Sunday, 31 December 2017

Funny Gate, Stowborrow Hill, Quantock Hills

On top of Stowborrow Hill at the northern end of the Quantock Hills there is a tall old disused circular rusty wrought iron gate.  It is not marked on any modern map that I have found but is apparently known locally as "Funny Gate".  I am reliably informed that it has been in a dilapidated state for at least 50 years.  According to the Somerset Historic Environment Record it was probably erected in about 1850 when the adjacent deer park was enlarged.  Whoever wrote the entry in the Somerset HER didn't entirely understand how it worked but it seems to have had a revolving quadrant with various different modes for allowing animals through or retaining them within the enclosed area in the middle or preventing them from entering or leaving the deer park at all.  Presumably it was used when animals needed to be sorted out for any reason?   The diameter of the circular section is 3.5 metres and it is 1.8 metres high.   Grid reference ST 120 416

I am also informed that there is a working example on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire.  However I have not been able to find anything online about this gate.

Funny Gate
 
Funny Gate
 
Funny Gate

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