I’ve always thought of ironstone bibles as something of a rarity, but two have come up on eBay recently.
I like to think they would have been carved by miners for some extra income, although potentially anyone with access to a lump of ironstone could have carved them.
There must be others out there locally, does anyone have an example in their family ?
Update : Many thanks for these contributions of Ironstone Bible photos from members of the public.
Steve Kay’s grandfather came with his family from Lancashire to be leader of Eston Miners’ Band at the end of the 19th century.
He was also landlord of the Cleveland Bay (Eston) and later the Miners’ Arms (Eston).
This one belonged to Derek Mosley’s Great Grandad William Garrett, who worked mainly in the Brotton and Skelton mines
Gavin Bretts doesn’t carry any identifying inscriptions, but looks like another example.
These photos from James Goodwill show another book with gold coloured inlays believed to be from the late 1800s, it belonged to William Mead, who was a mine manager in Eston.
The following examples are all in the collection of the Kirkleatham Museum, many thanks to Janet Williamson for giving me access to them.
These two example inscribed ‘Eston Metallic Iron Ore’ and “Cleveland Ironstone” shows how fragile the edges of the carvings can be.
This ‘Holy Bible” is also dated February 1912 with the initials EAB, I currently don’t have any details on who that was or what the occasion was.
“A Present to Mother” is highly decorated with gold inlays.
The level of decoration and style look very similar on “Eston Iron Stone” “Forget Me Not” so they are possible made by the same person.
“I’ll Think of Thee” is dated 1895 but also for an unknown occasion.