Uphall - Village Origins
Records indicate that Strathbrock Castle and St Nicholas Church (still known locally as Strathbrock Church) were both built in the 12th century. It seems likely that Uphall, and Broxburn, therefore started life back in the early 12th century. The village would have housed the peasants and staff who worked for Lord Strabrok.
Between the 12th and 17th centuries - the area remained rural. Industry of any sort didn't arrive until the 17th century.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, various mining took place in Uphall (coal, limestone, ironstone and freestone). The population of Uphall and Broxburn expanded greatly in the 19th century with the advent of the shale oil industry. An indicator of the local success are the population figures. In 1871, the population stood at 360. By 1891, that figure had risen to 922. By the end of the next decade, the figure stood at 1,840!
In 1920, the Pumpherston, Broxburn, Oakbank and Philpstoun works merged with Youngs Oil Company to form Scottish Oils Ltd. Middleton Hall became the headquarters of the new company. Within a few years, the company constructed the Middleton Estate housing. This was housing for its workers (Burnside Road, Middleton Avenue, Middleton Road and Westhall Gardens).
With the substantial increase in population, services such as banking, shops and transport were soon moving into Uphall Main Street.
The demise of Scottish Oils Ltd occurred in the early 1960's. The staff were transferred to Grangemouth Refinery or made redundant.
In the early 1960's, a new firm, Motherwell Bridge Thermal, moved into the former workshops of Scottish Oils Ltd. In 1993, the downturn in the oil and gas industry resulted in the factory closing. The factory was demolished in early 2002 and the area is now the Persimmon Homes development of South Middleton.
The population of Uphall now stands at roughly 4,500 (population of Broxburn is roughly 8,500). There is now substantial house building in Uphall and Broxburn.
Who knows what the next one hundred years have in store for Uphall ?