The Old Country Saw-pit

The Old Country Saw-pit. Photograph by Gertrude Jekyll. Old West Surrey (1904). Scanned image and text by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photograher and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Now [1904], when every builder has his steam-saw, the old country saw-pits have gone out of use. But in the older days it was good to see and hear the rhythmical working of the great pit-saw, and to note the clever, handy way the men would shift the mighty tree-trunks with lever and rollers. And the saw-pit was generally in some pretty place close to sharply-sloping ground, so that the bottom of it was kept dry by natural drainage. And it was easy to see how the word 'top-sawyer' came to have a special significance in country speech, in the way of meaning something rather grand, or, at any rate, is good bit raised above something or somebody else. — Old West Surrey, p. 204


Jekyll, Gertrude Old West Surrey: Some Notes and Memories. London: Longmans, Green, & Co, 1904.

Last modified 3 October 2006