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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Peat Processing at Fenn's Moss, Wrexham

Aerial View of Fenn’s Moss: Both small scale and large scale peat cutting has taken place on the Mosses as the distinctive cuttings clearly indicate.  Other activities have also taken place here. During the 20th century the Mosses were commandeered for Military use, principally rifle ranges during the World Wars.
(Crown Copyright. CD2003_604_016. NPRN 3358)
A new project for the Recording and Investigation Team of the Royal Commission is to record the unique, yet threatened remains of a peat processing factory, believed to be the last such works remaining in mainland Britain. The works are at the heart of Fenn’s Moss, which together with the adjacent Whixhall and Bettisfield Mosses straddle the Welsh/English border and form the third largest lowland raised bog in Britain. Today the Mosses are a National Nature Reserve nearly 1000 hectares in extent. In the past however, it supported a thriving peat industry. Peat has been cut from the Mosses since at least the medieval period. It was used initially for fuel and distillation, then as bedding for horses and poultry, as well as for packing. Most recently it has been used for garden compost.
Peat Processing Factory: Here hand-cut ‘potting-peat’ was ground up and sieved from the 1930’s until the 1960’s.  The product was sold for horticultural use and ‘turf blocks’ were sold for fuel.  As a unique structure it is essential that recording of the machinery together with the process of manufacture is undertaken.
(Crown Copyright. NPRN 3358)

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