Arts and Literature
Countryside and Nature
New Fiction and Bestselling Fiction
New UK Titles
Pre - Publication Orders
Top Children's UK
Top Biography and History UK
Top Non Fiction UK
View All Titles
The Quarries of the Lakeland
The Quarries of the Lakeland
For centuries quarrying was a major industry, scarring and now, beautifying the landscape. It was hard work. Some Men died. Others made fortunes.
Quarries are special places to explore for the industrial archaeologist and everyone who loves the Lakes.
This is the first detailed guide to the quarries of Lakeland.
Paperback; 210 x 148mm
B & W Photographs and line drawings
Book review by Steve Matthews of Bookends
"Slate," David Glover tells us, "occurs in veins or bands, rather like a mineral, but it also has to possess cleavage or bate so that it can be split or riven into thin pieces. Because of this the actual usable quarried slate can be as little as 5% , hence the vast amount of spoil and rubbish that was produced."
Before explosives were used the slate was split from the mother rock by lighting fires and then quenching the heat of the rock with water. Quick lime was poured into cracks and. when water was added, there was a violent expansion which rent the rock. The clogs were divided into thin, smooth slates by the splitter. They were then chipped into shape by a dresser using a whittle.
Closeheads, adits and levels were driven into the rock creating a labyrinth of chambers where the men worked by candlelight.
The workmen took on all the costs and made a bargain with the quarry owner to produce so much slate for an agreed price. They pursued their arduous and dangerous work living on site beside the remote quarry in a crudely built stone hut. They were sustained by a diet of bread and lard varied by the occasional rabbit or bird.
The best slate was sent the 750 miles by sea to London. The poorer quality stuff, the Counties, Toms and Peggies, were used locally.
Even as late as 1961, almost an eighth of the men employed in the Lake District worked in quarrying. Unlike the men of earlier centuries, they toiled in vast, exposed quarries which were felt to be eyesores in the National Park. Today, the few working quarries are part of the Burlington Group and the clogs are transported out of the National Park to be riven and dressed at Kirby Moor.
The small, old quarries of yesteryear are being absorbed into the landscape. They now offer places for recreation, for rock climbing, abseiling, diving and even golf and provide sites for caravan parks and suitable holes for landfill.
But they are also a fascinating part of the historical scene. The rock faces and the blue pools, the scree slopes and the old ropeways, even the rusted machinery and the derelict stone sheds have been absorbed into the picturesque landscape.
Wainwright saw the quarries on Castle Crag in Borrowdale as part of the loveliest square mile in Lakeland. The main quarries "are almost on the top of the crag, which has almost completely been quarried away. mainly prior to 1930".
The closeheads at nearby High How Quarry offered living room and bedroom to Millican Dalton, the noted eccentric. Above the entrance to his Attic, he has carved the inscription: "Don't waste worrds!! Jump to conclusions".
Much of David's book is a comprehensive gazetteer to the hundred or so quarries of the Lake District. It is the product of over twenty years research into this neglected aspect of the Lake District landscape and history.
The quarries are to be found often high up in each of the long valleys, in Longsleddale and Kentmere; at Honister and Yewcrag; in the Duddon Valley and Elterwater; in Threlkeld, Troutbeck and Ullswater; in Coniston, Coppermines and Torver, Tilberthwaite, Langdale and Broughton Moor.
Wherever slate was to be found, men quarried the rock and split the slate. Their exhausting toil and the harsh conditions they endured now seem to have a romance. The bleak stone quarries which once scarred the hills now add character to the face of the land.
This is a pioneering book which will prove an invaluable guide to all who enjoy exploring one of the most beautiful places in England.
DVDs & CDs