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BIC Excellence Award

Mining in Cornwall and Devon
Mines and Men

By Roger Burt, Raymond Burnley, Michael Gill and Alasdair Neill

Mining in Cornwall and Devon
Paperback, 272 pages £30.00
Published: 2014
ISBN: 9780859898898
Format: 227mm x 150mm
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Subjects: Mining History, South-West Studies

Mining in Cornwall and Devon is an economic history of mines, mineral ownership, and mine management in the South West of England.

The work brings together material from a variety of hard-to-find sources on the thousands of mines that operated in Cornwall and Devon from the late 1790s to the present day. It presents information on what they produced and when they produced it; who the owners and managers were and how many men, women and children were employed. For the mine owners, managers and engineers, it also offers a guide to their careers outside  the South West, in other mining districts across Britain and the world. A long section on the Duchy of Cornwall provides details of the Duchy's role as the largest mineral owner in the South West, and of the modernisation and changing administration of the Stannaries.

The printed book provides a guide to the sources, their interpretation and how they illustrate the long-term development and decline of the industry; the composite mine-by-mine tables are presented on an interactive CD included free with the book.

List of Illustrations

List of Tables



General Introduction

Section 1 - The Mineral Statistics c. 1850-1920

(i) Introduction

(ii) Mining in Cornwall

(iii) Mining in Devonshire

(iv) An Overview of the Two Counties

(v) Tables

Section 2 - Output Data before and after the Mineral Statistics: Stannary, Ticketing and Aggregate Returns

(i) The Eighteenth Century

(ii) The Twentieth Century

(iii) The Future

(iv) Tables

Section 3 - The Duchy of Cornwall Returns

(i) Introduction

(ii) Evolution

(iii) The Duchy's Role in South West Mining

(iv) Reform of the Coinage

(v) Income from Mining and Minerals

(vi) The Duchy as Mineral Owner

(vii) Clay and Stone Quarrying

(viii) Coal Mining

(ix) Conclusion

(x) Tables

Section 4 - Mining Companies and their Personnel c. 1850-1920

(i) Sources of the Data

(ii) Investigation of the Data



A1 The General State of the Copper Mines in Cornwall for Seven Years ending 31 December 1789

A2 Mining Material Costs and Copper Ore Prices 1791-1798

A3 The Financial Condition of the Cornish Copper Mines 1792-1798

A4 Biographical Notes on Mine Managers


Bibliography of mine-related books and articles

The CD: Description of the Contents and User's Manual


Index of Mine Names




'[...] a very impressive compliation containing valuable overviews and insights into an economically, socially and archaeologically significant part of Devon (and Cornwall's) heritage.'
Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter September 2015

‘The CD and book provide a very useful resource for anyone interested in the history of the extractive industries in Cornwall and Devon’
(Louise Hollick, Landscape History Vol 36, No 2 (2015)

‘[…] the CD… represents a very considerable compilation of mining history data, much of it available in this format for the first time. The interactive aspects are easy to operate and the structure is a model of clarity, particularly if reference is made to the appropriate explanatory text in the book.’
‘[…] this work is likely to prove valuable to those researching in mining and economic history’ (R.C. Scrivener, Mineralogical Magazine 79, 2015)

‘Roger Burt and his supporters are to be congratulated on having put together the definitive work on Cornish and Devon mining Statistics in modern times.’ (James Whetter, The Cornish Banner, Issue 158, November 2014)

Roger Burt is Professor Emeritus of Economic History at the University of Exeter. He has been a consultant to mining companies and government departments and contributes to radio programmes on mining related issues.

Raymond Burnley is the software designer for the project, and is a former IT Systems Developer at the University of Exeter.

Michael Gill was a Research Fellow in the University of Exeter Economic History Department.  He has also worked as a surveyor in the Mining and Civil Engineering industries.

Alasdair Neill is a freelance researcher on mining in the UK.



Publication Details:

 Paperback , 272 pages
 227mm x 150mm

BIC Code:
  HIS000000, HIS015000, HIS018000, HIS054000, TEC026000
 University of Exeter Press


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