Craven Curiosities

Craven curiosities

Craven curiosities

First published in Dales Life Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Editor

AGAIN we had no correct guesses to last week's mystery object.

It was, in fact, a Victorian mole trap.

Experts from Craven Museum and Gallery tells us: "This particular device was used for mole trapping at Sykes Farm in Dunsop Bridge and is made of iron.

"It was known by the name The Impassable or The Slayer and was popular during the Victorian era.

"Traps have been used to control mole populations for hundreds of years and present a variety of design, operation and construction methods. Moles are often seen as pests by farmers because the molehills that they create can disrupt crops.

"During the Victorian era metal traps were mass produced and concern for animal welfare was unimportant at this time, with most traps being quite inhumane like this example. This mass production resulted from an increased demand in this period for mole coats from the fur trade.

"Ancient Roman mole catchers buried clay pots in the ground in the moles main run, partially filled them with water and placed a trap door on top. The mole would fall into this and drown when it walked over it. "

We are now inviting guesses about this week's Craven Curiosity. They can be sent to news@cravenherald.co.uk

Meanwhile, all items in this column are on display in Craven Museum and Gallery, which is located in Skipton Town Hall.

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