West Durham

West Durham : The Archaeology of Industry

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The industrial history of West Durham has been long, varied and dynamic. The famous 'lead dales' of Teesdale, Weardale and Derwentdale were major components of an orefield that dominated lead production during the Georgian and Victorian eras. The numerous remains of sites associated with ore mining and processing include the extraordinary and complex water management systems that powered the industry, which was followed in turn by the production of iron ore, fluorspar and barytes and the quarrying of vast amounts of limestone and whinstone.The pits of West Durham formed a key part of the Great NorthernCoalfield, Britain's most important source of coal for over 500 years, and her colliery complexes were the bases not only for a renowned coke but also for the associated manufacture of bricks, refractories and by-products. These fuels and materials, together with local iron ores, limestone and fluorspar, stimulated an extensive and often pioneering iron industry, culminating in the great Consett works whose background can be traced back to medieval sites and to the only complete steel cementation furnace to survive from the 18th century.These, and a host of other regionally significant industries, were served by a dense railway system which has left behind sites of international importance. The world's oldest working railway, its first public steam railway, earliest railway town and company works are all to be found in the area - as are Tanfield Arch and embankment, the first great railway engineering projects of the Industrial Age. "West Durham: The Archaeology of Industry" provides a general introduction to the industries which made the region internationally important in the 18th, 19th and earlier 20th centuries, and a concise guide to several hundred surviving remains. These are presented in their historical context together with a consideration of how their redundancy affected not only the industries themselves, but the economy, communities and landscape of the area.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 172 x 248 x 10mm | 930g
  • The History Press Ltd
  • Phillimore & Co Ltd
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 183 colour illustrations
  • 1860774474
  • 9781860774478
  • 841,038

About Andy Guy

Andy Guy is from Essex, but took his degree at Durham University andsubsequently lived near Darlington for nearly thirty years. After working as an antiques dealer, he became a researcher at Beamish Museum and is now a consultant and author with a particular interest in the early railways and industry of the North East.A member of the Early Railways Conference Committee, he jointly edited the first publications of its papers, Early Railways, and hascontributed papers to all three of its volumes. With the architectural historian Peter Ryder, he has compiled two 'Virtual Exhibitions' for the British Library, 'Durham: Echoes of Power' and 'Grimm's Northumberland Sketchbooks', both centred on the drawings of the 18th century artist Samuel Grimm. Steam & Speed: Railways of Tyne & Wear from the earliest days was the co-winner of the Alan Ball Award for local history publications given by the Library Services Trust.Frank Atkinson began life in a pit village in West Yorkshire. He started his own museum when he was ten. He helped to put the marvellous Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle back on its feet after Durham County Council rescued it in the 50s. He was the founder and original Director of Beamish Open Air Museum. Around the same time he wrote The Industrial Archaeology of the North East, followed by a number of other publications on local history. His interests include geology, vernacular architecture and industrial archaeology. He has been awarded a CBE and given an Honorary Doctorate by Durham University.show more

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