“As a Glossary or Explanation of the technical Terms now used by Miners, in working the Mines in the northern part of Derbyshire; has not yet been published in a manner sufficiently illustrative of the subject, I have been induced, with the assistance of the Notes of my Father, to attempt a Work of this kind; comprising the Derivation of several of those Terms, and a Description of several of the Tools and Instruments used by the Miners; together with the Laws and Customs now subsisting in working the Mines. This book is offered to the Public in the hope that it may be found useful and advantageous to Miners, and those connected with the Mines, as well as in Mineral Trials &c.” thus wrote James Mander in the 1824 Preface to his book The Derbyshire Miners’ Glossary

It’s a fascinating glimpse into the language and ancient customs relating to lead-mining, here are just a few examples:


BELLY: the widest part of the lead vein.

BING: Ore of large size. This seems to take its name from the place where it is deposited, as a Bin or partition more conveniently made, or placed, than the other sorts are; if so, its name should be Binn, alias Binne. Sax. A large chest to put corn, &c. in. In the Danish language, it is called Bing; and so we have its original.

BUDDLE: The action of cleansing the Boose (earth & stone brought up from the Working) by water, in a dam. Probably a corruption of the word ‘puddle’, which is drawn from a pool. The bundle dams are by custom confined to Quarter Cord (a quarter of the surface ground allotted to a miner); they are absolutely necessary to the Miner to wash and cleanse his Ore; and extremely pernicious to the Landholder in Bellanding (poisoning) his ground. There has been much contest about them.


From Wikipedia: A buddle pond is a pit, often circular when specifically constructed, the purpose of which was to separate by sedimentation minerals from lighter rock dust in crushed ore, and used in the mineral mining industries such as lead mining. Early examples of buddle ponds were often natural hollows in the ground, adapted by lining them with stone or clay to make them waterproof. A purpose-built pond, constructed from stone or brick contained water, and a set of brushes, often powered by a water wheel, which rotated in the water in order to agitate the mixture, the result of which was that the heavier and denser material – i.e. the ore – tended to collect at the centre of the pit, from where it could be retrieved. The worthless gangue was then disposed of, often by draining.

A sophisticated buddle mechanism… far more advanced than might typically be found at a Derbyshire lead mine.



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