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Mining and Industry

There’s copper and lead in those hills and Queen Elizabeth I. will have it - or off with your head!”

Queen Elizabeth I was a monarch renowned for her hunger to attain and retain a powerful hold in a world of uncertainty. She had a tenacious manner and did not suffer fools. She got what she wanted. Recognising the value of natural mineral resources, Queen Elizabeth formed ‘The Mines Royal Company’ in 1568, a joint venture with German miners from Augsburg who had more technical experience at extracting and smelting metal ores.

Mining in the valley near Keswick goes back to very early man in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods (12,000 - 4,000BC). It was carried on for centuries and the Vikings (or more correctly the Northmen) were smelting metal here in the 9th Century. They cleared much of the woodland to use the timber for smelting the metal ore.

Miners at Force Crag
Force Crag Mine
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