Keys to the Past

Glossary

Hush

Hushing was a way of finding mineral veins, such as galena. They occur on hillsides where the miners thought there might be a vein, but could not find a precise location. At the top of the hill a turf dam was built with channels to collect water to fill the hole made by making the dam. When the pool behind the dam was full the dam was broken and the water washes away all soil and surface rocks revealing the veins. This would leave a deep gully and a fan of debris at the bottom of the hill.
Hushes are important features in the landscape of the Pennines. They appear to be localised in the region between the Rivers Derwent and Lune, and then again between the Swale and Wensley. Hushes are almost impossible to date; they may date from Roman times to the 19th century AD, though most are of 16th or 17th century date. The process of starting hushes may have been carried out till the 1830s - though it was unpopular as it left soils in the bottom of the valleys. Re-use of hushes seems to have been carried out till the late 1840s AD.

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