Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Peat storage hut, Birker Fell

I came across this ruin on the descent of Harter Fell. The Scafell range of fells provide a stunning backdrop.

It is one of 35 huts that have been identified in the Eskdale area that were used for the storage of peat turves. Its date of construction is unclear, certainly post-medieval but it was still roofed in 1860, probably with slates1‘Heritage Gateway – Results’. 2012. Heritagegateway.org.uk <https://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?resourceID=801&uid=2886830> [accessed 7 September 2022]. A well constructed embanked zig-zag track provided access for the turves to be sledded down to the dale.

It may seem reprehensible to us now, but for generations peat from the high moors was a valuable resource for the formers of Eskdale. Yet the environmental effect became apparent when the resource began to be strained by incomers working in the mines and on the railway. From 1842, a Peat-Moss Looker was appointed by the Manor Court to oversee the cutting of peat2‘Boot Riverside Walk 1’. 2022. Eskdale.info <https://www.eskdale.info/brag/history.php> [accessed 8 September 2022].







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