Archive for the ‘Culverts’ Category

Digging into the past at Hare Hill

For today’s activity on a sunny September day, the focus was less on ecology and habitats and more on heritage conservation. Hare Hill has an extensive system of culverts (on which we’ve worked many times in the past), but today we were working on a structure which might have been part of a sheep dip, dating perhaps to the first half of the nineteenth century.  A lot of the construction was overgrown or buried under soil and turf – so we were doing what we could to clear and reveal the original stonework and, where part of the structure had collapsed, try to identify its original line and formation.  This led to a lot of interesting archaeological and architectural theorizing (“Are these buried stones part of a collapsed wall?  Would there have been steps?  Is this rusted length of metal part of a rail?  Could there have been a sloped descent to the water at this point rather than a wall?”)!  We don’t know that we came up with any of the right answers but the speculation was entertaining!

 The National Trust is arranging for the revealed stonework to be assessed by someone with more expertise and it might follow in due course that there is a plan for more exploration and restoration of the structures here – so we’ll keep an eye out for future developments!

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The National Trust site of Hare Hill has an extensive Victorian culvert system which we have helped to maintain in the past.  The culvert system feeds into a cattle trough, and a couple of years ago we lent a hand with its restoration (it had previously lain forgotten for several decades).  It has silted up again since then, so today some of us joined forces with the Manchester National Trust Volunteers to clear out the mud and patch up some of the pond again.  There was a good crowd of volunteers out so, meanwhile, others worked on removing invasive rhododendron from a wooded embankment nearby.  A fine day in the spring sunshine!

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SACV’s task last Sunday was to help the National Trust at Hare Hill with the ongoing culvert restoration at this site.  We also helped with work to renovate a cattle drinking trough which had been discovered when it was found that the culverts fed into it – before that it had lain hidden for over 40 years!

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