There are many books that cover the clay extraction in Purbeck. Only part of the book may deal with the clay, but this page is to list in no particular order those books that the reader may find of use in their studies.
A book dedicated to the memory of Joyce Meates Grandparents. It tells the story of the clay working at Goathorn/Newton. If you are interested in the clay extraction of Purbeck, then this book is a "must read". It is a "self published" book of a limited run. The Mining Museum has a mention.
The book is available from Joyce Meates tel no 01929 439245. It is also in New and Secondhand Books in Station Road, Swanage, Swanage Museum, Studland Stores, and Durlston Castle
"Narrow Gauge Branch Lines -
Dorset & Somerset Narrow Gauge" By Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith and
Published by Middleton Press
"Stephen Lewin and the Poole Foundry" -
By Russell Wear and Eric Lees and Published by Industrial Railway Society and
Industrial Locomotive Society in 1978 ISBN 0 901096 35 0
"Bound to the Soil" by
Barbara Kerr (A Social History of Dorset 1750-1918) published by John Baker in
"The Railways of Purbeck" by R.W.Kidner and
published by The Oakwood Press in 1973
Industrial Railways of the South West by Michael Messenger
and published by Twelveheads Press in 2005
"Purbeck - The ingrained Island" by Paul Hyland published by Dovecote Press in 1978 ISBN 0 946 159 65 3
Agatha's Husband by Mrs. Craik (Author of "John Halifax
Gentleman" and a friend of the Pike Brothers) published by Macmillan and
Co. in 1852
"Branch Line to Swanage
to1992" Middleton Press
"Purbeck Revealed" by Iiay Cooper and published by James Pembroke ISBN 0 9548176-0-5
This is an excellent read and captures the spirit of Purbeck. However research has shown up a few errors in the book regarding the Ball Clay industry.
In the chapter "The Heath: East of the Wareham Road" you mention the school at Goathorn and state "When an extension to Corfe opened in 1905 the school was doomed and before long, the train carried kids to school there"
Working from the Corfe School Logbooks, the school train did not commence until 27th June 1934. On the 5th January 1937 the "Goathorn Children" were transferred to Studland School.
Further on in the same chapter "The Industrial Revolution caused a dramatic surge in demand" According to Josiah Wedgwood report to a Privy Council in 1785 his business, built on the use of ball clay, was one of the driving forces for the revolution in Transportation, so it is rather the other way round that the use of ball clay caused a dramatic surge in the Industrial Revolution. In Staffordshire the famous potter Josiah Wedgwood saw an opportunity to bring bulky cargoes of clay to his factory doors, and to transport his fragile finished goods to market in Manchester, Birmingham or further afield by water, minimising breakages. Within just a few years of the Bridgewater's opening, an embryonic national canal network came into being, with the construction of canals such as the Oxford Canal and the Trent & Mersey Canal. The new canal system was both cause and effect of the rapid industrialisation of the British Midlands and north. The period between the 1770s and the 1830s is often referred to as the "Golden Age" of British canals.
In the chapter "The Western Heath to Luckford Lake" mentions "A Devon man , William Pike, started one, opening trial Pits near Furzebrook in 1760" I have traced the Pike Family tree back and the Pike who signed a contract with Wedgwood in 1791 was William Pike who was born in 1762. William Pike was resident in the Square in Corfe Castle in the 1790 Census, but went on to live at Bucknowle House. His father was Joseph Pike who was a clay merchant in Chudleigh, Devon. William Pike's sons were William Joseph and John William Pike and they both lived in Wareham. William Joseph was "the railway Pike".
Further on in the same Paragraph, "A London Potter, Benjamin Fayle, launched the second, Fayle and Company, digging pits at Norden in 1795" Several mistakes here - Benjamin Fayle was a London Merchant, born in Ireland in 1751 (his great Grandfather was William Edmundson who founded the society of friends in Ireland in 1654). No way was he a Potter. There were already other clay firms in Purbeck such as the Browns who first dug Blue Pool, and Hatherly who Lord Rivers supported and made the Pikes carry Hatherly's clay on their railway. So Benjamin Fayle was not the second. In fact it was Barker Chifney (A London and Liverpool Merchant) that dug the pits at Norden in 1795 with Benjamin Fayle taking over from a Bankrupted Barker Chifney in 1803.
Two Paragraphs on and "In 1866 Pikes took the initiative, constructing an 81cm line from Furzebrook to Ridge Quay" Pikes constructed their line around 1840 and in 1866 introduced Steam Engines.
And a little further on - "Fayle expanded eastwards, exploiting deposits at Newton, and building a new line in 1868, served by a steam locomotive, Tiny." The line was opened in 1854 by Rev Richard Fayle, Charlotte Fayle, and Benjamin Guy Babington (directors of B.Fayle and Co. - Benjamin Fayle having died in 1831) To celebrate they gave the staff 170 roast beef dinners. The Locomotive "Corfe" was built by Lewin's in Poole some time between 1868 and 1874. It was nicknamed "Tiny" because of it's size.