I think you have it. This scenario sounds correct in all respects.
Cheap coal was an issue for salt along the coast, but particularly in the
north. I have a piece of sea-coal that was picked off the beach in
where there were also some coastal salt sites. There is also often
of sea coal in the texts.
As to _saltburn_ being on a tidal water that too makes sense. They
were ideal places to slightly increase the salt concentration of seawater
which was very uneconomic to boil. Solar evaporation was not possible
everywhere along the coast.
Re the attempt to establish alum production from shales in Dorset,
Devon and Cornwall after the Dissolution. The Romano-British briquetage
found in Devon was on shales which makes me think. I wonder what was
involved in alum production from shales.
On 4/20/01 11:08 PM Martin Roe writes:
>The North Yorkshire alum indutry started around the beginning of the 17th
>century and was established to break the papal monopoly on alum production
>and trade. The break from the church in Rome and Henry VIII's subsequent
>excommunication made trade with the papal states politically sensitive and
>the establishment of a domestic alum industry made both political and
>economic sense. A search for suitable shale resources was begun about 1560
>and alum shales were discovered on the Isle of Wight and Dorset, Devon and
>Cornwall. Attempts at establishing alum production in these areas was not
>sucessful but in 1590 alum shales were discovered in North Yorkshire. It was
>calculated that establishing a domestic alum industry would cut the price by
>As to the origin of the name Saltburn it may be more likely that this may
>refer to the extraction of common salt from sea water. This is an activity
>that took place along the coast of Northumberland and Durham, and i believe
>the Tees estuary due to the local supplies of cheap coal. As Saltburn is
>only a few miles south it is possible that it could also benefit from this
>cheap coal. Also as a child visiting both Saltburn and nearby Redcar i
>distinctly remember the sea coal that is washed up on the beach. This is no
>longer worth collecting but in the medieval period this may have be
>Its also worth pointing out that Saltburn is not sited on a river, but a
>small stream, which is the usual distinction of a "Burn". This stream is
>tidal (for a few hundred metres) so perhaps thats where the salt part of the
>name comes in?
>Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales
>The Industrial Archaeology of Halifax
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