This book, which is the culmination of more than 30 years of geological and historical research, attempts to illuminate the subjects of its title from a number of different view-points, and to provide a fairly comprehensive record of a past industry, all traces of which will soon have disappeared.
The first part of the book provides an overview of the various mineral deposits of the Mendips, and then ascribes these to various types of mineralisation (for example, the “Mendip Lead,” “Mendip Zinc,” and “Harptree Bed” mineralisations). Each of the different types of mineralisation is then described in detail based on a comprehensive survey of available manuscript sources, the published literature, extensive observations in the field (both above and below ground), and many new analyses of rocks and minerals.
The second part of the book describes a number of mining areas in the Mendips, and a number of specific mines and quarries (for example, the “Green Hill” lead mines, the Nunney Iron Mine, and Merehead Quarry), each of which is allocated a separate chapter. These are divided uniformly into three sections: Geological History, Mining History, and Social History, and it is hoped that a wide range of readers will therefore find something of interest.Much interesting information was unearthed covering not just the Bristol and Mendips area, but Britain as a whole, from pre-Roman times to the present day. New information is provided, for example, on the Elizabethan monopolies and the role of German technologists and merchant bankers in them, and on the lives of some famous naturalists such as John Beaumont and John Woodward.
"Mines and Minerals of the Mendip Hills will not only become the standard reference on the subject, it will remain so for many years"
– Chris Howes, Descent