There are ten volumes in this continuing series of county studies of metalliferous mining in the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War. The last five volumes have been published by the University of Exeter.
The series arises from a project funded by the Social Science Research Council in the Department of Economic History at Exeter to create a computer based data bank of material originally published in the annual volumes of The Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom. We have used the facility of the computer to re-arrange this material in a mine-by-mine format and this book, like the earlier volumes for the northern counties, has been reproduced directly from the output of a high quality printer. The data is stored in a form permitting flexible programming for the internal and cross analysis of the production, ownership, management and employment series, and readers wishing to make use of the data bank, through terminals in Exeter or elsewhere on the network, should write to the Department of Economic History, University of Exeter.
The material presented here is in a very similar form to that which appeared in the original returns, with minimal editorial adjustments. The common prefix "Wheal" has has been dropped to save space but otherwise mine names have been adopted and spelt in a similar way to their most common occurrence in the returns made to the Mining Record Office by the actual owners of the mines; information under the different headings starts and stops just as it did in the original annual publications; and only limited attempts have been made to merge material where the same mine was worked under different names. Problems caused by multiple entries for mines of the same name but with no clear and readily apparent connection, have been resolved by recording them as separate numbered entries in these listings, eg. Mount and Indian Queens Nos.1 & 2. These matters are discussed in greater detail in the Introduction. The only important changes and new information that we have introduced relate to locations. Following the precedent first set in the Yorkshire volume, we have changed the locations given in the original returns to more appropriate current usage and have added approximate Ordnance Survey Grid References where known. For some sites, the conglomeration of mines and shafts, many of which were known by several different names, makes accurate location extremely difficult. In such cases several mines have sometimes been given the same Grid Reference. For many mines it has not been possible to be sure of a location and no references have been given. The authors would be very pleased to hear of any errors that may have crept in during these editorial adjustments or of any other major improvements that might be made so that the data bank can be amended.