Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales by Arthur Raistrick

Book reviews

Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales by Arthur Raistrick

Postby Catkin » Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:13 pm

Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales by Arthur Raistrick

Dalesman Books. First Published 1972. 40 pages. ISBN: 0 85206 641 4

This is a pocket-sized book detailing the early history of lead mining in the Yorkshire Dales up until present times. It is 40 pages long with a central section of 11 black and white photographs.

The first two chapters are a very detailed account of where and how lead was mined. There is no glossary but terms specific to lead mining are italicised and explained in the text.

The third and fourth chapters reveal the history of lead mining from the pre-Roman era through medieval times in the building of castles and monasteries, up to the 17th and 18th centuries when lead began to be mined on a more organised and industrial scale. Many individual mines are mentioned by name, as are some of the families connected with them, which will be of interest to anyone whose family roots are embedded in the Dales.

The fifth chapter covers the 19th century, a period when lead mining was considered to be at its zenith. The Industrial Revolution passed on many new techniques and improvements in machinery to make the whole process more cost effective.

The final chapter reveals the 'end of the story.' An interesting little tailpiece reminds us to treat mines with extreme caution, as they are very dangerous places for the unwary.

To sum up, this is not a book for anyone interested in the 'human' element of the social deprivations of the lead mining industry, but as a well-written and interesting (if slightly old fashioned) guide it will appeal to the reader with a more in-depth interest in the subject.
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