The quiet, rural parish of West Calder underwent dramatic change from the mid-nineteenth century onwards as the Scottish shale oil industry developed in the area. West Calder grew and prospered, acquiring all the amenities of a fully-fledged Victorian town. Impressive local buildings included those of West Calder Co-operative Society and the landmark Thistle Tower, built by local benefactor John Thomson, proprietor of the town's famous bakery and known as 'Pie Jock' as a result. As well as the streets and sights of West Calder itself, there are pictures of the neighbouring communities of Bellsquarry, Cobbinshaw, Addiewell and Stoneyburn. Local mansions featured include Limefield, Hermand and Westwood Houses.