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Walking on from Snailbeach to explore other buildings and remains from mining on the Stiperstones, we pass two restored miners' cottages high up on the Stiperstones ridge at Blackmoorgate. Apparently these are squatters' cottages - their origin lies in the story that a local man could claim a patch of land if he could build a basic shelter overnight and achieve a smoking chimney by morning. Many miners at Snailbeach apparently set up home in this way, and built a basic shelter with a simple chimney, roof and walls that would soon develop into a small one-up, one-down cottage. Land could be claimed as far as an axe could be thrown from the property corners and a smallholding, market garden or farmstead established to supplement the miner's wages. Several pockets of settlement developed on the sides of the ridge, with the occupants enduring a harsh existence 400 metres up on poor, rocky soils. There is an excellent guide produced by the Shropshire Mines Trust here.

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