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Oakley

Church of the Holy Name, Oakley

Oakley's origins stretch back to the once-thriving iron industry, when the village, sitting on the A907 to Dunfermline, could boast several blast furnaces.

Oakley Iron Works were established in 1848 but had a fairly brief life, although employing hundreds until closure in 1869.

One hundred and eighty-feet stacks towered from the works and the six furnaces, with the engine house being a particularly fine sandstone building.

The Oakley Colliery Company worked coal and ironstone between Oakley and Saline, but the venture was not viable because of the depth and faulting of the seams.

By the end of the same century, coal mining began at Kinneddar, continuing until the 1930s. When operations ended there, many locals found work at the nearby Comrie mine.

With the decline of the Lanarkshire coalfield in the late 1940s, a large number of miners moved to Fife, a reminder being the outstanding Church of the Holy Name, built to the south of Oakley in the mid- 1950s.

It is a listed building with fine stained glass windows by Gabriel Loir from Chartres. Visitors can park in the church grounds.

Funding for the church was donated by the Smith-Sligo family, but it was not built immediately, because of a dispute over where it should be sited.

However, when it was constructed it was consecrated immediately, which was quite Oakley Bowling Clubunusual at the time, because it had no debt.

Inzievar Woods welcome visitors and access has been improved. Jules Verne once visited the original estate house, now converted to private houses.

A community company, Scottish Woods, is based on the eastern part of the estate.
The woods are linked to the Millennium Cycleway via paths through the grounds of Holy Name Church.

There is little trace of the mining industry in the village today, but it is still an active place with its community centre, Blairwood Park, folly (Blair Tower) and Holy Name and Inzievar Primary Schools.

 

 
 
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