Herodsfoot Mine

North Herodsfoot mine and Herodsfoot mine are one and the same. The original mine started as early as the 1600’s. The main timeframe of deep mining was from the 1840’s to the 1880’s. The mine workings extensively following the vein in a southerly direction as the lode failed to the north. The mineral specimens – bournonite and tetrahedrite were the mines main claim to fame and the renowned mineral dealer Richard Talling made sure he had a supply of specimens to feed an eager market.

The original mine has languished virtually untouched for over a century. I believe even the determined Dick Barstow was unable to gain entry! A farmer with a 12 bore can be quite a deterrent!

The mine buildings still retained their roofs in entirety in 1954; in fact in 1983 the boiler house was near perfect, the Delabole slates only being removed to re-roof the Count House in 1996. Today the extensive dumps are carpeted in leaf mould and trees. Our aim is threefold; firstly to stabilise the mine buildings; secondly to understand the geology and mineralisation and finally to find a way into the old northerly workings.

South-West RS member Richard Humphrey is undertaking this major project to preserve the old mine buildings, access the old mine workings and work through the old mine dumps in the search for long lost specimens of the famous minerals from this classic Cornish site. You can keep up to date with progress at Richard’s web site: North Herodsfoot mine.

To find out more about Herodsfoot, its history and specimens Roy Starkey has written article in The Mineralogical Record: “The Herodsfoot mine, Lanreath, Cornwall, England”, The Mineralogical Record Vol. 43, No. 4, July – August 2012, pages 411-486 http://www.minrec.org.

Article by Richard Humphrey.

Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms

Roy Starkey’s long-awaited book on the minerals of the Cairngorms was launched in Edinburgh on 25th September 2014.

Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms tells the story of the early crystal hunters who roamed the mountains and glens of the Cairngorms during the 18th and 19th centuries in search of Scotland’s famous gem – the smoky quartz or cairngorm. The book provides a comprehensive history of this arduous and uncertain quest, and explains the geological background to the occurrence of the gem minerals. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of the wild and rugged scenery of the Cairngorms National Park, the text invites exploration and discovery.

The author has been privileged to have obtained unprecedented access to both private and public collections, resulting in the inclusion of numerous previously unpublished photographs of mineral specimens, gemstones and artefacts made from them. The book will appeal to all those interested in the natural and social history of the area, to Park visitors, mineral collectors, gemmologists and members of the antique and jewellery trades.

Running to 184 pages, the book follows the now well established format of Minerals of Cornwall and Devon, Minerals of the English Lake District, Caldbeck Fells and Minerals of Northern England.

Further details can be found through this link to Roy’s website here.