Following completion of the purchase of Hillball Wood, I spent a number of days working on the repair and restoration of an old stone shed there. Quite a few people stopped to admire the work, and ask me what the history of the shed was. To be honest I don’t know, but I did find a few old roof slates when digging out around the building. Now a hundred or more years ago a stone building with a slate roof was too posh for a shed, and I do wonder whether it was once the residence of a charcoal burner. Wishful thinking perhaps, but there are old charcoal pits in the wood – small flat circular areas. These were where the old burners used to stack the round wood, before covering in turf to limit the supply of oxygen during a burn. Result: incomplete combustion and charcoal! Alternatively perhaps the shed was linked to the old Trago Mills site, which was once a gunpowder factory from the 1850s to 1898? An 1898 map lists the building as kennels; they must have been lucky dogs. For the future I’m not sure, it may make a neat bunk barn for families or friends to stay an occasional weekend, or perhaps a rather posh tool store?