Breaking through boundaries
Reading the Peak District landscape
John Barnatt has poured a lifetime’s study of the Peak District landscape into his new book about Britain’s first national park. Today it is a place where people go to escape the pressures of the modern world among the upland hills and sheltered river valleys, but quarrying, mining, and farming would have created a very different atmosphere 150 years ago. Picking just one of many themes from the book, Chris Catling muses on the Peak’s walls and field boundaries.
below A fine example of strip lynchets near Priestcliff, in a landscape that preserves Romano-British and medieval field systems. It has yet to be established whether lynchets form over time because soil is cut away from the upslope and deposited on the downslope, or whether they were deliberately created at the outset as cultivation terraces flat enough to be ploughed.