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Heritage - Twywell Hills and Dales Heritage

Prior to 1920, the Twywell site consisted of farmland, mainly pasture. Remnants of the Twywell Lodge farmhouse and its dairy and orchard can still be seen today.

Quarrying of the site first began in 1920 at a time when manual labour was used to extract the stone. Later on large heavy machinery was used to work the site and a railway line was laid to carry the stone up to Islip Furnaces for smelting. This became part of the largest narrow gauge railway system in the country. The quarry was finally closed in January 1948.

Apart from some plantation of woodland in the 1930s and 1950s, the site was allowed to revert back to nature, leaving an interesting undulating landscape.

The site was purchased from British Steel by East Northamptonshire Council in 1994 in order to protect the conservation interests of the site and to provide quiet recreational opportunities to local people and other visitors. Its overall management was given over to the Rockingham Forest Trust, in partnership with the Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Today, the site is important for its limestone grassland, which is rich in wildflowers and for its varied pond life. It is well used by the residents of the surrounding villages as well as by those travelling from further afield.