Old mining site at Hidra open for visitors
There has been done some work currently in order to open one of the old mines on Hidra so that one can visit it safely. The mine that is made available is called the Urstad mine. The mine entrance has been cleaned and a parking space is established. Eventually, more information about the mines at Hidra will be displayed on signs and brochures.
A short history:
In the latter half of the 18th century there was great interest in the extraction of rocks in southern Norway. Feldspar and quartz were in great demand by porcelain factories and glassworks in both Norway and Europe. They were important parts of mineral mixtures used in the production of various types of glass, porcelain, earthenware and ceramics. On Hidra, the field patches and quartz were in several places visible in rough-grained pegmatite passages.
The mining operation at Hidra started in the 1850s and the last mine closed down in 1931. Ships loaded with feldspar sailed to ports such as Rouen and St. Valerie-en-Somme in France, Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent in the UK, Belgian ports, Stettin, Danzig, Copenhagen and Helsingør. In Norway, loads sailed to the porcelain factories and glassworks in Porsgrunn, Moss, Egersund and Bergen.