Talk:Bath stone

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Case of title?[edit]

I merged this to Bath Stone since we have other article like London Clay and I figure there is either a)a mistake in the title of several articles or b)a convention somewhere that such substances get capitalised as proper nouns. -Splashtalk 00:16, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I've just moved this page to Bath stone without seeing this comment, per Portland stone and the use of lower case in the OED. DrKiernan (talk) 08:24, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Quarries / mines[edit]

Bath stone isn't quarried, it's mined. Although there is some overlap in some site names.

It's noted for its freestone behaviour where it is far easier to work it by hand sawing whilst still wet. Once dried out, it hardens up and becomes difficult to work by hand. This is why old saw benches and hand saws can still be seen underground in Box Mines. Also why it was worked from underground galleries, not simply opencast as most stone quarries.

The terms "quarried" etc. should be avoided here in favour of "mined". Andy Dingley (talk) 16:15, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks - is there a specific definition of mine v quarry as a verb? I'm starting to add some pics of the equipment used etc into the linked commons category, but I haven't found any of the saws yet which are pictured in Hawkins, Derek (2011). Bath Stone Quarries. Folly Books. ISBN 9780956440549. which I've just got out of the library - hence trying to improve this article. Hawkins says the reason for adits or inclined shafts is the depth of the stone (60ft+) and hence uneconomic to open cast.— Rod talk 16:51, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
There are probably several definitions, all conflicting. Mining is ancient and widely distributed, so terminology varies from place to place. I've always worked on the basis that "a mine has a roof", but there are cases like the Welsh slate industry where large open-cast pits would also have adits and tunnels off into the best rock underground.
I'm sure that Bath stone would have been quarried from the surface on a small scale at the beginning, then mined as the useful stone had to be won from deeper down. There are some open quarries today, but they're small and they're not producing high quality freestone. Box mines (which I think is one of the oldest mines still extant) is very old, around the entrances of Jack's Hole. It's quite a short distance horizontally and very random in shape. The later workings though, such as round the Door, are neat herringbones of generous size (10' square roadways). Although opening a new quarry today might well be done by open casting (if permission was granted!) that would rely on mechanical shovels to strip the overburden. At the time that these became available post-war, the Bath stone trade was shrinking and existing mines were closing.
Watch out also for naming. Many old mines have now run into each other, like Box Mines and Spring Quarry. Yet they're still seen as separate sites, and generally have separate access. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:21, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I've changed the subheads which used quarries rather than mines, if you spot any other instances please change them. Perhaps you could also add the bit about "workability" of the stone. Our article on Box Mine is more about bats than mining.— Rod talk 17:39, 22 September 2015 (UTC)