MAPS of former Wee County coal mines have this month been made available to research online.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) has published plans of 4,865 historic coal mines around the country, including old workings in Clackmannanshire.

Free to view and useful for people with an interest in Clacks mining history, former mine workers and those living in the area, the maps were created between the 1950s and 1980s for the National Coal Board (NCB).

The Wee County has a long history of mining and it is understood the first pit in the area opened at Alloa in the 16th century.

In the period of growth after the Second World War, the coal industry was nationalised in 1947 with the NCB created to take 206 Scottish colliers into state ownership.

Ravana Eagleheart, NRS archivist, said: “These colliery board plans are just the latest addition to ScotlandsPeople as we make more of our archive available to people to see anywhere and at any time.

“They will be of great interest to researchers investigating coal mining history, to former mine workers and to people living in these areas of Scotland.

“They show the extent of underground workings for both abandoned mines and those still in use at the time the maps were made.”

The maps which have been made available by the NRS on the ScotlandsPeople website cover much of the central belt from Ayrshire to Stirlingshire and were created following the passing of The Mines and Quarries Act 1954.

It required mining managers to keep accurate plans of abandoned ad active workings in mines and other workings nearby.

Following the dissolution of the NCB, the Coal Authority was established which owns the plans now held by the NRS.

Those interested can search in the maps and plans section of the ScotlandsPeople website.

It is important to note that the maps are not official abandonment plans.