History of Lindal & Marton

A village community at the heart of Furness


Parish Council

Iron Mining Glossary

Alloy A metal mixed with other elements, such as carbon, nickel or copper, to change its properties, eg to improve resistance to corrosion.
Bank A flat area outside the level entrance.
Bessemer process Process of rendering cast iron malleable by the introduction of air into the fluid metal to remove carbon. This was the first process for mass-producing steel inexpensively.
Blast furnace A furnace for producing iron from haematite, fuelled by charcoal.
Bloomery An early hearth for smelting haematite to produce iron.
Bogie Clutch vehicle used for transporting ore and waste.
Captain The person in charge of a mine and underground workings.
Cast iron An alloy of iron containing so much carbon (2% to 6%) that it becomes too brittle to be wrought, and it must be shaped by casting in a mould while molten.
Company A group of four or five miners working together.
Crosscut A tunnel driven usually at right angles to strike the vein in the shortest distance.
Day level A level driven directly from the surface.
Downcast shaft The shaft bringing fresh air into the mine.
Drift A tunnel driven to gain access to the vein.
Flats Horizontal vein working.
Forge A place where iron or other metals are wrought by heating in a furnace or special hearth, followed by hammering.
Gin A horse-powered capstan for drawing ore up a shaft.
Haematite (hematite) A red-coloured form of iron ore (chemical symbol Fe2O3) that occurs in crystalline, massive or granular forms.
Haulage way A level along which tubs of ore are pulled.
Headgear The rigging for hauling or lifting located at the head of a mine shaft.
Horse level A main tramming level where the tubs were removed by horse.
Incline A tunnel driven at an angle usually between 33 and 45 degrees or a tramway for lowering material down a slope.
Iron An element (chemical symbol Fe), the most widely used of all the metals.
Iron master The proprietor of ironworks or mines.
Iron ore A solid naturally-occurring mineral aggregate from which metal may be recovered via a treatment process.
Iron oxide A reddish-brown compound of iron and oxygen, commonly known as rust, and seen on the surface of iron objects.
Kidney ore A particular form of iron ore that appears as rounded red masses with a metallic sheen.
Level A tunnel driven to gain access to the minerals within a mine.
Mine agent A person who acquires finance for the mining operation.
Ore body A mass or vein of ore.
Pig iron Cast iron in crude blocks or ingots, otherwise known as pigs.
Pinnel Fine glacial boulder clay.
Pit General term for an iron ore working.
Puddling An early process used to convert pig iron to wrought iron.
Pump rods Reciprocating rods of heavy timber, conveying motion from a steam engine to the water pumps at the foot of a shaft.
Royalty An area of land determined by the lease or a percentage payment demanded by the owner for the weight of mineral sold.
Shaft A vertical or inclined tunnel used for access, transportation, ventilation or water removal.
Sop An area or mass of mineral.
Sow The main channel in a mould through which cast iron is poured and from which the pigs are fed.
Spoil Waste rock and rubbish which is removed from the mine.
Steel Iron containing a little carbon, with or without additional ingredients or treatments to alter its properties, eg to increase its strength.
Tally Metal disc attached to laden tubs to identify the miner's output.
Tally stick A wooden stick notched with the number of tubs got by a miner.
Top slicing The process of mining iron ore out a horizontal level (slice), then allowing the ground above to collapse into the slice, and then mining out another slice at a lower level.
Vein Mineral body in a horizontal, vertical or angled position.
Water level The level at which water was pumped out from a mine.
Winder Mechanism for winding ore from a shaft.
Wrought iron Malleable purified iron containing only a very small number of other elements, but containing slag, and more rust-resistant than steel.

References: See History page.