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As far as I know the Somerset coal field is the only one which has records including a photo of a pit worked wearing a belt and chain with a hook, used to man haul tubs along tunnels where the roof height was too low for either ponies or tram tubs.  Mind you a lot of the Somerset pits couldn't use ponies as the shafts were narrower than the standard in the rest of the country.  About a foot or 18"" is really the limit of economic extraction - narrower seams needed so much rock cutting to get the coal out that it wasn't woth the effort.  

-----Original Message-----
From: British archaeology discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andrew Smith
Sent: 26 October 2007 08:26
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Silbury Hill

As far as I can see there has been no practical response to Cerridwen's 
comment about the design height of  coal workings.
The height of the working is surely determined largely by the depth of the 
coal seam. In the Somerset and Gloucestershire coalfields, I believe that 
seams as narrow as 18 inches were worked by miners lying on their sides. 
Also, if one is not familiar with Tolkien, the dwarves did not apparently 
let their physical size limit the scale of their excavations under the 
mountains.
Andrew.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Cerridwen Connelly" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:06 AM
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Silbury Hill


>I was thinking of the horizontal/slanting shafts where the coalface workers
> often have to bend over to work because the height seems to have been
> designed for mythical dwarves form Tolkien, or just to save money.
>
> Hwyl,
>
> Cerri
> http://www.technopagans.co.uk
> "for those who honour the past but love living in the present"
>
>
>
>
>> Cerridwen Connelly wrote:
>> > Whilst watching the TV programme on Silbury Hill the other night I was
>> > surprised at the size of the tunnel built in the '60s! I had always
>> > thought of it as smaller in height and width, more like a mine shaft
>> > where one can barely stand upright:-)
>>
>> You can always stand upright in a mine shaft, as it runs vertically :-)
>>
>> John Briggs
> 
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