There are several terms used which may require further detailed explanations.

This glossary is a record of the tools and techniques used

Adit: entrance into a hillside that is nearly horizontal.

Ashlar: is finely dressed (cut, worked) stone, usually an individual stone that has been worked until squared and the finest stone masonry unit, generally rectangular in shape like a brick. 9-16″ deep and varying length.

Ball: horseshoe shaped iron piece attached to the Lewis pin (shackle)

Basket: A method of chaining a block of stone if you cannot get the chain underneath.

Bed: the depth of each layer of stone based on the natural fault between layers.

Belly: A method of chaining a block of stone by passing it underneath.

Breach: the width worked between two pillars, removed first by the picker.

Breakfast hole: rest area away from the work used by the quarrymen at meal times, usually made up with gobs.

Brog: nail used to fix rails down to wooden sleepers.

Brogging hammer: hammer for nailing brogs into the sleepers.

Bumping: the use of a long iron bar to lift a block of stone slightly to assist in pulling it with a crane

Callust: calcite coating deposited by water underground.

Cant: a long end on a block of stone.

Cap or squat block: flat piece of wood placed on top of a prop, between it and roof. allowing a slight amount of downward movement usually made from oak.

Capping: name for the ceiling bed, usually forest marble.

Chaps: brown threads like veins running into the stone.

Chips: two flat pieces of metal inserted with a wedge to reduce friction when lifting block from its natural bed.

Chog hole: square hole in ceiling approx. 12 ins. square and 6 to 10 ins. deep, used to hold the crane upright.

Chog: metal sleeve or bearing in centre of wood block in ceiling to take the pin from the upright of a hand crane.

Cleats: oak wedges placed in roof joints. In the event of movement these would lock the roof blocks before they could fall.

Cockle: calcite crystals in a hole in the stone.

Crab: like a boatman’s winch. Used with a Lewis and pulley block in the roof to haul hand cranes up into position.

Crane cup: iron cup or bearing in the centre of a crane stone.

Crane stone: square hole in floor for the upright of a hand crane to stand in.

Cricks: brown faults going through the stone, usually iron minerals washed in.

Dogs: two-pronged version of a Lewis, usually used to lift blocks in construction of buildings.

Dreadnought: large track mounted chain cutter originally used to cut coal, larger than the Samson.

Drip tin: can with hole and matchstick in, to drip feed water into saw cut.

Dumps: small stones less than 6 cu. ft.

Fault: large natural fissures in the stone.

Flask basket: two handled straw baskets, hung on files in wall to keep out rats.

Frig bob: long and wide bladed saw used to cut out the blocks.

Ginny / Jinny ring: horse powered windlass used to haul the blocks up vertical shafts.

Gobs: small pieces of waste stone.

Green block: unhardened fresh stone which still has its quarry sap and needs seasoning.

Hand crane: worked by four men, two on each side. Capable of lifting 5 tons or so.

Handy bar: worked by two or three men, a large crow-bar used to lift bottom stones off their bed.

Hatching: the offset along a pillar between one saw cut and the next.

Heading: the direction of a working face.

Helve: wooden handle on pick.

Holing iron: a short iron with a chisel head used to complete Lewis holes.

Inclined roadway: similar to an Adit entrance but a with a steeper gradient into the quarry.

Jadding: A method of cutting stone with a long iron rod.

Jim crow: tool to bend or straighten tramway rails.

Joints: small faults or cracks in the stone.

Jump: a change in level of the beds, i.e. a geological fault.

Jumper or big bar: giant crow bar used to break the blocks away from the beds and move them forward to help with chaining them.

Lewis: trapezoid shaped attachment in two or three sections, inserted into tapered holes made in blocks to enable them to be pulled from the face or lifted.

Loading bay: sunken platform near working face where before cranes were introduced blocks could be winched and barred onto the wagons.

Much: waste stone on a block.

Muck box: three-sided metal container for haulage of rubble.

Nips: small version of shears, see below.

Old men: brown faults in all directions.

Opening hammer: used to set the teeth of saws.

Paddy link: link similar in shape to a key-hole, used to make a loop on a chain and hold it without tying.

Pick: Beater pick, for packing sleepers under rails. Holing pick, for making holes for the chips and wedge and commencing Lewis holes. Muck or navvy pick, for breaking up hard rubble. Picking pick, for picking out the roof area before sawing the stone. Roughing pick, for squaring up the block before finishing with a double-headed axe.

Picking or Jadding cut: the first uppermost cut into the working face.

Pillar cut: cut alongside of the area to become the pillar.

Pillar: area of stone left to support the roof.

Plug and feathers: the plug is a thin long wedge; the feathers, two reverse taper pieces of metal that fit in a hole and the plug is driven between them to split the stone.

Point: small iron tool for breaking gobs.

Prop / stick: used to support areas of the ceilings usually made from Norwegian larch.

Qarr: name used by the quarrymen when referring to the quarries.

Quarry sap: natural moisture in the stone when in the ground.

Range: is dressed (cut, worked) stone, usually an individual stone that has been worked until squared, generally rectangular in shape like a brick 4-9″ deep and varying length.

Razzer: tapering saw used to commence cutting until the frig bob could be inserted. These were made from worn down frig bobs

Road: term used for the tracks or roadways in the quarries.

Samson: track mounted chain cutter smaller than the Dreadnought

Saw block: block with long slot in used to hold saws while sharpening and re-setting.

Seasoning: the process of allowing blocks of stone to ‘dry’ on the surface and harden before use. Stone underground is wet and had to be kept underground until April after the risk of frost damage.

Scappled block: block which has been roughly squared up by hand axe.

Scappling: to square a block with a double headed axe.

Scaulter / Scorter: diagonal wooden prop from pillar to roof usually made from light but strong elm or Norwegian larch.

Scriber: tool to scratch number and cubic size on block.

Shears: like large callipers, used for lifting block; spans vary from two feet to eight feet.

Sleighter joint: a clean fault in the stone.

Slope shaft: entrance shaft usually 45 degrees or thereabouts. Stairs were cut to the left side when entering while the stone was hauled out by winch to the right side.

Squaring: only blocks that had been cleaned and squared would be paid for.

Squats: small stones, one in front and two at the back, put on the trolley before the block is loaded. The squats allow the trolley to rock on bends in the roadways and tramways. If it were rigid it would possibly derail.

Stacker: movable crane used to stack stone underground in winter.

Stacking ground: area where blocks are seasoned and stored.

Stake: wooden holder for an oil lamp.

Tapper: pebble or piece of metal used to test stone by striking it and listening to the ring. Faults invisible to the eye can thus be traced.

Tapping iron: various length bars with a ball end, used to tap ceiling beds, again the sound tells the condition of the beds.

Trace: chain used to pull block from face instead of a Lewis.

Trolley bar: bar to stop a trolley or to replace it on the rails.

Trolley: mine wagon, sometimes called a bogey cart or wagon.

Wedge: short broad chisel driven in between the chips.

Windy drill: pneumatic drill.

Wood hole: a piece of fossil driftwood in the bed.

Working face: the area where the stone is being removed.

Wrist: first block removed from the heading after making a new set of cuts. The wrist had to be wedged off from the back and when it had been removed a sawyer could squeeze into the narrow space and make back-cuts behind the other blocks.

The quarrymen

Chopper: man who squared up (scappled) the stone using a hand axe.

Dayman: member of the stacking gang in the stock yard.

Gaffer: The owner or boss / manager, pays money to ganger.

Ganger: man responsible for the heading, pays piece work earnings to men.

Picker: man who removed the roof bed, using picks with increasing length of handle.

Roadman: maintained the roadways in the mine.

Sawyer: man who sawed out the blocks. By putting the saws in at an angle on the outer margins of the heading, the sawyer could increase the width of the lower blocks over the size for which the picker had been paid in removing the roof bed. This was known as robbing the picker. It resulted in a downward tapering shape to the pillars left in the mines to support the roof.