Research into the marks and the duties

My research


This website and the previous publications on which it is based is the product of both documentary and field research. I started research into the coal duties in 1963 when I was still at school.

Documentary research

The documentary side of my research has concentrated on the legislation which enacted the duties and the background to this. To a smaller extent it has involved research in the administration of the duties. Research into the existing and former locations of boundary marks has gone hand in hand with field research. The libraries and archives which I have used are noted in Acknowledgements and the documents I have consulted are listed in Sources.

Field research

I have personally visited all the marks in the list. My original search covered a period of some years from 1963 onwards and in 1972 I revisited all the marks, with the exception of those then in the custody of local authorities etc, and resulting list was published in 1972 as my The coal duties of the City of London and their boundary marks. In 2007-09 I revisited all the marks and the lists of extant marks and missing marks reflect the situation as I discovered it then.

My original method of looking for the marks was to plot their likely positions as given by the various Area of Coal Duties maps and Ordnance Survey 6" maps and, in some areas, published lists on to 1:25000 Ordnance Survey maps and then to search for them on the ground. Lists available to me at the time I first looked for the posts in question were:

I naturally also looked for (and sometimes found) posts not given in any source available to me, for example where obvious lines of communication crossed the boundary.

Future research needed

Research of this type can never be complete: there always seem to be new lines of interest to pursue. Major areas that need further investigation include:

Page created by Martin Nail: Contact me. Last revised 25th April 2010

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