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The granite industry of South-West England, 1800-1980: A study in historical geography

The granite industry of South-West England, 1800-1980: A study in historical geography
The granite industry of South-West England, 1800-1980: A study in historical geography
The formerly little-known granite industry of Cornwall and Devon is
examined, with particular reference to the period 1800-1980, when
granite was worked in a number of districts. Widespread quarrying
developed in the nineteenth century, mainly in response to markets
outside the region and despite competition from other producers such
as Aberdeen. Output fluctuated considerably, according to demand,
but the present century saw a severe decline, at first as a result
of Scandinavian imports. The inability of the industry to compete
with cheaper materials in changing markets has aided its decline to
virtual extinction in the 1980s.
Quarrying and dressing methods for 'dimension' granite are seen as
the first stages in the procurement of this stone for civil
engineering and other uses. Size, location and other aspects of
the quarries and works are discussed, particularly their relationship
with topography, settlements, transport systems and ports. Stress is
given to the carriage of heavy granite products, an essential element
for successful development.
Although granite quarrying was greatly overshadowed by metal mining
and china clay working, its importance is demonstrated in its local
and national markets. The granite was sought for a wide range of
purposes, especially in docks and other civil engineering works, as
well as in architecture and monuments. The influence of the firms
and labour force are investigated in subsequent chapters.
The thesis concludes with an appraisal of the situation today, in
respect to the industry itself and the legacy of over 300 quarries
and their impact on the environment.
University of Southampton
Stanier, Peter
1295e081-ada6-4d8f-a3d2-982d28c8bfd9
Stanier, Peter
1295e081-ada6-4d8f-a3d2-982d28c8bfd9
Wagstaff, John
ab59fb81-3139-41c7-9796-15311a569f86

Stanier, Peter (1985) The granite industry of South-West England, 1800-1980: A study in historical geography. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 646pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The formerly little-known granite industry of Cornwall and Devon is
examined, with particular reference to the period 1800-1980, when
granite was worked in a number of districts. Widespread quarrying
developed in the nineteenth century, mainly in response to markets
outside the region and despite competition from other producers such
as Aberdeen. Output fluctuated considerably, according to demand,
but the present century saw a severe decline, at first as a result
of Scandinavian imports. The inability of the industry to compete
with cheaper materials in changing markets has aided its decline to
virtual extinction in the 1980s.
Quarrying and dressing methods for 'dimension' granite are seen as
the first stages in the procurement of this stone for civil
engineering and other uses. Size, location and other aspects of
the quarries and works are discussed, particularly their relationship
with topography, settlements, transport systems and ports. Stress is
given to the carriage of heavy granite products, an essential element
for successful development.
Although granite quarrying was greatly overshadowed by metal mining
and china clay working, its importance is demonstrated in its local
and national markets. The granite was sought for a wide range of
purposes, especially in docks and other civil engineering works, as
well as in architecture and monuments. The influence of the firms
and labour force are investigated in subsequent chapters.
The thesis concludes with an appraisal of the situation today, in
respect to the industry itself and the legacy of over 300 quarries
and their impact on the environment.

Text
85075041 - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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Published date: 1 May 1985

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413336
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413336
PURE UUID: ee4f1423-8a40-4892-ad11-48a7ad214644

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Date deposited: 22 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:31

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Contributors

Author: Peter Stanier
Thesis advisor: John Wagstaff

University divisions

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