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Brendon Hills, Somerset, England, UK

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Locality type:Group of Hills

The Brendon Hill mines are mostly strung out on either side of the B3224 (Withiel Hill) Road. The mines working a number of discontinuous Iron ore bodies controlled by east-west faulting, associated with the Brendon Syncline and Anticline in the Devonian Slates.The mines were developed to a depth of 170 mts at the Raleighs Cross Mine. The ore appears to have initially been goethite/hematite soon passing in to unoxidised siderite. The area was trialed in the 1830s, although there is circumstantial evidence that the mines were worked by the Romans. The last mine closing in 1883 due to better quality and cheaper iron ore from Spain. Many of the mines on Brendon Hills were referred to as pits probably due to ownership by a south Wales iron smelting company from 1853-1883. Most of the mines have vanished from the landscape, some bulldozed, or just an area of rough ground, or just become part of a field . Industrial archaeological investigations have been undertaken over the last 10 years or so, with interesting reclamation work at Brendon Hill Incline, and Langham Hill Mine.

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Cantrill, T.C., Sherlock, R.L., and Dewey, H. (1919): Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain, Vol. 09: Iron Ores - Sundry Unbedded Ores of Durham, East Cumberland, North Wales, Derbyshire, The Isle of Man, Bristol District and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. HMSO Publications (London), 87 pp.
Sellick, R.J (1970): West Somerset Mineral Railway and the Story of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines. 2nd Edition. David & Charles. 128 pp.
Jones, M.H. (2011): The Brendon Hills Iron Mines and the West Somerset Railway. Lightmoor Press, 416 pp.

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