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placename:- Honister Slate Quarry
other name:- Honister Slate Mine
other name:- Honister Crag Quarry
site name:- Honister Crag
parish Borrowdale parish, once in Cumberland
parish Buttermere parish, once in Cumberland
county:- Cumbria
slate quarry; quarry; mine; museum; workplace
coordinates:- NY22481354
10Km square:- NY21

1Km square NY2213

photograph

Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- 7.11.2005
photograph

Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- 7.11.2005

source:- Martineau 1855

Guide book, A Complete Guide to the English Lakes, by Harriet Martineau, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, and by Whittaker and Co, London, 1855; published 1855-71.
Page 133:-
... Honister Crag frowns above; and as the traveller, already at a considerable height, looks up at the quarrymen in the slate quarries near the summit, it almost takes his breath away to see them hanging like summer spiders quivering H from the eaves of a house.
These quarrymen are a hardy race, capable of feats of strength which are now rarely heard of elsewhere. No heavily-armed knight, who ever came here to meet the Scot (and there were such encounters on this spot in the ancient border wars) carried a greater weight, or
Page 134:-
did more wonders in a day than these fine fellows. The best slate of Honister Crag is found near the top: and there, many hundred feet aloft, may be seen (by good eyes) the slate-built hovels of some of the quarrymen, while others ascend and descend many times between morning and night. Now the men come leaping down with their trucks at a speed which appears appalling to strangers. Formerly, the slate was brought down on hurdles, on men's backs: and the practice is still continued in some remote quarries, where the expense of conveyance by carts would be too great, or the roads do not admit of it. Nearly forty years ago there was a man named Joseph Clark at Honister, who made seventeen journeys, (including seventeen miles of climbing up and scrambling down,) in one day, bringing down 10,880 pounds of slate. In ascending he carried the hurdle, weighing eighty pounds; and in descending, he brought each time 640 pounds of slate. At another time he carried, in three successive journeys, 1,280 pounds each time. His greatest day's work was bringing 11,771 pounds; in how many journeys it is not remembered: but in fewer than seventeen. He lived at Stonethwaite, three miles from his place of work. His toils did not appear to injure him: and he declared that he suffered only from thirst. It was believed in his day that there was scarcely another man in the kingdom capable of sustaining such labour for a course of years.
In some places where the slate is closely compacted, and presents endways and perpendicular surface, the quarryman sets about his work as if he were going
Page 135:-
after eagle's eggs. His comrades let him down by a rope from the precipice; and he tries for a footing on some ledge, where he may drive in wedges. The difficulty of this, where much of his strength must be employed in keeping his footing, may be conceived: and a great length of time must be occupied in loosening masses large enough to bear the fall without being dashed into useless pieces. But, generally speaking, the methods are improved, and the quarries made accessible by tracks admitting of the passage of strong carts. Still, the detaching of the slate, and the loading and conducting the carts, are laborious work enough to require and train a very athletic order of men. ...
person:- quarryman : Clark, Joseph
date:- 1855
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s

descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843)

Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, et al, 1839; published 1839-52.
Page 88:-
... Honistar Crag, rises sheer out of the valley to the height of one thousand six hundred feet, on which are extensive blue-slate quarries. ...
date:- 1839
period:- 19th century, early; 1830s

descriptive text:- Otley 1823 (5th edn 1834)

Guidebook, Concise Description of the English Lakes, later A Description of the English Lakes, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirky Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823 onwards.
image OT01P125, button   goto source.
... Honister Crag in majestic grandeur is presented to the view;
image OT01P126, button   goto source.
Page 126:-
between which and Yew Crag, the road now sharply descends. Both these rocks are famed for producing roofing slate of the best quality; ...
date:- 1823
period:- 19th century, early; 1820s

specimen:- JandMN (399)

thumbnail BXO40, button to large image
Rock, souvenir roof slate, metamorphosed from tuff? from Honister Slate Quarry, Borrowdale, Cumberland, NY22481354, 7 November 2005.
On a visitor tour you might get the chance to split a slate from a block, and come away with a souvenir like this.
Ordovician; Borrowdale Volcanic Group.
date:- 2005
period:- 2000s

specimen:- JandMN (398)

thumbnail BXO39, button to large image
Rock, hand specimen of slate metamorphosed from tuff? from Honister Slate Quarry, Borrowdale, Cumberland, NY22481354, 7 November 2005.
Ordovician; Borrowdale Volcanic Group.
date:- 2005
period:- 2000s

photographs
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- 7.11.2005
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- 7.11.2005
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- 7.11.2005
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- 3.5.2011
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Charging lamp batteries. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Lamp batteries. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Inclined plane. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Jacks. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Miners' hut (reconstructed). -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Miners' hut (reconstructed). -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Tunnels. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Pneumatic drill -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Tramroad point. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Rock. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Slates. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Slates. -- 7.12.2012

photographs
The quarry does a regular trade in house numbers and name signs. The engraving is done on a machine:-
courtesy Honister Slate Mine
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Engraving machine; the operator is choosing number guides from the cases of fonts. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Setting the number guides. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- Setting the number guides, locking in place. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- The operator tracks a follower in the guide, along each line and up each serif, the engraving head cuts the slate. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- The follower in the guide. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- The engraving head. -- 7.12.2012
tiny photograph, 
button to large Honister Slate Quarry -- Honister Crag -- Borrowdale and Buttermere -- Cumbria / -- The machine. -- 7.12.2012

hearsay Begun 1643.

button   Dubs Quarry, Buttermere
button   fence, Borrowdale
button   Hopper Quarry, Buttermere
button   Yewcrag Quarries, Borrowdale

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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©  Martin and Jean Norgate: 2014
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