street. The quarries were subsequently filled in with domestic watse brought in by rail from Glasgow and other urban areas. The site of the works is now a sports facility and the adjacent field that were once quarries are the site of the annual Agricultural Show.
OIL SHALE INDUSTRY
James ‘paraffin’ Young patented the process in 1851 (the patent expired in 1864). The oil shale industry began in Bathgate in 1851 and lasted 100 years ending in 1962. The industry declined due to competition from petroleum discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859, but continued until 1962 due to a preferential tax scheme.
Cannel Coal/Torbanite/Oil Shale: In 1858 extensive oil shales of Carboniferous (Calciferous Sandstone Group) were discovered and led to an expansion of the industry in 1864 when Young’s patent expired. By 1874 production was around 500,000 barrels of oil/year. The industry peaked during WWI at around 2.1Mbarrels/year.
In the Stonehouse area, shale oil was won in small quantities from Cannel coals within the Coal Measures at the Ritchies (760 476) on the Avon downstream of the viaduct.
Stonehouse gasworks was located in Union Street, producing gas for the village from coal won from local mines and brought in by rail from further afield.