Lindow Moss

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Lindow Moss peat workings in 2005 Peat workings - - 61802.jpg
Lindow Moss peat workings in 2005

Lindow Moss, also known as Saltersley Common, is a raised mire peat bog on the edge of Wilmslow in Cheshire, England. It has been used as common land since the medieval period and is best known for the discovery of the preserved bog body of Lindow Man in 1984.

Wilmslow town in Cheshire, England

Wilmslow is a town and civil parish in Cheshire, England, that is 11 mi (18 km) south of Manchester. It is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after central London, and falls within the Cheshire Golden Triangle.

Cheshire County of England

Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south, and Flintshire and Wrexham County Borough in Wales to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700). Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464) and Winsford (32,610), Northwich (19,924)

Common land land owned collectively

Common land is land owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect wood, or to cut turf for fuel.


The peat bog was formed in a collection of hollows left by melting ice at the end of the last ice age. The first written record of Lindow Moss was in 1421 when the lord of Mobberley and Wilmslow allowed people to dig peat from the mossland for use as fuel. [1] It originally covered over 600 hectares (1,500 acres), but has since shrunk to a tenth of its original size. The bog can be a dangerous place; an 18th-century writer recorded people drowning there. [2]

Ice age Period of long-term reduction in temperature of Earths surface and atmosphere

An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Earth's climate alternates between ice ages and greenhouse periods, during which there are no glaciers on the planet. Earth is currently in the Quaternary glaciation, known in popular terminology as the Ice Age. Individual pulses of cold climate within an ice age are termed "glacial periods", and intermittent warm periods within an ice age are called "interglacials" or "interstadials", with both climatic pulses part of the Quaternary or other periods in Earth's history.

Mobberley human settlement in United Kingdom

Mobberley is a village in Cheshire, England, between Wilmslow and Knutsford, which in 2001 had a population of 2,546, increasing to 3,050 at the 2011 Census.

Hectare Metric unit of area

The hectare is an SI accepted metric system unit of area equal to a square with 100-metre sides, or 10,000 m2, and is primarily used in the measurement of land. There are 100 hectares in one square kilometre. An acre is about 0.405 hectare and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

For centuries, peat from the bog was used as fuel. It continues to be extracted but now for mixing within compost products. The process is now mechanised with a mechanical digger.

The site is known for its flora and fauna such as hare's-tail cottongrass, common cottongrass [3] and green hairstreak butterfly. It also has been a habitat for water voles although their continued existence is threatened by sinking water levels. The Saltersley Common Preservation Society promotes the preservation of the moss. [4] In November 2011, they teamed up with a local amateur filmmaker to produce a short video detailing the history of the bog and some of the threats it faces. [5]

<i>Eriophorum vaginatum</i> species of plant

Eriophorum vaginatum, the hare's-tail cottongrass, tussock cottongrass, or sheathed cottonsedge, is a species of perennial herbaceous flowering plant in the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is native to bogs and other acidic wetlands throughout the Holarctic Kingdom. It is a 30–60 cm high tussock-forming plant with erect solitary spikelets.

<i>Eriophorum angustifolium</i> species of plant

Eriophorum angustifolium, commonly known as common cottongrass or common cottonsedge, is a species of flowering plant in the sedge family Cyperaceae. Native to North America, North Asia, and Northern Europe, it grows on peat or acidic soils, in open wetland, heath or moorland. It begins to flower in April or May and, after fertilisation in early summer, the small, unremarkable brown and green flowers develop distinctive white bristle-like seed-heads that resemble tufts of cotton; combined with its ecological suitability to bog, these characteristics give rise to the plant's alternative name, bog cotton.

Green hairstreak species of insect

The green hairstreak is a small butterfly in the family Lycaenidae.

See also

Lindow Common—adjacent SSSI


  1. Turner 1995 , p. 10.
  2. Brothwell 1986 , p. 13.
  3. "Lindow Common SSSI" (PDF). Natural England. 1979. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  4. Reeves, Lisa (3 November 2009), Online fight to save peat bog,, retrieved 26 December 2010
  5. Reeves, Lisa (24 November 2011), Movie highlights threat to Lindow Moss,, retrieved 24 November 2011

Related Research Articles

Lindow Man Preserved body of an Iron Age man found in a bog in England

Lindow Man, also known as Lindow II and as Pete Marsh, is the preserved bog body of a man discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow in Cheshire, North West England. The human remains were found on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat-cutters. Lindow Man is not the only bog body to have been found in the moss; Lindow Woman was discovered the year before, and other body parts have also been recovered. The find, described as "one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 1980s", caused a media sensation. It helped invigorate study of British bog bodies, which had previously been neglected in comparison to those found in the rest of Europe.

Bog body Corpse conserved in a bog

A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog. Such bodies, sometimes known as bog people, are both geographically and chronologically widespread, having been dated to between 8000 BCE and the Second World War. The unifying factor of the bog bodies is that they have been found in peat and are partially preserved; however, the actual levels of preservation vary widely from perfectly preserved to mere skeletons.

Bog Wetland that accumulates peat due to incomplete decomposition of plant leftovers

A bog or bogland is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire, and muskeg; alkaline mires are called fens. They are frequently covered in ericaceous shrubs rooted in the sphagnum moss and peat. The gradual accumulation of decayed plant material in a bog functions as a carbon sink.

Risley Moss reservoir in the United Kingdom

Risley Moss is an area of peat bog situated near Birchwood in Warrington, England. It is a country park, Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve. It covers an area of 210.5 acres (85.2 ha) and is one of the last remaining fragments of the raised bogs that once covered large areas of South Lancashire and North Cheshire.

Ballynahone Bog is a raised bog, situated in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, about 3 km south of Maghera, on low-lying ground immediately north of the Moyola River about 14 km from its mouth at Lough Neagh. It is one of the largest lowland raised bogs in Northern Ireland.

Chat Moss Peat bog in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England

Chat Moss is a large area of peat bog that makes up 30 per cent of the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. North of the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey, five miles (8 km) to the west of Manchester, it occupies an area of about 10.6 square miles (27.5 km2).

Lindow Common

Lindow Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) located on the western edge of the town of Wilmslow, Cheshire, in the northwest of England. It is also designated a Local Nature Reserve.

Lindow Woman and Lindow I are the names given to the partial remains of a female bog body, discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss, near Wilmslow in Cheshire, England, on 13 May 1983 by commercial peat-cutters. The remains were largely a skull fragment, which was missing its jaw, but with soft tissue and hair attached. The remains were subsequently dated to the Roman period. The remains became more technically known as Lindow I after the discovery of other remains in the same bog, which were identified as Lindow Man or Lindow II in 1984 and Lindow III in 1987.

Haraldskær Woman Iron age bog body from Denmark

The Haraldskær Woman is a bog body of a woman found naturally preserved in a bog in Jutland, Denmark, and dating from about 490 BCE. Workers found the body in 1835 while excavating peat on the Haraldskær Estate. The anaerobic conditions and acids of the peat bog contributed to the body's excellent preservation. Not only was the intact skeleton found, but so were the skin and internal organs. Scientists settled disputes about the age and identity of this well preserved body in 1977, when radiocarbon dating determined conclusively that the woman's death occurred around the 5th century BCE.

The threefold death, which is suffered by kings, heroes, and gods, is a putatively Proto-Indo-European theme, reconstructed from medieval accounts of Celtic and Germanic mythology and archaeologically attested from ancient bodies such as Lindow Man.

Carrington Moss

Carrington Moss is a large area of peat bog near Carrington in Greater Manchester, England. It lies south of the River Mersey, approximately 10 miles (16 km) south-west of Manchester, and occupies an area of about 1,100 acres (450 ha). The depth of peat varies between 17 and 20 feet.

Black Lake Nature Reserve

Black Lake is a nature reserve in Delamere Forest, Cheshire, England. It lies in the southwestern corner of the forest, just south of the Manchester–Chester railway. It is managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) on behalf of the Forestry Commission, and as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is monitored by Natural England.

Danes Moss Nature Reserve nature reserve south of Macclesfield, Cheshire, England

Danes Moss Nature Reserve is a 13.4-hectare (33-acre) nature reserve south of Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. A Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Saltersley Hall grade II listed English country house in the United kingdom

Saltersley Hall is a country house located about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the west of Wilmslow, Cheshire, England. The authors of the Buildings of England series describe it as a "lonely but high-status ... house on a sand island in the middle of Lindow Moss". The house was built in the 17th century, with additions in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is constructed in sandstone and whitewashed brick with a slate roof. Its medieval H-shape has been rationalised to form a flat front with three gables. The windows are mullioned. The house is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.

Red Moor (nature reserve) nature reserve near Lanlivery in mid Cornwall, England, UK

Red Moor is a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its biological characteristics, near Lanlivery in mid Cornwall, England, UK.

Lindow may refer to:

Dosenmoor nature reserve in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

The Dosenmoor is a regenerative and, in places, preserved raised bog in the north German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It lies near the town of Neumünster east of the village of Einfeld and covers an area of 521 hectares. The almost circular bog lies on the watershed between the River Eider, which flows northwards, and the Stör, which flows towards the south.

Salta Moss A Site of Special Scientific Interest in Cumbria, England

Salta Moss is a raised blanket mire which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest located in the hamlet of Salta, in Cumbria, United Kingdom. It was determined to be of biological interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The site, measuring 45.6 hectares, was officially designated in August 1982.


Don Brothwell British archaeologist

Donald Reginald "Don" Brothwell, was a British archaeologist, anthropologist, and academic, who specialised in human palaeoecology and environmental archaeology. He had worked at the University of Cambridge, the British Museum, and the Institute of Archaeology of University of London, before ending his career as Professor of Human Palaeoecology at the University of York. He has been described as "one of the pioneers in the field of archaeological science".

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Further reading

The Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society is a historical society and a registered charity. It was founded in Manchester on 21 March 1883 for the education of the public by fostering and promoting the study of any aspects of the archaeology, history, social history, genealogy, architecture and the arts, trade and trades, the history of institutions and local government, customs, and traditions of the area covered by the Palatine counties of Lancashire and Cheshire and succeeding local authorities ranging from antiquity to the twenty-first century. Although the Society is based upon Manchester, its studies and activities embrace the region. The society became a registered charity in 2004.

Coordinates: 53°19′23″N2°16′13″W / 53.323081°N 2.2702217°W / 53.323081; -2.2702217

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.