Cornwall and Devon The Riches Beneath Our Feet - how mining shaped Britain

The Riches Beneath Our Feet - how mining shaped Britain

The Riches Beneath Our Feet - how mining shaped Britain
SKU 19435
Weight 0.65 kg


Geoff Coyle, HB, 234x156mm, 266pp, 30 black and white photographs and illustrations

Tells the story of mining in Britain dating back over four thousand years
Looks at the history of a wide range of minerals, including copper, tin, china clay, copper, lead, zinc, slate, granite, limestone, salt, coal, and iron
Includes fascinating tales about mining disasters such as Easington Colliery, the Britannia mine in Cornwall, and Aberfan in Wales, looking at why the disaster occurred, what ensued, and the heroism of the rescuers
Focusses on the people involved - their work, the conditions in the mines, and the impact mining had on their lives
Considers how mining has affected the landscape of Britain, transforming parts of the country-side
Britain's mining and quarrying industries date back to the Stone Age flint mines of 2500 BC and still exist. In that period of more than 4,000 years the country's miners have produced colossal amounts of copper, tin, lead, zinc, iron, a lot of silver and some gold, and smaller amounts of just about every other metal from arsenic to uranium.

The metals were the foundation of our industrial wealth and ease of living but they were driven by King Coal, which at its peak employed a million men and produced more than 200 million tons a year. Granite from Scotland, limestone from Southern England, sandstone and Welsh slate provided our homes, factories, roads and harbours. None of this could have been achieved without the genius of engineers such as James Watt, and the invention of powerful steam engines and many other technical advances. Our good fortune in this cornucopia of wealth derives from the Island's astonishing geological history: what is now Southern England was once on the Antarctic Circle.

Professor Geoff Coyle, a former mining engineer and from a mining family himself, sketches the story of how mining has shaped Britain. The account is wide ranging, involving stories of the mineral wealth of Britain and its expliotation, from simple quarrying to the advent of mass production. There are tales of the miners' lives and the great mining families, as well as accounts of the miner's work, the conditions in the mines, and mining disasters. Coyle weaves his personal experience and passion into the story, illuminating the industrial history, geology, and technology. Each chapter highlights one of the main mining fields and explores the mineral in question, its exploitation, and how technological changes affected the mining techniques used.

1: The Achievements of Britain's Miners
2: Britain's Geology and Minerals
3: Britain's Copper and Tin Mining
4: Power to the Miner's Elbow
5: From Castle Roofs to Organ Pipes: The Lead and Zinc Mines
6: King Coal: Britain's Powerhouse
7: Building Britain: Granite, Stone, and Slate
8: The Salts of the Earth
9: Iron and Steel: The Sinews of Industry
10: The Riches of the Earth: Britain's Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones
11: Accidents and Disasters: The Price Miners Paid
12: Lords and Adventurers: The Mine Owners
13: The Mining People and their Communities
14: Epitaph or Revival? The Possibilities for Britain's Mining Industries
Appendix: The Main British Minerals

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