Q is for Quarries

Apparently, according to the British Geological Survey, 'minerals' are defined as 'all substances in or under land of a kind ordinarily worked for removal by underground or surface working, except that it does not include peat cut for purposes other than for sale'.

Turbary rights were complex and extensively argued in the areas around Springhill, they are discussed under 'G is for Game'. It is interesting that peat other than for sale is excluded from this definition, and that it is felt necessary to do so in the 21st century.

The crown gets much of the good bits: oil and gas, gold and silver. Coal is owned by the Coal Authority and whilst coal exists under the houses of Springhill it is reassuring that the deeds of Polefield Cottage include documents from the Coal Authority that they have no plans to extract it

Other minerals are in private ownership and their ownership details are held by the Land Registry.

Locally the mineral rights were held by the Honor of Clitheroe who retained the rights when the manorial copyhold system was abolished in 1922 (see H is for Housing). Some of the Springhill owners have bought out the mineral rights at various times. Whilst the chance of development is small, I recall test bores being drilled up Newchurch Road in the 1980s and the 'Dallas'-fuelled speculation was that they were looking for oil… However both coal and stone have been taken from the Springhill area in the past and Springhill House was built by a local colliery owner.

A major aspect of quarry and mine legislation is that relating to health and safety of workers and the duties of managers. This is currently covered by the Quarries Regulations 1999 which the truly keen can download for free from the
Health and Safety Executive. Sadly the risk is real; my ggg-gf died in a quarry accident about a mile from Springhill in 1864.