The Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England

BookThe Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England

The Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England

Historic England


February 15th, 2019





Underground mine and quarry workings are to be found in all counties in England. This little-seen and often exciting world has workings that are different from each other in terms of what was extracted and how this was achieved. The archaeological evidence allows us to interpret what was being done and when this took place. Some places have impressive workings and these have such things as engine chambers, arched levels, deep shafts, underground canals, drainage soughs, and discarded equipment.

This book presents a detailed introduction to the underground mining and quarrying heritage in England. It reviews the many types of mineral and stone taken from the ground over several millennia and also looks at the wide range of archaeological remains that survive today and are accessible to those who venture underground. It is designed to illustrate the many and varied wonders to be found underground and give the reader ways forward should they wish to follow up their interest in particular types of extraction or what is present in their region.

Winner of the 2019 Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Industrial Archaeology, by the Association for Industrial Archaeology

‘The book is a rapid survey of the resources and techniques available to mine in England and touches on both mundane and exotic materials. It makes a valuable addition to the library.’
David J. Hunter, Vernacular Architecture

Author Information

John Barnatt is an archaeologist and underground explorer, who worked for three decades as the Senior Survey Archaeologist for the Peak District National Park until recent retirement; he has spent many years recording underground workings.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Introduction: Mining and underground quarrying in England
Part 1: The character of mining and underground quarrying
1. A diverse underground
2. Major products
3. Specialist/rare products
4 .Regional patterns
Part 2: Underground archaeology: Common themes and local diversity
5. The archaeological evidence: A multitude of diverse features
6. Early workings
7. Working the product
8. Accessing workings
9. Other infrastructure
10. Artefacts and inscriptions
11. Postscript