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Stock underpasses

What are underpasses? 

These narrow tunnels are usually constructed beneath walled track-ways or roads. They were built to allow stock, mainly sheep but sometimes cattle, to move from one field to another in safety. This was often to allow access to water. The height and shape of these passages varies. It has been suggested that some are designed specifically for sheep rather than cattle.

When were they built? 

The underpasses are thought to have been created during the period of extensive enclosure that occurred during the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The underpasses are not usually visible from the road, but can frequently be identified by a small bump. Many are now blocked but some are still in use or, at the very least, are still accessible.

A more detailed account of the distribution and different form of the underpasses will help us better understand whether they are all from that period of enclosure and improvement.


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