News: Latest NAMHO Newsletter highlights launch of mining research agenda

mining framework cover

In the latest newsletter from NAMHO, Peter Claughton gives a detailed account of the launch of the Archaeology of Mining and Quarrying in England Research Framework at a seminar earlier this year in April.

In the discussions that followed the presentation, and quoting from Peter’s report, it was the matters of maintaining comprehensive inventories of mining and quarrying heritage assets, and of establishing a mutual awareness between Historic Environment Record (HER) officers and mining historians which prompted the most discussion, highlighting what has been repeated cause for concern throughout the first part of the Framework.

It was clear from discussions that some form of national on-line method of recording information and making that available to the appropriate HER is required. Data would need a vetting approach so that appropriate information is passed to the HER. There are differences between the systems used by various HERs, but the main problem is the lack of time available to HER staff. We need to make it clear that information will be welcomed by HERs, but they are limited primarily by lack of finance at present.

The view was that a method is needed which allows mine researchers to send data in an appropriate way that can be used by HER officers. A number of delegates expressed an interest in this area and it has been proposed that a workshop on the subject is held in the near future. Investigation by the Project Director has determined that the software to create an online recording system which is compatible with HERs across England, Wales and Scotland is available, along with expertise to set up such a system, at a relatively low cost – and this will be considered at the forthcoming workshop.

Another point of discussion was that there appears to be a perception that industrial archaeology is less desirable than the natural environment and that this attitude needs to be changed. It is also possible that there be more interest in mining history rather than mining archaeology. There was also debate about how underground mine archaeology might be progressed.

The Research Framework document can be downloaded at

Further details of the seminar report can be read in the newsletter at

There is a limited supply of hard copies of the Research Framework available from Peter Claughton for £18 inclusive of postage. Contact [email protected] for details.

Other news covered in this issue includes:

  • Peak District Mines Historical Society secures Heritage Lottery funding of £74,000 to undertake repairs to the Square Chimney at Magpie Mine, Derbyshire.
  • An update on what goes on behind the scenes at the site of the former Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum.
  • Forthcoming events at Nenthead
  • An assessment of storm damage at the important Greenburn Mine site in Cumbria
  • A restoration project for the powder magazine at Cwm Rheidol
  • Details of concerns regarding the proposed remedial and restoration work at the Avoca mine site in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
  • Issues surrounding changes in underground water flows in mines at Nenthead, and problems this causes to minewater treatment.
  • National Lottery funding of £450,000 for conservation work around the Coniston Copper mines.
  • The possibility of exploring deep flooded sections of Ecton Copper Mines using robots.
  • Conservation work at Allenheads Mine, North Pennines

Together with other mining news from around the country, and publication reviews, the NAMHO newsletter has become an important read for anybody wishing to follow the state of mine exploration and research in the British Isles.