Hood Family and Coal Mining

Bilston (Billston, Bilstone, Bilstane)

Bilston, Midlothian

Bilston (often spelt Billston, Bilstone, Bilstane) was a small village of colliers houses on the Dryden estate, owned by the Lockharts of Carnwath.


Map of Bilston Burn area showing coal seams and early pitsShown below are some of the very earliest pits all situated in the valley formed by the Bilston Burn (blue dots are shafts used for drawing water to the surface).

There were 26 seams of coal cutting across the burn but only 5 have been shown here for clarity.

The shaft to the south west of Dryden House,was situated on the Great Seam, the thickest of all the seams at 14 to 15 feet and was of later date than the others.


Roy's Map showing Bilston, Dryden and Loanhead

1747-55 Roy's Map of Scotland
This map was a military survey covering the whole of Scotland. It clearly shows Bilston (Billston), the path and bridge over the Bilston Burn and the deep heavily wooded valley.

Just below 'Billston Burn' there are more houses indicated in red. Is this 'Wester Bilston' which I've seen metioned in parish registers?

1766 Plan showing Bilston1766 - Laurie's 'Plan of Edinburgh and Places Adjacent'
This map shows two Bilstons although the top one is actually Path-head.

Clearly shown towards the bottom left, are colliers houses for those working at Goukly Moss, another coal pit on the Dryden estate.

Map showing Dryden and Bilston Burn but no trace of houses at Bilston itself1832 - John Thomson's Atlas of Scotland
By this time of this survey Bilston has totally disappeared.


© 2012   A Russell