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Home > Essential Reading for the Mine Explorer and Mining Historian

Essential Reading for the Mine Explorer and Mining Historian

Historical Books

De Re Metallica

Georgius Agricola (translated by Herbert Clark Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover)
Dover Publications

£20.00 (in print)

ISBN: 0-486-60006-8 [link]

Translated by Herbert Clark Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover. Originally published in 1556, Agricola's De Re Metallica was the first book on mining to be based on field research and observation and for almost 200 years it remained the only authoritative work on the subject, with only its Latin text preventing it from being as widely used at it might have been. Once translated by the former President Hoover and his wife in 1912, it quickly became a modern classic. This edition is a republication of the 1912 edition and it includes all 289 of the original woodcuts as well as four facsimile pages from the Latin original. The text covers material on alluvial mining, alchemy, silver refining, smelting, surveying, timbering, nitric acid manufacture, legal aspects on mining, the use of boundary stones, safety requirements for tunnel building and much, much more.

Stone Blocks and Iron Rails

Bertram Baxter
David and Charles, 1966

£expensive, hard to find (out of print)

ISBN: not provided [link]

This book studies the early horse drawn tramways and plateways that are associated with canals, mines, ironworks and many other industries. It charts their rise and fall, their track and engineering as well as providing a list of tramways etc and the remains. Whilst slightly superceded by newer research it is still a classic in its own right charting re our pre railway railways up to 1830. The bibliography at the back of the book references many forgotten articles/books and is a must for those researching the subject.

Pembrokeshire the Forgotten Coalfied

M. R. Connop-Price
Landmark, 2004

£9.99 (in print)

ISBN: 1-84306-094-9 [link]

Long overdue at time of release. This book covers the Pembrokeshire coalfield from its beginnings in the 13th Century to its end in 1951 giving a superb overview of the mines, transportation and social history of the workforce. It's an area of the UK that is often forgotten and Mr Connop-Price does it justice with ample facts, figures, maps and pictures. A definate for coal mining enthusiasts.

Mine Accounts & Mining Book-Keeping

J.G. Lawn 1897
Charles Griffin & Co. London

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: unknown [link]

Sounds dull but very informative. Puts the flesh round terms you see like 'cost book system' etc. Also interesting form a social history perspective, as it contains a chapter on the Engagement of Workmen & gives a good first hand account of the owners attitudes. Well worth a read if you see a copy.

Tin Mines and Miners of Lanner

Sharon P. Schwartz and Roger Parker

£15.00 (in print)

ISBN: 1-84114-019-8 [link]

Far superior to most community history books. Well researched and covers all facets of the growth and decline of a community. The chapter on emigration was particularly interesting.

British Mining Vol 44 - Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley After 1913

P.H.G. Richardson
Northern Mines Research Society, 1992

£15.00 (in print unknown)

ISBN: 0-901-450-38-3 [link]

Simply a fabulous work covering some of the more obscure workings as well as the major ones post 1913 in the area set out. It is well written and left me feeling I had to go and see the things described for myself most of which can still be seen with a bit of bracken bashing. The info contained is accurate, easy to follow and very readable. Essential reading for the area!

English Tin Production and Trade before 1550

John Hatcher
Clarendon Press Oxford, 1973

£variable (out of print)

ISBN: 0-19-828263-X [link]

An original account of an important but hitherto neglected sector of England's commercial and industrial life. Also makes a significant contribution to the controversy about the rise of captalism.

North East England

Catalogue of Cleveland Ironstone Mines

Peter Tuffs
Peter Tuffs

£4.95 (in print)

ISBN: not provided [link]

No description provided.

Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield Volume 1 Tyne to Stainmore

Dunham, K.C
HMSO, London

£unknown (unknown)

ISBN: not provided [link]

Standard reference for the Alston block mines. Not only geology but also some history of the workings. Doesn't come cheap (I think £60 new) 2nd hand copies tend to be fairly expensive too. There is a 1948 edition which is pretty good, but no grid references and obviously no descriptions of more modern workings.

Swaledale, Its Mines and Smeltmills

Mike Gill
Landmark Publishing Ltd, 2004

£4.95 (in print)

ISBN: 1843061317 [link]

This title builds upon the earlier work of Robert Clough, Arthur Raistrick and Bernard Jennings to offer an understanding of the former industry of mines and smelt mills in Swaledale. It makes use of more recent research both in archival material and underground.


Lead Mining in the Peak District

ed. Trevor Ford & Jim Rieuwerts

£9.95 (in print)

ISBN: unknown [link]

The standard introductory guide to the history and remains of the Peak District lead mines (and the Ecton Hill copper mines too), which includes suggested walks to view some of the best remains.

South East England

Kent and East Sussex Underground

Kent Underground Research Group
Meresborough Books

£5.95 (out of print)

ISBN: not provided [link]

No description provided.

East Surrey Underground

Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess

£10.50 (in print)

ISBN: not provided [link]

No description provided.

South West England

Cornish Mining (2nd Ed)

Bryan Earl
Cornish Hillside Publications

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: 0951941933 [link]

An excellent and thorough introduction to mining techniques used in Cornwall.

The Story of Mining in Cornwall

Allen Buckley
Cornwall Editions Limited

£45 (in print)

ISBN: 1-904880-20-7 [link]

As Roger Burt says in his foreword it's a sustained attempt to embrace the entirety of the subjects history. Not an easy job. Works very well I think. The photos alone are worth looking at.


Catherine Lorigan
Pengelly Press

£15.00 (in print)

ISBN: 978-0-9554792-0-5 [link]

The History of the Slate Quarry and the Making of its Village Community

North Wales

The Old Copper Mines of Snowdonia

David Bick
Landmark Collectors Library

£8.00 to £25.00 (Amazon) (in print)

ISBN: 0906885027 / 1843060752 [link]

A must have title for anyone with an interest in the copper mines of Snowdonia.

Gazeteer of Slate Quarrying in Wales

Alun John Richards
Llygad Gwalch

£8.95 (in print)

ISBN: 184524074X [link]

A must have title for anyone with an interest in the slate industry in Wales.

The North Wales Quarrymen 1874-1922

R. Merfyn Jones
University of Wales Press, 1982

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: 0-7083-0829-5 [link]

No description provided.

A History of Caernarfonshire 1284-1900

A.H. Dodd
Caernarfonshire Historical Society, 1968

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: unkown [link]

No description provided.

Gwynedd Inheriting a Revolution

David Gwyn
Phillimore, 2006

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: 1-86077-432-6 [link]

The Archaeology of Industrialisation in North-West Wales.

A History of the North Wales Slate Industry

Jean Lindsay
David and Charles, 1974

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: 0-7153-6265-8 [link]

No description provided.

Candles to Cap Lamps

The Archaeology of Industrialisation in North-West Wales.

J.G. Isherwood

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: unknown [link]

Slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog

The story of Gloddfa Ganol slate mine. Wonderful photos and a well written text.

J.G. Isherwood

£unknown (in print unknown)

ISBN: unknown [link]

Wonderful photos and a well written text.

Starless River - Caving Store Moore Books: Specialist BooksI.A. Recordings: Mining and Industrial History DVDs
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