Blackdown Hills Geology and Whetstones (Axe Valley Branch)
Wed. 15 January 2020 at 2:30 pm
£1 – £3
A talk “Blackdown Hills Geology and the Whetstone Mines” by John Mather.
Whetstones, used for sharpening tools, were mined in the Blackdown Hills from the 17th to the 19th century, from Uffculme in the north to Hembury in the south. The Blackdown Hills was the source of a very high-quality, durable whetstone, called the Devonshire Batt. In the days before farm mechanisation, vast numbers of these stones were used by scythe-men who typically would need to sharpen their scythes four times per hour.
The Blackdown Hills are a group of hills lying on the border of Devon and Somerset. They broadly cover some 350 sq. km extending from Wellington in the north to Honiton in the south and from Cullompton in the west to Chard in the east.
John is a professional geologist who spent 24 years with the British Geological Survey before moving to the University of London. Moving to Devon in 2002, he is a member of the DA Geology Section. In April 2019 he led a field trip to the site of the whetstone mines at Blackborough.
Entrance: Donation £1 (DA Members), £3 (Non Members).