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On 31/08/2022 at 12:58, Bob_z_l said:

A few years back in the Forest of Dean I went in to the local coal mine. It followed the exposed coal and descended slowly for a few hundred feet. Entrance looked very similar. Although Sod Hut is more likely.

I'm told it is the entrance to a mine, the fella in the picture was known as a free miner.

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On 24/03/2023 at 23:28, daveatdave said:

it could be to let the dog through 

That was suggested on the page I nicked the picture from, for a sheepdog to go through. No firm answer yet though. Apparently it’s bigger than it looks in the pictures.

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15 minutes ago, Stere said:

Sheep holes are fairly common


Well that makes sense, I've seen a few even up here usually next to a style which is much more recent than the wall, so you go over and the dog goes through.. but it makes much more sense if it was originally for sheep to get from one pasture to another👍

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1 hour ago, Stere said:

Some different possiblilites covered in this article:



An insight into the history, craft and splendour of dry stone walls, by Gerry Jones, written exclusively for Merchant &...







What a good article, ' sheep creep, cripple hole, creep hole, lunky, hogg hole, smoot or smout '...  I just love this stuff.

As someone who has done a fair amount of stone work in this life I can totally appreciate the value and span of knowledge that goes along with the history of this ancient craft.


There is, { in my opinion } a fundamental connection and understanding that can be achieved when building with stone when each one you pick up is more than a billion years old.


The Highlands is littered with unkept dilapidated dry stane dykes that nobody cares for any more, I have the remnants of a beautiful wall behind me on FC ground, it was quite extensive and previously marked the edge of an old croft but unfortunately almost all of it has been destroyed by repeated vandalism by the afore mentioned cnuts.


So as I have the only remaining bit of this wall, just about 30 feet, behind my garden I decided to rescue and sort all the fallen stone into various piles with a view to restore and reinstate the bit of wall behind me with it's original material that was all still lying around, albeit buried under moss and heather .


In this part of the world nearly all the field stones are round glacial boulders dropped off as the ice receded and therefore difficult to build with, but as I discovered when collecting the collapsed wall's stones, nearly all of them have been heated by fire and the doused with water to crack them in order to produce a ' face ' to build with and all the jammers and infill are sharp and shards of this process completely unlike quarried stone.


The immensity of this task is mind boggling and leaves me in complete awe of the abilities of these long gone crofters, and when I'm re handling their building materials I feel privileged and I'm very aware that every single stone has been previously handled many times and placed with skill generations ago.

If I ever get around to rebuilding it I'll post some pics.



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