In addition to peat there are references to purchases of coal & coke, possibly in larger quantities in peat although I would have to check that.
In relation to our earlier p.m.s re smelting at Bere Ferrers, the accounts include removal of furnaces from Bere Alston & bricks from Wheal Maristow (the latter not necessarily from the smelting works there).
Will have to check the accounts to see if there is any link between the straw ropes & peat - there are plenty of refs to peat cutting over the summer months, work on the peat house etc.
From: Peter Claughton <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, 3 December 2011, 19:14
Subject: Re: Lead smelting queries
Wheal Betsy was apparently smelting using the ore-hearth process, fuelled using peat. Now, I cannot think of any use for straw rope in that process but it is probably that the peat store was thatched and rope could have been used to secure the thatching.
Fern ashes were possibly a substitute for bone ash in the cupels used in the refining process (cupellation) much as tan bark ash (oak bark waste from tanning) was used in the medieval silver mines in Devon. However, fern ashes were also used in the production of lye for the textile industry (as in potash) - are we sure this is used in connection with smelting? My concern is that fern ashes would be rather fine for formation of cupels.