Medieval Mining in Ireland – Source: Coal Merchants Dublin

Coal Merchants Dublin. The leading suppliers of coal since the Middle ages

The collieries that once dominated many parts of Ireland have now gone and the pit heaps have been reclaimed and naturalised into the landscape, but there is no doubting the important influence that coal mining has had upon shaping the modern character of Ireland.

It seems probable that Tipperary is the oldest intensive coal mining district in the country and evidence suggests that the Celtic Peoples burned and excavated coal in the region. But it was not until the 13th and 14th centuries that it became more widespread with demand spurred on by ever expanding towns and an increasing population. Among those to profit from the increased demand were the Barons of Tipperary, but it was the Coal merchants Dublin who stood to gain the most.

This was primarily because Dublin was a seaport and as the demand for coal grew and Ireland’s hard to Quarrie supples, where insufficient, The coal merchants Dublin, dominated the market. In fact they became so powerful they controlled the coal prices in Dublin, but also in the rest of the country.

England became the coal suppliers Dublin main source, especialy the mines of North East England

Coal is mentioned in the records of County Durham as early as the 12th century, when the Boldon Book (1183) mentions a coal miner at Escomb. It states that the coal miner provided coal for the iron-work of the ploughs at nearby Coundon. The book also records that the smiths of Sedgefield and Bishop Wearmouth were making use of local coal. But most of the early coal mines of the region, were along the banks of the Tyne where seams were shallow and easily mined. As early as the mid 1300s, mines were recorded at Cockfield, Coundon, Hett, Lanchester and Ferryhill, along with others further east at Lumley and Rainton. The Lumley mine was owned by the monks of Finchale Priory, near Durham and consisted of a drift mine, with recesses for candles to light the mine.

In our Next article we shall discuss Coal Prices Dublin and how to find cheap coal in Dublin

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