One Of The UK’s Oldest Slate Mines Re-Opens
…Does This Mark A Revival?
The history of slate mining in the UK stretches back several centuries with evidence of large scale mining activity going back as far as the 18th Century in Wales.
In the past century, however, many slate mines were closed down or abandoned as the industry went into decline but the recent re-opening of a mine in Northamptonshire hints that there may be a mini revival in slate mining.
The Collyweston slate mine in Northamptonshire was closed down 60 years ago at a time when there was an abundant supply of reclaimed slate from old derelict buildings in the area.
Since then, the situation has now gone into reverse. Reclaimed slate tiles originally sourced from the area are now in such short supply, that the owners of the mine are able to generate a profit from mining the slate once again.
Slate mined from Collyweston will soon be used in a replacement roof for King’s College Cambridge along with other projects planned in the near future.
The opening of the mine is likely to be short lived. Mining consultants have estimated that slate can be mined for a maximum of 10 years before its contents are exhausted.