Gunpowder in CardiganshireStaff: Robert Protheroe Jones
This work reviews the known history of the introduction of gunpowder to Ceredigion mines in the late seventeenth century, and will present recent fieldwork evidence to identify features diagnostic of mine workings from this period. The work reviews the progression of the use of explosives for mining in Britain from their early post-Civil War introduction to Derbyshire, to use in the northern and western fringes by the end of the seventeenth century. It will examine the various dates previously ascribed to the use of gunpowder in Cardiganshire and compare them to field evidence and contemporary accounts. Over twenty years of intermittent fieldwork on mining tunnels from this period in Ceredigion will result in a suite of diagnostic features that assist in their identification and dating, correlating the underground workings to contemporary mining accounts held in our library.