View Near Dear-end, Hertfordshire
Artist: Hassell, I.
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
View of a Marl Pit in Hertfordshire. Marl is soil composed of clay and during the 18th and 19th centuries it was used to make bricks and as a fertilizer. Workers at the pit would create a small shaft about four feet in diameter which was sunk to the chalky earth which lay between 20 - 50 feet from the surface. The shaft was prevented from, falling in by a basket work screen made from rods of willow. The earth and chalk was raised from the pit by a simple hoist sometimes known as a ‘jack rowl’. One man worked the hoist whilst two others removed the marl from the full baskets and sent empty baskets down the shaft.