Miner's tull and balmaiden's clogs

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

Miner's tull and balmaiden's clogs

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

LISKEARD AND DISTRICT MUSEUM. Protective gear for miners, the tull or felt hat was the basic safety equipment into the 20th century. A tallow candle would be stuck to the front with a lump of clay, hence the wax drips. Naked flames posed little danger in Cornish mines; it was the Midlands' coal mines that had dangerous gases and a need of Davy safety lamps.

The Bal maidens were employed as stone breakers at the surface, and clogs protected their feet from stones dropping on them. Breaking up ore-bearing stones with long handled hammers was dangerous work. Bal maidens' clogs had wooden soles and thick leather uppers. Known for their extravagant dress, bal maidens were independent women who earned their own wage. This museum is part of Cornwall's mining World Heritage Site.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen (tull); Lucy Hill (clogs)

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