Methil Heritage Trail

Point 16



Distance (m)


# Steps


Point 16

After the Second World War, coal mining had become a crucial industry in the UK. Known as black diamond, coal was being used to power trains, factories and power stations up and down the UK, and Fife was one of the richest areas for finding it.

Coal is found in layers underground and is typically mined in tunnels. After the war, coal couldn’t be mined fast enough and going down the pits was a family affair. Many children who worked long hours underground in the wet and darkness often had deformities from the lack of sunlight, nutrients or from carrying the coal to the surface.

Accidents were common with individuals being crushed, falling to their death or flooded. Gas was an ever present worry and canary birds were sent down the pit to check of its presence. If the bird died, poisonous gas was airborne and measures had to be taken quickly.


It is hard to imagine now, but this road was never originally built for cars but instead as a tramway during the height of the coal mining industry. Constructed between 1904 and 1906 by the Wemyss company to transport their workers to the pits that ran along this stretch of coastline. The tracks ran from Leven town centre all the way to Dysart, a total of around eight miles. These tramways offered the ability for the workers and public to get around the area quickly.
Coal Mining in the UK - video
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