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AbstractThe distribution of mudrocks in the British Carboniferous i largely related to the underlying block/basin structure, the basins howing mainly muddy sequences. Most mudrocks are in the Upper Carboniferous Coal Measures, where they form more than 50 % of the sequence. Average chemical analyses and mineralogical compositions of fireclays mainly from the Upper Carboniferous are given and compared with interna-tional averages; the Phanerozoic secular variation of CaO/MgO ratios resembles Russian results.