Crystal Cave with a heroic story

I’ve been unpacking some of our large minerals with our volunteers and we came across this fantastic Crystal Cave (also called a spar box).

This amazing specimen was donated in 1998. The donor said that it belonged to her grandfather, Isaac Hartley who was a miner at Stank Mine in Cumbria in the 1880s. Isaac Hartley was killed in a roof fall in the mine aged just 31. The donor recalled that her grandfather had survived the original fall, but returned into the shaft to help someone else when the roof collapsed again.

It is really nice to have this object in the museum as a beautiful tribute to Isaac Harvey and his heroic spirit.

The display would have been put together by fixing small pieces of calcite, quartz and galena into the display as if they naturally occurred like this. There’s some more information about minerals from this mine on the MinDat pages.

I have written another post about mining on the Nature Manchester blog.

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