Dougie Milne Photography Logo

The Five Sisters

The Five Sisters  - Copyright Dougie Milne Photography 2016

Click on picture for buying options


Westwood Bing, colloquially known as The Five Sisters, is a huge heap of industrial spoil near Mid Calder in West Lothian, Scotland. It dates from the early part of the 20th century, when the Westwood Oil Works deposited piles of spent shale, from which oil was extracted, in five huge slag piles, known as bings, depending on which way the wind was blowing. The bings grew so large that a local stately home, Westwood House, became buried underneath, where it remains to this day.

The shale oil industry died as it became cheaper to import oil from abroad, and then with the subsequent discovery of oil in the North Sea. The bings grew silent, and in a huge step from their beginnings as piles of industrial waste, are now important havens for many and varied forms of wildlife. They remain as protected monuments to Scotland's original oil industry.

This picture was taken on 5 November 2016.