Rattlebrook Peatworks (Disused), Lydford, Dartmoor National Park

Rattlebrook Peatworks (Disused), Lydford, Dartmoor National Park

In his 'Guide to Dartmoor', William Crossing wrote:

'These works were established in 1878, and the railway from Bridestowe Station for the conveyance of the peat was cut in the following year. Operations did not continue very long, nor have the endeavours to re-start them that have more than once been made, met with any success.'

The Dartmoor expert Eric Hemery covers the peatworks in depth in his work 'High Dartmoor'. He notes:

'The men of Sourton, Bridestowe and Lydford built the works; they built the track leading to it from Bridestowe and laid down the iron rails for the horse-drawn trucks; they went daily to cut peat on Amicombe Hill, dry it in the works and drive the horses (and later the petrol-driven light locomotive that drew the peat-trains) to Bridestowe.'

We'd also recommend reading the 'Peat Cutting' chapter in William Crossing's 'Dartmoor Worker'. He describes the various uses of peat from fuel to mining.