West Calder

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West Calder
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
Location within West Lothian
Population3,070 (2019 estimate)[2]
OS grid referenceNT019632
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtEH55
Dialling code01506
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°51′07″N 3°34′07″W / 55.85199°N 3.56854°W / 55.85199; -3.56854Coordinates: 55°51′07″N 3°34′07″W / 55.85199°N 3.56854°W / 55.85199; -3.56854

West Calder (Scots: Wast Cauder, Gaelic: Calldair an Iar) is a village in West Lothian, Scotland, located four miles west of Livingston. The village 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 West Calder's name in their address - Polbeth, Addiewell, Loganlea, Harburn and Westwood - outline the area that this village encompasses, and they all have played an important part in the history of the village 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 village is a 10-minute drive from Livingston, which is host to two large shopping centres.


Burngrange Pit[edit]

Burngrange, an area west of the village, was the site of the Burngrange mining disaster in 1947.


West Calder Main Street looking towards the East End

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.


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.[3], a local landmark and scheduled monument, the bings rise to a height of 720 feet (220 m), some 230 feet (70 m) above the surrounding area, and are the spoil tips from the oil shale industry that was a feature of the area [4]

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 populace and details of the poor funds.[5]

Notable people[edit]


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;[6] 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 controlled 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.[7]


  1. ^ Andy Eagle. "The Online Scots Dictionary". Scots Online. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. ^ West Calder, Citypopulation.de
  3. ^ http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/17/waste-to-monument-john-lathams-niddrie-woman
  4. ^ "Five Sisters". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  5. ^ "The Statistical Account of Scotland" (PDF). www.electricscotland.com. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ West Calder Radio Control Model Flying Club Retrieved 12 December 2018

External links[edit]