A History

If you have information about Woodend that you would be willing to share, please e-mail Rosie

Updated 18 September 2012

The Early Years of John Graham (of Woodend Farm)


Colquhoun Postcard of Woodend

Woodend 1944, showing three servicemen on leave.

Photo courtesy of Denis Slattery

John Traynor, Woodend 1944

Photo courtesy of Denis Slattery


Brief History of Woodend

Woodend was in the medieval

Barony of Ogilface

1540   'Wodend' of Ogilface (Teinds were paid by the owner of Woodend lands to Torphichen Preceptory until 1562).

1684    Believed to be the first record of Tannoch as 'Tanoch'.

1691    Broxburn - Airdrie road  via Woodend was called 'The middle way to Glasgow'.

1773    Armstrong's map showed the Woodend coach road as the Glasgow Road.

1776    Taylor and Skinner's Road Map showed the route through Woodend.

Taylor and Skinner's road map of 1776

(From a simplified 7x4 inch pocket book version printed approximately 20 years later)

Note that the map above shows Ogilface castle ruins nearer to Craig Hill than to Woodend (where modern cartographers have located it)

1855   Two coal and ironstone pits as well as a smithy and store were recorded at Woodend.  Woodend Farm had a pond and a mill lade.

1861 - 1878   Coltness Iron Company owned 39 houses, a school, office and stable at Woodend.

1870   Woodend Pit opened.

1879   Woodend School became the property of Torphichen Parish School Board.  It had accommodation for 120 children and, in 1884, average attendance was 115 children.

By 1881: According to the West Lothian volume of The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, Coltness Iron Company had built 39 houses in the village.

1881 - 1882   Coltness Iron Company  owned the following farms: Woodend, Canties and Heights + 54 houses (Woodend) and stable and Canty House.

1884   Coltness Iron Company owned the following farms: Woodend, Canties and Heights + Woodend minerals + 66 houses (Woodend) and Canty House.

1885   Coltness Iron Company  owned 64 houses (Woodend).

1890   Coltness Iron Company  owned 60 houses (Woodend) in 5 rows, plus an office.

1891   Woodend consisted of 62 houses, with a population of 346.

c1898  Woodend Friendly Society.  Site bought for a new cemetery for Torphichen Parish (Woodbank Cemetery).

1900    Coltness Iron Company  owned the following farms: Woodend and Canties, tenanted by George Hodge, as well as 61 houses (Woodend) in 5 rows.  It had also built a school for the children of the Miners' Rows.

1904   William Black, teacher at Woodbank School, became Registrar, Collector of Rates and  Inspector of the Poor.

1947   Woodend Pit employed 269 men, but the County Council gave up its plans to rebuild the condemned village.  Instead, housing was provided for workers to the west of Armadale, but still in Bathgate parish.

1957   Woodend Pit employed 535 men.

For other details about Woodend and other local pits see: Employment and Industries

Woodend Open Cast site*
Preparation plant, Woodend Colliery*
Links, to thumbnail images, followed by  * , mark images that are held by SCRAN
"I've heard an awfy lot of folk in Armadale talk about the wee school at Woodend and how good the standard of teaching there was, that nearly all the kids from Woodend really had done well at school.  Mr Brodie was the headmaster there - there were all different age groups."

Interview with Irene Murray quoted in Mair Tales Fae The 'Dale


Woodend Population

"It was great (staying at Woodend).  It really was great.  I mean everybody helped one another.  We had awfy good next door neighbours and I think even yet the Woodend people all shout to one another when they meet them in the street.  There were forty or fifty houses."

Alice Collins, Tales Fae The 'Dale   'Easy Pleased', Recollections of Childhood in Armadale

Woodend United 1927/28
Submitted by Denis Slattery whose grandfather (John Traynor) is indicated on the back row.

1887: Woodend Jubileeans FC founded, later becoming Woodend Athletic

c1902: Woodend Excelsior

Woodend Thistle and Armadale Athletic FC both played at junior level.

Surnames found in Woodend in 1851
Clelland, Cracket, Gentleman (at Canty and Caraigmarie), Hachie, Hardie, Hay, Law, Liddel (at Craig Mill), McGregor (at Tannoch), McPhail, Morris, Pearson, Rankin, Rarit?, Russell, Thomson, Waddell (tenant of Woodend Farm), Wood.
Surnames found in Woodend Miners Rows (constructed by Coltness Iron Company) in 1861
Andrew, Baird, Ballantyne, Barr, Baxter, Blair, Brown, Calder, Corkle, Dewar, Forrest, Henderson, Hogg, Holt, Judge, Kirkwood, Lennon, McArthur, McGregor, McNeill, Melvin, Naysmith, Patterson, Pollak, Price, Rice, Richardson, Reid, Rushford, Scott, Short, Sinclair, Thomnay*, Waddell, Walker, Wardlaw, Waugh, Williamson.

* My thanks to Sandra Mead for the following comment: Thomnay. The 1861 census has the name spelled as Thominay, but it is the same name - they are my great-grandparents and the name changed eventually to Thommeny. September 2012

Surnames found in 5 Woodend Miners Rows (constructed by Coltness Iron Company) in 1900
East Row: 11 houses: Gray, McEwan, Smellie, Watson, Pow, Clementson, Hamilton, McAdam, McNeill, Ballantyne, Kaye
Office Row: 10 houses: Blair, Ballantyne, Tennant, Burnett, Moffat, Morris, Wilkie, Pollock, Kerr, Denholm
Stable Row: 15 houses: Currans, Smith, Hind, McIndoe, Waddell, Traynor, Sommerville, Loftus, Maxwell, Harkins, Murphy, Ellis, Stevenson, Douglas, Currans
School Row: 11 houses: Denholm, Laird, Harkins, Ballantyne, McNeil, Clemenson, Tweedie, Ballantyne, Nimmo, Pollock, Easton
West Row: 10 houses: Sharp, McDonald, Stewart, Ellis, Trainer, Flood, Sommerville, Hamilton, Denholm, Morrison

A few surnames found in Woodend in 1901  My thanks to Denis Slattery for the following information about former Woodend village inhabitants.
No.35 Woodend: John and Thomas Ellis, sons of the late Henry Ellis and Isabella Doyle (former occupants of house; Isabella died in 1898).
No.36 Woodend: James Traynor and his wife Annie Ellis(sister of John and Thomas).  James Traynor came from Ireland, possibly County Tyrone?, before 1871. Annie Ellisís parents came from Ireland before 1851 according to census records.  Their children:

  • Mary, born Carnwath; later Mrs McNeil;

  • George, born West Calder parish;

  • Henry, ditto ;

  • Elizabeth (Bel) ditto ; later Mrs J.Connor;

The rest were born in Woodend, so family moved between 1884 -1886,

  • Samuel, born Woodend;

  • John ditto;

  • Peter ditto;

  • James ditto;

  • Helen (Nellie) ditto, 1895.

No.46 Woodend: Mrs Jane McNeil (widow) and family. Her son, Hugh, married Mary Traynor.
No.48: James Harkins and his family.  In 1871 census James was living at Leavenseat with his family and James Traynor (no.36) was a lodger with them.
No.77 Woodend: Samuel Traynor and his wife Ellen and children.  Samuel came over from Ireland before 1881 and was lodging with his brother, James (no.36) at Leavenseat.
Surnames found in Woodend Miners Rows (constructed by Coltness Iron Company) in 1935/6
East Row: 11 houses: Radcliff, Thomson, Lindsay, Craig, Craig, Mcmaster, Docharty, Braid, Morrison, Penman, Wark
Office Row: 10 houses: Blair, Sleith, Murphy, Gibson, Mackay, Kerr, Smith, Boyd, Furness, Ballantyne
Stable Row: 10 houses, + 5 uninhabited: McAllister, Bryce, Barras, Peden, Sim, Mitchell, Baxter, Nimmo, Barras, Gavin
School Row: 10 houses: Bennett, Lynch, Traynor, Gair, Hamilton, Curran, McDade, Traynor, Traynor, Connor
West Row: 10 houses: Fullerton, Pow, Hutton, Gibson, Tweedie, Cummings, Bathgate, McClare, Moffat, McGowan
1940: Woodend Miners Rows: 43 houses inhabited:
East Row: 10 houses
Office Row: 10 houses
Stable Row: 3 houses
School Row: 10 houses
West Row: 10 houses
1950: Woodend Miners Rows: 43 houses inhabited:
East Row: 11 tenants, including Zawadyke, Kalmdwski, Schwighoper
Office Row: 10 tenants, including Malickie
Stable Row: all 15 houses untenanted and condemned  
School Row: 10 tenants
West Row: 10 tenants, including Szizotha
1955: Woodend Miners Rows: 17 houses inhabited:
East Row: 5 houses tenanted
Office Row: 5 houses tenanted
Stable Row: demolished?
School Row: 3 houses tenanted
West Row: 4 houses tenanted
1957: Woodend Miners Rows:
East Row only inhabited: 11 inhabitants


Woodend Map  (Linlithgowshire 1916)


Current Map

Aerial Photograph

Woodend Archaeology

Photographs of the Woodend Archaeological Site