Bark Peeling

Text: Malcolm Dick

Image: Two women stripping bark from a small tree, Wyre Forest (early 20th century)
[Image from Bewdley Museum]

Women use small irons to strip bark from a small tree on the ground. The women first cut the bark with the iron and then worked it between the wood and the bark with a back-and- forth action (see photograph). The aim was to produce strips of bark between one and three feet in length which could be easily stacked and transported.


Bark Peeling was a long-established woodland craft which used the same techniques for centuries. It contained an essential product which was used to process animal hides before they could be turned into products for sale. Several 19th and early 20th century century photographs held in Bewdley Museum record the work of bark peelers and the tools that they used.


Continue browsing this section

747-0Woodland Industries in the Wyre Forest 941-0The Wyre Forest and Bewdley 749-2Bark Peeling 221-0Bark Peeling and Leather Tanning 215-0Work and Labour 223-0Bark Peeling Tools 220-0Bark Peeling 222-0Bark Peeling 217-0Seasoning the Bark 216-0Transporting the Bark 750-0The Making of Snuff 940-0Charcoal Burning in the Wyre Forest
Sources and Further Reading

Bewdley Museum, Information Sheet: Bark Peeling in the Wyre Forest, Bewdley Museum, 1980