28. Hilderston Silver Mine Quarry, Bathgate Hills
An historic mine worked a vein of silver in the limestone. Although the latter can no longer be seen, a section through the overlying mudstones, siltstones and sandstones display good sedimentary structures.
Hilderston Silver Mine was in operation between 1606 and 1614. In 1608 German miners were brought in to work the deposits, indicating their skill and knowledge of mining geology at this time. The quarry re-opened in the 18th century to work lead and zinc in a vein in the limestone. The original workings were re-excavated during the 19th century, but no further economic deposits of silver or lead were found. Although the limestone is no longer visible in the Silver Mine Quarry, a section through the overlying mudstones, siltstones and sandstones can be seen. These river delta deposits become coarser grained towards the top with good sedimentary structures, including ripple marks created beneath shallow water and burrows created by creatures living in the sediments.
This quarry is approximately 500 metres south-east of Cairnpapple Hill in the Bathgate Hills (see site 20). Parking is available nearby in the lay-by for Cairnpapple at the top of the hill. Other nearby geodiversity sites are Hilderston Silver Mine (29) and The Knock (38).