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Title: The granite industry of South-West England, 1800-1980 : a study in historical geography
Author: Stanier, Peter
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1985
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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.
Supervisor: Wagstaff, J. M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography