The Riches Beneath our Feet: How Mining Shaped Britain

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Lonely chimneys rising above the Cornish cliffs; Welsh slopes covered in loose slate … the landscapes of Britain resonate with its mining past. Geoff Coyle describes the astonishing variety of mineral riches that have been extracted from Britain's rocks over the centuries, and the struggles and achievements of the brace miners and engineers who devoted their lives to them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199551293
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/26/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoff Coyle graduated in mining engineering from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London. He has worked underground in coal and copper mines, and qualified as a practical coal-face worker. The contraction of the coal industry led him to develop an alternative career, and after working for Imperial Chemical Industries, he became a management academic. He is now retired and a freelance academic and consultant. In writing this book he returns to his first love - the fascination of mining.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Plates

1 The Achievements of Britain's Miners 1

2 Britain's Geology and Minerals 14

3 Britain's Copper and Tin Mining 31

4 Power to the Miner's Elbow 53

5 From Castle Roofs to Organ Pipes: The Lead and Zinc Mines 74

6 King Coal: Britain's Powerhouse 94

7 Building Britain: Granite, Stone, and Slate 125

8 The Salts of the Earth 143

9 Iron and Steel: The Sinews of Industry 157

10 The Riches of the Earth: Britain's Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones 171

11 Accidents and Disasters: The Price Miners Paid 180

12 Lords and Adventurers: The Mine Owners 193

13 The Mining People and Their Communities 206

14 Epitaph or Revival? The Possibilities for Britain's Mining Industries 221

Appendix The Main British Minerals 232

Bibliography 254

Index 263

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