compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
THE group of islands off the northwest shores of the
European Sub-Continent of Asia, which today constitute
the nations of the UK and Eire, stems from the fact that
Cornwall, as the centre of tin-mining for that group of
islands, was the epicentre of the development of the
Bronze Age, because [IT] was only one of less than
10 places on earth where tin has ever been mined.
Mining existed in Cornwall from the days of stone age
man and dates back to between 1000 and 2000 B.C.
when Cornwall is thought to have been visited by metal
traders from the eastern Mediterranean. They named
Britain, the 'Cassiterides' - 'Tin Islands'; and [IT] was of
course the Romans who named Britain, Britannia for the
same reason that the latin means 'land of tin'.
Cornwall and the far west of Devon provided the majority
of the United Kingdom's tin, copper and arsenic. Originally
the tin was found as alluvial deposits in the gravels of
stream beds, but eventually underground working took
place. Tin lodes outcropped on the cliffs and underground
mines sprung up as early as the 16th century. [IT] was
however, in the 19th century that mining reached its
zenith, before foreign competition depressed the price of
copper and later tin, to a level that made Cornish ore
unprofitable. At its height, the Cornish Tin Mining Industry
had around 600 steam engines working to pump out the
mines. Adventurers put up the capital, and the mine would
hopefully return them a profit. During the 20th century
various ores became briefly profitable, and mines were
reopened, but today none remain. The collapse of the
world tin cartel in 1986 being the last nail in the coffin
of tin mining.
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