The Lost Villages: An Oral History of Miners' Rows and Deindustrialisation in East Ayrshire, Scotland

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site


The Lost Villages is an oral history project by the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde, led by researchers Prof Arthur McIvor and Dr Yvonne McFadden. We are looking to recover the history of East Ayrshire's Lost Villages by collecting the stories of the families who lived in the miners' rows in the villages of Benquhat, Commondyke, Burnfoothill, Glenbuck, Lethanhill and Darnconner. As the coal pits began to close in between the two wars, such as Grasshill near Glenbuck in 1933, the lifeblood of these villages was gone. The miners' rows were gradually demolished during the 1940s and 1950s and the communities relocated to new housing in the local area. Little, if anything, remains of the villages apart from the living memory of those who lived there.

We aim to reconstruct the social and cultural life of the vibrant coalfield communities that existed in East Ayrshire and the experience of pit closures, depopulation and community disintegration in these so-called 'lost villages'. We want to tell the story from lived experience; from the memories of those who witnessed working in the coal mines and living in the miners' rows and what it meant when the pits closed. We aim to capture the 'intangible history’ of life in the 'row villages' and the impact of deindustrialisation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • deindustrialisation
  • miner's villages
  • oral history


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