Bal Maidens & Mining Women Home Page
CornDev WomenUK WomenWorld Link

1842 Commission






***Database updated 15th September 2017***

Simonin Small
Welcome to this Bal Maidens and Mining Women website, exploring the many different roles which women and girls have undertaken at mines around the world.

The emphasis is on those who worked at the mines (known as bal maidens), clay & slate works, and related industries (such as the explosives industry, smelters etc) in Cornwall and West Devon and includes a searchable database of 29,942 named individuals.

There are pages about mining women around the world, notably of pit brow lasses of the north of England, and coal dressers on the French and Belgian coal fields.

*** New for March 2016 *** Full searchable transcript of the 1842 Commission into the Working Conditions of Children at the Mines in Cornwall and West Devon. This includes interviews with 21 bal maidens.

Also for information on the women and girls who worked at the paper mills in Devon and Cornwall please go to our publications list.

Please also check the page Books & Articles for further reading including a number of books by Lynne Mayers.



Second edition of the book which won the

2005 Holyer an Gof Trophy

Best Cornish Publication 2004

Holyer an Gof 2015


2015 Holyer an Gof Award

Best Cornish Booklet published 2014







All images on this site can be viewed in more detail by clicking on the image. Use the browser BACK button to return. Some image files, name indexes etc are rather large and will take a few seconds to load, even at broadband speeds. Please be patient.


Back to Top


© Webmaster Peter Boorman & Lynne Mayers 2006
About the website