West Calder

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West Calder
Scottish Gaelic: Calder an Iar
Scots: Wast Cauder[1]
West Calder Main Street2.jpg
West Calder Main Street looking towards the West End
West Calder is located in West Lothian
West Calder
West Calder
 West Calder shown within West Lothian
Population 5,370 [1]
OS grid reference NT019632
Council area West Lothian
Lieutenancy area West Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EH55
Dialling code 01506
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Livingston
Scottish Parliament Almond Valley
List of places

Coordinates: 55°51′07″N 3°34′07″W / 55.85199°N 3.56854°W / 55.85199; -3.56854

West Calder (Scots: Wast Cauder, Gaelic: Calder an Iar) is a town in West Lothian, Scotland, located 4 miles west of Livingston. The town was an important centre for the oil shale economy in the 19th and 20th Centuries. West Calder has its own railway station. The surrounding villages that take the towns name in their address; Polbeth, Addiewell, Loganlee, Harburn and Westwood outline the area that this town encompasses and they all have played an important part in the history of the town as well as West Lothian. It is also the most northerly centre of the Dogs Trust, closely followed by the new centre at Glasgow. The town is a 10-minute drive from Livingston, which is host to two large shopping centres.


Further information: Timeline of West Calder history

Burngrange Pit disaster[edit]

A memorial in the centre of the town remembers the fifteen men killed on 10 January 1947 as a result of an explosion at the Burngrange oil shale mine southwest of the town.


Most housing in the village dates from the mid-20th century, though it has a public library built as early as 1903. Funded by Carnegie money this building represents a fine example of the Art Nouveau style and has a decorative interior. The parish church (1643) was abandoned in 1880 and is now roofless.

West Calder Main Street looking towards the East End


The Five Sisters shale bings to the north of West Calder were named by artist John Latham during his time with an Artist Placement Group project with the Scottish Office’s Development Agency in 1975–6.[2]

A description of West Calder written by Rev. Mr. Muckersie appears in the Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1791-1799), Volume 18 No.9 pp. 190–198. The description includes information on the topics such as the character and manners of the people, agriculture and produce, the ecclesiastical state of the parish, diseases affecting the local populous and details of the poor funds.[3]

Notable people[edit]

  • Sir Archibald Douglas (1298–1333), Guardian of Scotland and military leader.
  • The birthplace of James Douglas (1675–1742), Scottish physician and anatomist
  • The birthplace of John Kane (1860–1934), painter celebrated for his skill in Naïve art.
  • George Hogg (1869 – ????), Scottish footballer
  • Thomas Fairfoul (1881–1952), Scottish footballer
  • Laurence Ennis, chief engineer on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Rhys McCabe, footballer currently playing for Rangers
  • Robert McKeen (1884–1974), Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
  • Dougal Haston (1940–1977), mountaineer and pupil at West Calder High
  • Brian Eddie, footballer
  • Alexander Ritchie, (1935- ) Australian geologist

Maurice McManus. Lord Provost Dundee. 1960-1968


West Calder is home to the junior football club West Calder United.


West Calder also has a Masonic Hall which is home to Lodge Thistle number 270 of the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The hall is also home to the West Calder chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.

West Calder has three churches: Our Lady and St. Bridget's R.C. Church;[4] West Kirk of Calder CofS and Limefield U.F. Church.

West Calder is also the home of the West Calder Model Flying Club, the club is run for the enjoyment and promotion of radio control model aircraft flying in the area. The club has its own tarmac runway and is maintained by the members for use throughout the whole year. www.modelclub.org


  1. ^ Andy Eagle. "The Online Scots Dictionary". Scots Online. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/17/waste-to-monument-john-lathams-niddrie-woman
  3. ^ "The Statistical Account of Scotland" (PDF). www.electricscotland.com. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "West Calder Catholic ChurchParishes of Our Lady & St. Bridget's - West Calder & St. Thomas - Addiewell - Home". West Calder Catholic Church
    Parishes of Our Lady & St. Bridget's - West Calder
    & St. Thomas - Addiewell
    . Retrieved 26 May 2015.

External links[edit]